Recent Activities in Beijing

Trip Start Feb 27, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Sunday, December 1, 2013

As the Christmas creeps up on us, and the temperatures drop even lower, I have been trying to make the most of the nice days before it gets too cold to go anywhere but class and back again.
Thanksgiving was over the weekend, which for the 20 previous years in my life meant absolutely nothing.  This year, however, my American friend Taylor invited us to join her celebrate.  From watching movies, the idea of Thanksgiving I had was that the family sat around a beautifully set table, eating a large turkey and all sorts of other dishes.  Taylor managed to buy a turkey for us, which was so big, it required two ovens to cook it.  Ovens in China, however, are not like the ones back home.  They are about microwave sized, and portable.  Taylor cooked us an amazing feast of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pies for dessert.  The rest of us brought some food to share as well.   It was an amazing dinner, as for this American holiday, so many cultures blended together to celebrate. Vesliana, for instance, brought some spring rolls and a green papaya salad, which is the type of food she is used to eating at home.    We were gathered in our dorm's kitchen, with no table or chairs, we leaned against the washing machines, sinks and benches, as we ate turkey and stuffing on paper plates with the Australian flag on them, with chopsticks. It was one of the moments where you reflect on your journey so far, and I realized, again, how blessed I am to be here, and how thankful I am.  I am so thankful that I have built my little Chinese family here, and to feel so incredibly safe, loved and happy here.  So even though the Thanksgiving was not like in the movies, I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to this American tradition.  We still captured the feeling and essence of it, just being together and doing it in our own way.
Ian and Emily took me out again on one of out fun adventures.  This time, we went to a museum set up temporarily which showcases 3D paintings.  The paintings are painted to look like the are coming out of the picture frames, and are painted in a way which encourages visitor interactions.  They had photos next to the painting which advised you the best way to pose, and so when photographed, it looks like you're interacting with whatever character. I had so much fun pretending to accept a bunch of flowers from an 1800s woman, or waving a red cloth to attract a bull. The museum wasn't very busy, either, so there was no competition or waiting to pose in front of the pictures
Last Wednesday, I went to the Tap Water Museum.  Named as one of the weirdest museums, it was one my friends and I had been jokingly talking about going to for a long time.  We finally decided to just go for it this day, and made our way over there.  It is quite an unknown museum to most people, as it is hidden in an apartment complex area.  The tickets were only about $1, but we used our student cards and got in for half price....every little bit counts!
The museum itself was surprisingly professionally set up.  I'm not sure what I really expected, but I wasn't expecting so much display for a museum dedicated to the water supply in Beijing.  Beijing is not close to any major water source, so the water must be pumped in from the nearest mountains.  It is quite a big feat to have all the infrastructure to allow so much water for the city.  Our guide was someone who was particularly passionate about Beijing's water supply, and she showed us around all the displays and what they meant.  It was an interesting little expedition, and although I probably wouldn't recommend you to go to it if you are in Beijing for a short time, as it is not the most fascinating museum, but I liked that they even had a museum dedicated to teaching where the water comes from, which is something that people take for granted when they turn on the tap.
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Aunty Kate on

Wow - I love those zany photos!! They look fantastic - mostly because of the model rather than the talented artists of course! :)

Andrew on

Looks like a new tradition (thanksgiving ) has been added to the Fisher's programme :)

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