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travel china \ 2009-07-17

Beijing was spent with


Ok ok, maybe I hyperbole…but only a little. Let us back up, shall we?

The day after we arrived we ventured out into the mist that is Beijing proper. The sky was grey with cloud and visibility was 2 blocks if you were lucky. Our journey started at Wangfujing, Nanjing Lu’s little Beijing brother. The malls there were packed with every imaginable American brand name you could think of. Did you know that Adidas made sweatervests (300RMB) or that Levi’s made shoes (220RMB)? Wangfujing is quite close to Tiananmen Square so we visited it and waved to Mao’s smiling visage on the Forbidden City. Another building we saw was the National Center for the Performing Arts. It’s a DOME surrounded by a MOAT. A MOAT.

Day the next

We visited the Military Museum of hte Republic of China’s Liberation. Four floors of Liberating goodness. And cool sculptures made out of bullets. The highlight of the day was Aikido practice. I’m pretty sure I”m the next Steven Segal, the most acest white man of all Aikido. The sister of the family we were staying with was the TA of the class so she was pretty ace. I learned how to roll correctly and to brake holds. Don’t you dare mess withe me or you gonna get a hurt realll bad. Try Yucen first. Day the Steven Chuth Wait, what, you don’t know who Steven Chu is? Nobel Prize winning LASER physicist and Secretary of Energy? C’mon! We waited a good hour at Tsinghua University to get a chance to see him. It was awe inspiring.
(full disclosure: I only found out who he was when Yucen told me...and after he saw the giant sign wiht his name on it.)

We also visited Peking University, but it was on summer lockdown (Tsinghua wasn’t because it was the School of Architecture was graduating) so we stayed just long enough to buy a t-shirt.

Day the Archeryth

We spent a good hour at the Capital Archery Sports Club. The sister does all these cool sports, it’s really intense. The rest of the day was spent in Beijing’s equivalent of Uptown.


After another day of wandering around shopping we’re now in Jilin. They have a “7 day policy” so we’re going to be semi-restricted to the house for the next 7 days since we’re new arrivals to the provence, for better or worse.