Temple of Heaven, Pearl Market, Food from Central Asia

Alright. I owe you all the rest of my adventures from Tuesday! Here goes.

Here’s a picture from the beginning of our excursion – taken in front of the school!

When we finished walking around the Temple of Heaven we headed to lunch on the way to the Pearl Market.  Chen took us to a Central Asian restaurant, featuring food from countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and some Turkish.  It was WON-DER-FUL. The boys were in heaven, I think most of the reason they came on the trip was to eat the food! I didn’t take many pictures of this meal, it didn’t look ALL that different, but Chen said it was ethnic for THEM also, which is why they like to go there.

After lunch we went to the Pearl Market.  We have learned a bit about the markets here in Beijing, and been given a few lessons in haggling with the vendors.  I only had ¥60 on me at the time, so I knew I wasn’t going to be buying much, so a few of us just walked around.  The vendors are very invasive, yelling and reaching out to show you something or to just grab you and pull you to their booth.  Sarah and I voluntarily stopped at a vendor with some scarves, and it proved to be a VERY intimate encounter… Sarah was looking at 3 scarves (the vendors REALLY like bundling, they seem to be more worried about HOW MUCH they sell, not how much the sell it for), and the woman she was dealing with was not coming down on her price. “I give you good price! Student rate! You student? I give you good price! Your price too low. I give you good deal!”   Like I said before, we have to divide the ¥ price by 6 to find the American equivalent, and this woman was ALL IN our faces.  Sarah and I were both getting stressed out, and each time Sarah tried to walk away (which, we’ve been advised to do), the woman would grab her arm and pull her back to the booth exclaiming “No no no, you name best price, I give you scarves! You pretty girl, I give you discount, name best price!” Sarah held her ground for a long time, but at that point we were both very nervous and anxious, so I showed the woman I only had ¥60, and she let me have the scarf for that much, and the woman finally let Sarah go after coming off her price almost 50%  It was a rough first bargaining experience at the market.  But, I feel like we learned a lot! We also got a chance to talk to some of our classmates tonight when we got back and hear some of the deals they made… we’ve got to not worry so much about being nice.

Here are some more pictures to wrap up our day! 🙂

An interesting instrument played by a man in the park on the way to the temple… hoping to bring one home 🙂

The Temple of Heaven!
Me and Julia sitting on a bench overlooking the water at the park! Neat little foot rests 🙂

OH, and…

1) I learned today that there are many McDonald’s that require you to have a reservation to eat there.  We saw a Pizza Hut today that required reservations!

2) Rock Paper Scissor is a universal game 🙂 we saw two little kids playing on the subway today!  Too cute.

3) Lots of kids here wear pants with the crotches missing… here’s a picture:

We are calling them Crotchless Pants, and we assume they are for easy-access diaper changing and what-not.  We saw a kid peeing into a ziploc bag that his mother was holding at the subway today… interesting place.

This is some yogurt appetizer several of us got at the beginning of our meal.
THIS is made of what tasted like balsamic vinegar, peanuts, onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds. SO GOOD

This is some of the food we at at the restaurant! Hoping to bring some recipes back home… especially from this peanut dish

This is a picture of Tim, Jonathan, Rachel, and Eric (Chen’s son) at the restaurant we at at 🙂 Check out (what’s left of) the food!!

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