A day exploring Temples

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, July 2, 2012

Phew..... it's hot hot hot......

The weekend & today have been in the high 30's and it's hard work! Clear blue skies though, the smog has yet to make a return.

So, Sunday we headed off on the subway, only 1 stop to the Lama Temple (no hen weekend girlies, Lama & not Llama, it wasn't a re-union with Rubens, Louis & co, I have seen the comments on FB which still go into my e-mails & am guessing Lou that was the Llama crisps??!!).

The Lama Temple is Beijing's foremost Buddhist temple, and claims to be the most magnificent Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. A beautiful entrance via 3 archways, and 5 main halls, all get bigger as you go through them. It has housed an emperor as well as the home of monks from Mongolia & Tibet. One of the halls has a throne that seated the Dalai Lama (who I believe made a random visit to Aldershot recently?!?!) when he lectured there. The final & biggest hall has an incredible 18m high statue of a Buddha sculpted from a single block of sandalwood, it even got into the Guinness book of records (Morris McWhirter's signiture on a certificate outside to prove it!). You'll see in the photo's all the visitors lighting incense to purify the surroundings & create a spiritualist atmosphere, which they raise above their heads & bow to the Buddha statues.

The Chinese were traditionally either Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian, other major faiths here are Islam & Christianity, which according to the book faces a bright future (the 'Great Wall' prevents me googling it any further.....!).

Next, across the road we visited the Confucius Temple & Imperial College. This is China's 2nd largest Confucian temple. Pavillions, statues and a 'forest' of 190 stone tablets recording the 13 Confucian classics & 630,000 Chinese characters. Also the names of successful candidates of the highest level of the official examination system, each candidate was locked in one of 800 cubicles 1.5 sq m for a period of 3 days, many died or went insane during their incarceration.

After our exploring, we were broken with the heat, so came home to chill - Skyped with Mum & Dad for an hour which was fab, and Andy spoke to his Mum too which was great (slight difference, Barbara = just over 2 mins, Den & Sue = over an hour ;) !!!!
A quick call from Stu as well today (a few minutes!)

Went out in the evening for food, and enjoyed a Lasagne, garlic bread & salad, yum.

Today, we discussed going back to our Mandarin class, I decided to give it another go and Andy decided to give it a miss, he was struggling & getting so annoyed with it that he really wasn't learning anything and is better suited to listening to the CD's we've got instead.

I decided to change my attitude as on Friday (couldn't you tell.....) I was so distracted by him & the teaching style, I switched off, so today having researched & accepted the cultural difference I went ready, he was a lot nicer to me realising that I struggled on Friday, and that Andy & another girl hadn't come back and there had to be a reason why. There were 2 new students too from Namibia for him to pick on which maybe helped! It was ok actually, and I kind of enjoyed it.

A good day in the office, sending out our first mailshots to prospective clients which is the next step so a good feeling.

Well this is the longest amount of time I have ever been away from home, the longest was 5 weeks so guess this is a new record! Can't say the same for Andy though, having lived in so many places whilst in the RAF!

Right, time to get Andy to put the tea on - back to dumplings & stir fry veg tonight. 

See ya,

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mum on

I'm sure it was lon ger than two minutes!!!!

Lorraine on

Phew..... it's hot hot hot......NOT! Bugger ... it's raining, raining, raining ... all flippin' week by the look of it. If you can spare a moment from your work, socialising, sight-seeing and attempts to speak a new language, send us some sunshine ... purlease!

Well done for changing your perpsective on the Mandarin lessons ... it's a hard thing to do when you have been used to such high standards and you know how it *should* be done ... perhaps you could teach your teacher a thing or two .. it wouldn't be the first time I'm sure!

Life here continues to rocket along at a snails pace! Summer fair at school this weekend raised over £5000 - I got a hot-dog and helped on the raffle ... such exciting times! We are all gearing up for Jack's prom this weekend ... really looking forward to seeing him all 'suited and booted' ... think he's just looking forward to seeing his girlfriend (she's been in Tailand, not back till Thursday and he's been pining!) and the After Prom party.

I've got my first adults cupcake decorating party tomorrow ... yes, I do have a 'lesson plan'!! Can you get Facebook over there? If not I'll post you some photos if they are any good.

Off for haircuts now so speak soon,

Much love

tracy-andy-pez on

yes mum it was longer than 2 minutes by about 7 seconds Love you xxx

Lizzie T on

Great pictures and superbly written history lesson too Tracy... feel like I've learnt something from this entry!!! Glad things are still going well - the Chinese lessons sound like hell (I'd be walking out like Andy... foreign languages do not come naturally to me altho I managed to pick up some Americanism when I was there!!). Hope you haven't felt too homesick - at least with Skype it is so much easier to keep in contact with loved ones. I can remember Nigel, Jason Potter etc. phoning Doug on his birthday reverse charges from a phone box in Petersfield to us in San Jose - oh how times have changed!!! Glad you are back on FB... look forward to keeping up with your to-ings and fro-ings on there too!! xxxxx

alistair thomson on

hi cus and tracy , just read your blog , fascinating , glad your settled with work and home .

Tina on

loving this one! the pictures are amazing and just so beautiful.... u just dont appreciate the beautiful things in life eh?!
so glad ur both enjoying beijing xx

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