I had a few problems getting this posted last night. This is my blog from 2/12/14.
Mitchum: After your comment about the Forbidden City, I began pondering. Did you know Beijing is not the original capital of China? During Ancient China, the capital was Nanjing. Beijing became the capital of China during the era of the Ming Dynasty, and the year the Forbidden City completed.
I can remember another story as well. In the middle of the Forbidden City, you can find the Imperial Garden. The garden has a double tree known as the “Love Tree.” The Emperor and the Empress took their pictures in front of this tree. Like everything else in China, the tree is good luck for singles, unmarried couples, and married couples. If a single person takes a picture in front of the tree, they will find a boyfriend/girlfriend. If an unmarried couple takes their picture, they will get married. For married couples, they will have a long marriage. I didn’t take a picture since Pandy isn’t here. I didn’t want to find bad luck.
Today was sort of a free day. We decided to go to Silk Street via the subway. Silk Street is supposed to be the cheapest place to shop, but we figured out it was the place of knock-offs. I do not have many pictures from today, but I will post what I have. The subway was easy to use, and everything was translated in English. It was very cheap, too. The cost is two Yuan for a one-way, which is 33 cent US. After using the subway, I learned that a lot of people here are very rude. It reminds me of NYC. They will step right over you, and not think twice about it. I am not stereotyping, but we have met far from many that were nice to us. It is baffling that when we ask a question, which they have no idea the answer, they stare at us. They don’t shake their heads, shrug their shoulders, or say anything. Just stare! I’m hoping it gets better when we make it to Chongqing.
Silk Street was like a mall with ten level, and the basement floor was accessible from the subway. The mall had very small shops, and each were selling almost the same products as the adjoining store. The sales clerks were hounds, and they tried to entice us to enter their store. If we went inside, they didn’t want us to walk out without buying something. “How much you want to pay? Please, tell me how much you want to pay?” After offering a low price, they said, “Aww, you must be joking? Give me a not joking price.” This went on and on again. I wasn’t interested in buying much, but I bought an iPhone case, a pair of sunglasses, and a watch. I got them for really cheap, and I bought the sunglasses because it helped Alyssa with a bargaining tactic. It was very entertaining to watch Alyssa and Brandon negotiate cheap prices. It wasn’t very easy for them to say no, so I got a few good laughs from them.
For lunch, we found a McDonald’s and Subway near Silk Street. I had some McD’s fries, but that was all I could eat from there. I wanted a McCafe drink, but the McCafe section of the menu was written in Chinese with no pictures. Since fries is not a meal, we stopped at Subway for my lunch. I was disappointed because I couldn’t get an egg and cheese; as it is served during breakfast time. I got the veggie delight, but the vegetables were not very tasty. They didn’t have as many options as the US either. I could only choose from five breads and one cheese. The condiments were different as well. I really need to venture out if I want this vegetarian phase to continue. On second thought, I had a very large breakfast. Last night, I went to sleep hungry, so I woke up hungrier. We have free breakfast in the hotel, so this morning I ate two omelets, some watermelon slices, a bowl of rice crispies, and a piece of bread with honey. Yes, I smashed! I plan on having a large breakfast tomorrow morning, too. As long as I have two big meals a day, I will be fine.
Tomorrow we leave for Chongqing, and I can’t wait! Beijing has been fun, but I am ready to get settled into CQ.
The shops in the Silk Market.
Woman born to shop :D
The different levels in Silk Market
This guy was playing the guitar and singing for tips on the subway train. I've seen it in a subway station, but not a train. It was loud, and somewhat obnoxious for a crowded train.
This would never happen in America! Brand new boxes of printers sitting on the sidewalk unattended. Earlier in the day, we saw Lenova laptops, but I didn't take a picture.
The "Love Tree"
I have a picture of the McDonalds menu, but it's blurry. I tried to take another, but the cashier stopped us.
Well, that's all I have for today. I'm exhausted. The Great Wall hike really kicked my behind. I still haven't had a full night's rest, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for one soon.