A long walk around tiananmen square

Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 26, 2009

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It is the second day here in Beijing. We have been very lucky with the weather. The sun has been shining and hardly a cloud in the sky. This morning we ate breakfast here at the hotel. I had bacon, sausage, and egg. We had the option to eat with chopsticks or silverware. I wanted to use  the silverware. My skills are improving with chopsticks.
After breakfast we had an appointment with the American Embassy. This was a requirement for the Fulbright scholarship. The meeting went well it was informative. We came back to our hotel for lunch. We were given a little time and then we all were taken on a bus to Tiananmen Square. As we traveled on the main road we were told about the uprising which just had its 20 year anniversary. As we passed the Beijing hotel we stop at the exact place the "Tank Guy" stood. He was not in the actual square but just outside. It was the CNN new team that shot the photo of him holding up the tank.
We were let off the bus and told to walk around at our own pace. Everywhere was written in Chinese and English so we had no problems knowing what things were. We walked pass Mao's tomb. We did not go in because it is only open in the mornings. Many people every day line up to pay their respect to Mao. The square is surrounded with Government buildings and a large museum. We walked around taking lots of photos. I can not at the moment post the photos. The Internet is slow and my photos are large. I will add them as soon as the Internet speeds up or when I get back home.
Today was the first day we had many people stare at us. Some said Hi others smiled. We even had people wanting to have their photo taken with us.
As we were walking two young ladies approached us and started to talk. They chatted with us for about 20 minutes. They asked us question about everything. They then asked us if we have seen old Beijing and if not they would walk us through old Beijing.
We walked along the side of the Forbidden city down a street where most tourist would not walk. there were a lot of small and I mean small shops and restaurants. We bought a bottle of water for 1.5 yuan which is about 10 cents. It was sealed!! we walked about one block. This one block was about a mile long. The girls showed small living areas where many many families live. A lot of people live is small crowded places. there are a lot of extremely poor people here in China.Where we go all the people smile or look at us. We did not feel unsafe. There are a lot of police in the streets of Beijing and also a large military stationed here. Many of which are honor guards for Mao's tomb and the Government buildings.
We had to say goodbye to our guides. We believe they wanted to practice their English on us.
We headed back to the hotel. we were stop a few times by people who wanted to show us artwork.
By the time we arrived back at the hotel it was dinner time. We had Peking Duck, it was fantastic. After dinner I was so tired  I came back to my room and fell asleep.
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