Beijing - Day 3

Trip Start Jun 02, 2005
Trip End Jul 05, 2005

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Thursday, June 9, 2005

Veggie breakfast. So what else is new?

We visit a Tibetan Hospital in the morning. It sounded interesting at the start, but in the end, it was another place where they wanted you to buy their goods. Luckily, it was only targetted at the older people, but either way, it wasn't time well spent.

We moved on to this dude's mansion afterwards. Allow me to tell you a bit about the history of this place. Once upon a time, there was this emporer dude. He was a bit naughty, and made out with this peasant chick (I think that's how it goes). She goes on to have a baby. One day, many years later, the emporer notices a coachman (guy that drives a stage coach) that looks very similar to him, or this chick he xxxxxx. He loved this boy like his own son, and did heaps of favours for him. After many years, he become wealthier than even the emporer. As soon as the emporer died, the jealous son(?) of the emporer who was next in line to the throne, murdered this guy (He Shen was his name). Although he could take the guys wealth, he could take the fortune he had ... i think that's how it goes.
Anyway, this place was cool. They had kids from the Chinese acrobatics doing a little performance there. Photo 1 shows this girl spinning a table with her feet. They serve you little snacks and tea while you're watching this 10min show. The snacks were yummy - though I can't remember what they were. They disappeared before I could take a photo of them :D I think the kids doing these couldn't be more than 8 or 9 yrs old. They were performing their acrobatics to the sound of "Clocks" by Coldplay, but with a Chinese tang to it.

I can't really remember much about the next place I visit. I mean, the history and all. We arrive at the courtyard, where the ground is littered with these tiny little... frogs. They couldn't be more than 2cms long and it's quite a challenge trying not to step on one. I resort to having to look away from the ground - out of site, out of mind. We jump on these golf buggy train things, you know, like the ones around Darling Harbour that take you from one end to another. Photo 2 is me trying to take one whilst moving on these vehicles. Basically, this place is called the Garden of Perfection and Brightness. Apparently, the emporer/empress would come here to hang out. They had mansions built here in European style. Much of the garden is style in european architecture. In 1896, when the allied forces attacked Beijing, this place was laid to waste, and all that remains, are ruins. This garden was very peaceful, and the ambience was eerie. The mist sort of helped add to the atmosphere of the ruins.

Last but not least, the Summer Palace. It's got like the worlds longest corridor I think, and had a lot of history here too... of which I won't detail, and don't really remember. There were these kids drawing a bridge they. They were really nice paintings, so in Photo 7, I took one of their painting alongside the bridge which they were painting. This palace is beside a lake of some sort, and looks pretty. Apparently, it doesn't snow in Beijing very often, but in winter, the lake freezes over - or so I've been told. I still don't believe it though.

Dinner happens. Barbs and I go out to Xi Dan shopping area afterwards. It's nearby, and most shops open late so it's ok. We miss our stop, so double back to the correct station. I end up buying a long sleeve shirt for .. about $30 I think. It's a nice shirt, and I think it's a name brand - Bossini, anyone heard of it? We check out a few more stores, but in the end, I didn't have the urge to buy anything, so we find another coffee shop to hang out in. Unfortunately, coffee shops isn't a big thing in China, so we ended up in Starbucks instead. Bad move. Bad coffee. Definitely not as nice as my first experience of it on Whistler Mountain last year. We chat for a bit till the shop closes (10:30 I think), trek back, and part ways.

It's a 7am wakeup tommorrow - first time in a while. Woohoo!

Oh, hmm... do I have anything interesting to say about today? umm... no. Hmm, this shop assistant chick came up to me and started speaking mandarin and I just looked confused at her. She said I dressed Chinese, but she wasn't sure I looked it.

See u's tommorrow.
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