The Twenty-First Century Hotel
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... The tea is poured from the clay pot, into the smelling cup, the sipping cup is put on top like a mushroom cap, then the cups flipped over quickly, this is very hot! The smelling cup is smelt and used to warm or wake up your face and hands before the tea in the sipping cup is drunk. Much fun was had with this! We became quite adept.
The third tea was a Jasmine Tea which we got for St John. This was a floral tea, quickly poured so as to not steep the tea and served in ...
... jostle and push me more than other people. I wonder what I've done to offend? This is not all. Apart from the usual spitting and belching (which we've encountered throughout Southeast Asia) the populace here have other bad habits which merit a mention. Their underground system is very good but their subterranean etiquette is suboptimal; everywhere else I've travelled this way people outside the train allow those inside who wish to leave to exit first before embarking themselves; ...
... us our first home cook Chinese dinner at her house. What a treat that was. Shi Qiu knows Beijing better than anyone I know, all we need was to tell her what we want to see and what foods we want to eat and she made everything happened like magic.
The spring in China was so green even Beijing put on a beautiful flower show. We first visited Zhongshan Park (中山公园) - the "smallest national park" located next to the Tiananmen Square. ...
... were freighted from faraway provinces.
Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in it. Roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process. However, there is one exception. Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof. The reason is that it was believed black represented water then and could extinguish fire.
The forbidden city ...
... a full ginger beard!
Katie was in her hostel nearby, so I went to meet her for a drink. Later we got a text off Johnny saying he and Ariel were at a street of bars near a lake, but it was on the opposite side of the circular metro line quite a way away, so unfortunately the farewell drink didn't quite work out. Katie's hostel was in a very lively place full of street restaurants and bars, whereas mine was in a quiet little 'hutong' - alleyway, and it had ...