I think that the Chinese people are amongst the most friendly I’ve ever met. We’ve been asked a few times to have our photograph taken. They say its because Pat is so handsome and I am so beautiful. I’ve also read to expect this as that they haven’t seen many tall white people before.. but I’m sure got to be the because of our beauty. They are also very happy to have their photos taken as well as you can see.
The Forbidden City is truly amazing. Vibrant colors and still so well kept. The Emperors had three thousand concubines and if you didn’t give him a child within three years you were sent back home and he would get another. Pat is busy calculating the odds and I think he’s pretty impressed however one or two stories lead me to believe that there may have been more than five on any one night. And when an Emperor dies sixteen concubines are killed to accompany him on his way. Not much fun being a concubine. Although I suppose you get to wear nice clothes like the silk kimono o a hundred children in the picture.
We didn’t make it to the market because it was closed for some reason however when we went to the restaurant there were fifty pages. Some of the things on the menu were turtle, cows intestines, beef balls (I’m not sure whether that was the same as our meat balls or really beef balls so I declined to try them,) turtle, shark fin and various other dubious offerings. What we did get was delicious though.
We had a rickshaw ride and lunch in a private style house. The ride was terrifying, I think he thought he was in the Formula One race. The traffic in China is a little crazy. The cars and bikes are electric and silent and they don’t use lights at night or helmets.
Before we got to the Great Wall of China we visited the Ming Tomb. Very impressive. He had traps put in to avoid anyone getting into it like the ball hanging out of the Dragons mouth would drop down on anyone who passed a trigger.
The Great Wall is not for the weak hearted. We were exhausted but managed to climb to the top of the picture shown. (five stations) met brides on the way and men carrying their partners and crazy men running it without their shirts on and parents with children who had difficult gaits but the parent s were encouraging them to walk on. It was quite inspiring at times.
We loved the park of the Heavenly Palace where the retired all go to dance, play kick ball or cards and there’s an area for blind dating parents applying for their children. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the dating area but all these parents had laid out in front of them the details of the child they wanted married and they would discuss if interested.
I hope the videos of the dancing and our guide who was a soldier marching can play on this site. It was quite funny as there was a soldier just out of sight of the camera watching us march.
Pat an I are now experts in silk, Jade and tea drinking and Feng Shui. by the way and thanks to coaching from Duke I’m almost fluent in Chinese. As I write this we are on the speed train to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Army.