Beautiful Life





Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beijing

Tianjin China is a very industrial city.  The air pollution is so bad that we haven't seen the sun the entire time we have been here....even though the weather report is clear and sunny!  And, we have not found a whole lot to do here that Asher really enjoys. 

There is the pool.  And McDonald's of course. We tried the play area of a shopping mall.  That was a waste.  He enjoys riding the subway!  And escalators?!?  But, once we get somewhere, he is less than thrilled with it.  We have been to St. Joseph Cathedral and a walking street and The Ancient Culture Street. 

What is a walking street?  In China they put lots of stores on either side of a wide street and then close the street to cars so you can walk down it and go into the stores. The stores are just typical mall stores with many of them being 3 plus stories.  There are numerous fast food options on a walking street as well.  It's not thrilling, but it is something to do.  We usually just walk and watch people.  Not fun for a three year old.  But, he enjoys running around and riding on Baba's shoulders.  For a minute anyway.

Then he wants McDonald's.  And since there are about 20 of them on the walking street he just quits whining about one, before he sees the next one and starts again! Even if we give him McDonald's....he just wants more!  Every time he sees one! 

So, today we thought we'd mix things up.  We had our guide take us to Beijing.  I know Asher is too young to realize he is visiting the most important city in his country or seeing the most important sites for his culture.  But, we have the pictures to prove he's been to The Forbidden City and maybe one day he will appreciate that we exposed him to that.  Probably not, because there was no McDonald's there!



He really enjoyed the high speed train ride from Tianjin to Beijing.  It goes over 200 miles an hour, takes just at 30 minutes and cost less than $9!  Then we took the subway in Beijing and ended up across from Tienanmen Square at the front gates of The Forbidden City.  As we walked through those enormous gates, Asher began to speak a mile a minute.  Roughly translated by our guide:

I don't want to go in there. I will wait here for you!

Yeah.  It turned out to be THAT kind of day. 

Actually, we had a good time.  Not as good as when we were with all our new adoption friends last time..... but this time we had a guide all to ourselves! We have to pay him for the whole 9 days of this part of the trip anyway, so we might as well make him work for it right?  LOL!  Leo is great!



Asher loves his Leo.  He is really going to be sad when he realizes GeGe is not going with us tomorrow.





Look!  Proof that the sun does actually shine in China.  Sorta.  Through the haze.  Weakly.  But, it's the best it can do.  When we were here in 2008, there was a wind on the day we went to the Forbidden City.  That wind must have moved the air pollution out of the city for the day, because we actually had blue skies and sunshine.  It was the one and only time we saw the sun while we were in China for those two weeks.  Even though we can see it through the hazy here, we have yet to see a blue sky or sunshiny day. 



Afterwards, Leo lead us to a nice restaurant for lunch where we could get the noodles known well in Beijing.  They also had Paul's favorite Kung Pao Chicken on the menu and it was really good!  The noodles.....well, we can say we tried them!  We had two orders of noodles, a huge barrel of fried rice, a platter of Kung Pao, sweet potato rolls and coke.....more food than we could eat,  for $12. 




After lunch, we spent the afternoon on the grounds of The Temple of Heaven.  We did not go in to see the temple, we just enjoyed the surrounding gardens.  Of course, it isn't much to look at right now, but the people are so fun to watch!



There weren't many dancers out this time of the day, but the ones we saw were fun!



This old guy threw rings at us and then wanted his picture taken.  Then he gave us his address on a little slip of paper.  He wants a copy of the picture sent to him!  He showed us a book he made with pictures of all the people that had done this. 



Of course there were plenty of elderly people out with their hacky sacks.  They don't call them that, but what ever they do call them, Asher loved it!







There was time at the end for the exercise park.  I love this place!  All the retirees come here and they are so fit! I've been here twice and both times this area is full of grandmas and grandpas working out. 


My dad can totally do this!
Right, dad?



And my mom does splits all the time.  No biggy!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

I have tons of photos of these guys but I can't get them all uploaded so these two will have to do.  And Paul and I decided we wanted this stuff installed in our back yard so we be just like them when we grow up! 

1 comment:

God's Grace said...

Oh I remember the smog all too well! It looks like so much fun in Beijing! And I'm guessing Leo will be our guide too :) he looks like akids to me!