Wednesday, July 16, 2008


We arrived at Beijing by and overnight train. This time we had a “hard sleeper”. It is just train cars of bunk beds three high. No doors. I didn't mind the “hard” sleepers, but I still had to deal with the toilet. I am telling you…..I cried coming out of it. I almost pee’d my pants walking to the toilet, but you get in there and NOTHING would happen. The floor is just covered in urine and feces….you are trying to “squat”. It just isn’t my thing. I am just WAY too high maintenance for train toilets. The train station in Beijing was super crowed again….they have no concept of lines….they just push you out of their way to get ahead of you. This old lady totally chucked me. I pushed her back. I am so sick of that crap. There is NO consideration at all for one another. It starts to wear at you after awhile. Again….I hit another low. I wanted to go home. It was really bad for me. But after a shower and breakfast (McDonalds of course) I was ready to hit the streets of Beijing.

We got to go on a walking tour of some neighborhoods. We ate lunch inside a home. The son (supports his entire family – Mom and Dad, Wife and Child, and in-laws) lost his job with the government, so now he cooks lunch out of his home for tourists. Just so they can get a feel of a Chinese home. The food was hit and miss, there was a few good dishes. By now, I am a MASTER with the chop sticks! The neighborhood shares kitchens and bathrooms. No plumbing inside the studio apartments. Yup, and entire family, 6 adults and one child shares a very small apartment. Then we went on a rickshaw ride around the neighborhood. It was raining pretty hard…so we were soaked. I liked the experience….Ryan, not so much.

We also went to the Forbidden City. One of China’s most recognizable areas. It was the Emperor’s mini city, inside the city. For almost five centuries, it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 square meters. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City has the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

From there is Tiananmen Square. The largest square in the world. Most of the photos I had to borrow of the net. It was raining pretty hard and the photos were too bad to see.

We also toured Summer Palace and went to a Kung Fu show. We also did a lot of shopping in the markets of fake goods. It is SO high pressure sales there. You had to talk them down….but it is just CHAOS there. You walk down the aisle and they all have their little sayings. “Lady, you want Prada bag”. “Sir, Buy shoes…you want shoes”. They all do this in the hundreds of shops there. They do anything to get your attention. It is really bad, especially when the grab your or chase you down. Since we like to be tortured...we went 3 times!

The second we set foot in China….Miles away from Beijing, Olympic stuff is EVERY WHERE!! The government of China is trying so hard to impress the world with their Olympics…it is just got out of control. They have spent millions of dollars building buildings, remolding airports, subways, trains and roads. When we got to Beijing, it was just crazy with Olympic stuff. We came at a good time because there has been so much change to the city for the better. Taxis are clean and try to obey traffic rules. A lot of English stuff. There were no panhandlers. Trash was picked up and there was a huge presence of Police. Also the restaurants were better and more westernized. We got to see from a distance the Nest and the Aquatics Center. Both really cool buildings…..some of the neatest things.


  1. Olympics logo.
  2. Ryan and I in a rickshaw.
  3. Cliff side view of the Forbidden City (borrowed image).
  4. Ryan in front of the National Museum in Tiananmen Square. The Olympic count down clock in the background.
  5. Tiananmen Square.
  6. The Nest, an Olympic stadium. The was no beams used to make the stadium.
  7. Aquatics Center (borrowed image).
  8. Local on our rickshaw ride.
  9. Forbidden City entrance.
  10. Only Emperors was able to have 9 animals on the roof tops. Inside the Forbidden City.
  11. Forbidden City (borrowed image).
  12. Sumer Palace of the Emperor.
  13. The office of the Emperor.

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