Friday, July 8, 2011

China Day 3: Tianneman Square & Forbidden City

We finally met up with our group today!  As usual, photos tell the story better, so go visit our photo album and be sure to read the captions.

What we loved about today:

The people! We enjoyed getting to meet other families from CCAI. We'll be with them for the next full week and can tell after spending a very tiring day with them that they are wonderful!  Also, it was nice to have our guide, George with us.  TJ thinks the world of him and was stuck to him like sticky rice the entire time.  As TJ says, "He's awesome." (When George needs to gather our very large travel group, he just yells, "Sticky Rice!")

There are 19.5 million people in Beijing.  The city itself is 6900 square miles.  Well, as we were walking briskly, trying to keep up with our group after leaving the silk place (or was it the Hutong Village?...I forget), Ken noticed a group of Deaf Chinese men signing.  He approached the group and, using international sign, asked, "Are you Deaf?"  Before the men could answer, Ken noticed a man named Jeff, whom Ken had already connected with through a friend via Facebook!  We will be meeting up with this group of guys tomorrow to visit.  I can't wait to talk more with the local Chinese Deaf people to find out what their life is like there!  The fact that we happened to run into them astounds me.  There is a saying in Deaf culture: "Deaf small world."  There's another saying, too: "True biz!"

Today was the first time we had "paparazzi."  Many people stared and took photos.  They certainly aren't shy about it, either.

The culture!  We visited a silk factory (not sure if "factory" is the correct word, but it was a place where they showed us how silk is made and also sold many silk items.) 
To visit Tianneman Square and walk through The Fobidden City was surreal.  It's a beautiful place with so much significance to Chinese culture.  I'm still amazed at how much they honor Chairman Mao, considering his entire history.
Hutong Village was my favorite stop of today. Riding the rickshaws through town gave us an excellent view of the people and places.  We enjoyed walking through one family's home as well.

What we weren't so crazy about:

It was a LONG day.  Certainly a "go with the flow" kind of day during some parts.  We were ready to leave the silk place a good 45 minutes before we actually left.  Then, the walk through the Forbidden City was very long. (But we loved it! Totally worth it.)  After exiting the Forbidden City, we walked another long way to the bus.  Although our hotel was only about 4 miles away, the bus ride home took an hour or more.  By the time we arrived to the hotel, I was DONE with that bus!  :)  But hey, at least it was a soft seat and AC. The large windows also gave us a great view of the city and people.

All in all, the day was amazing.  It's now 8:30pm on Friday and my entire family is fast asleep.  That's exactly where I'm headed now....

9 comments:

  1. Love all of your pictures and updates! They're the highlights of my days lately.:) Just had to share that we had George as our guide too when we were in Beijing for Shanna's adoption and he is wonderful!!! He was so patient with us - he had to write notes for everything. All deaf in our group. Bless him. I do not know if he will remember us, but please please tell him a big hello from us, and we still remember him with a lot of fondness. Enjoy your meeting with the deaf folks you met - amazing small world, I agree!

    Leslie Hussey

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an exciting jorney you are having Love experiencing this with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We also had George, and absolutely adored him! We called him Speedy Chopsticks because the man walks fast! We were Sticky Rice, too :) Glad you've met up with your group now, it is a lot of fun connecting with families anticipating their new child/children!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hope yall are having fun (this is trinity

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks guys! And hi, Trinity! Leslie, I'll have to ask George. I'm sure he remembers you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sarah- We loved George! Did he tell you yet the story about how he is a miracle baby? It is pretty cool. Enjoy your last day in Beijing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sarah: This adventure is such an amazing testimony to so many and I have loved reading about this entire journey. Literally can't wait to see pics with you and the boys!!! Praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thinking about your site seeing...at least you didn't have cranky little ones with you through all the walking/riding! I'm just thinking of my own family and how we could NOT do a journey like that at this season of life, LOL. I know when you DO have your little ones (and you have Tian now as I catch up on your blog and write this note!) you'll be much more captivated with your new family member than with the sights!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The last picture, of Christophers, could be anywhere in the U.S. Looks like something you'd see in New Jersey! Just curious as to what has surprised you as been the same in China and the U.S. and what has been the biggest differences?

    ReplyDelete