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Today we drove outside of Beijing to see the Ming Tombs & Great Wall. We rented a van & a driver to show us around. As our "tour guide/driver" spoke no English, things definitely got interesting at times and lots of hand gestures and verbal attempts were made. The Ming Tombs were surrounded by apple orchards and it was interesting to note that apples & persimmons seem to be main crops grown in that area. The English historical info about ...
... of worship and sacrifice. They sacrificed animals to God. Parts of the road were raised so the emperor would be higher when he went through. There was a girl in a red dress getting photos taken at one of the sites. They might have been wedding photos. The dress must have been too big for her because it was held together with safety pins at the back and when she lifted the dress to move to another spot she had black sneakers on. She happily posed for all ...
The sheer size of this is astounding. I know I keep coming back to how big stuff is but the only comparison I can think is Washington DC with the Lincoln memorial area. But this is ten times the size. So widespread. My feet are starting to hurt. Been walking like 10 miles a day.
Walking from my hostel I decided to try a back road to find a laundromat and instead I found where all the beautiful people were hiding. The road went behind the Beijing Hotel ...
... harvest. The building called The Hall of Prayer For Good Harvests is spectacular. It's a round building made of wood with not a single nail. As with most floors and surfaces here in China, the base of the structure is made of marble and stone. We got quite a history lesson. It was really cool. We went to a tea house there and did another tea tasting. They are so much fun and one of my favorite things to do here. Today we tasted 5 different ...
... to public speaking, and even had to overcome a st-st-st-stutter (which still shows up from time to time. It's difficult at times being here alone, but I'm falling in love with the place again and learning a lot about myself and life in general, away from the stresses of the Melbourne rat race, and in an environment I really love. I do miss playing live music a shitload though.
So I'm spending most of my days studying vocab & grammar ...