It’s currently 6:00PM, and I am EX-HAU-STED. Here’s what we did today:
One of the elementary school teachers here at BRS offered to take us all on an excursion to see the Temple of Heaven this morning. I took some pictures, but really, none of them are all that great. There were lots of people, and my camera just didn’t capture the detail and vibrant colors of the architecture, so I’ll let you learn about it and appreciate it on the wikipedia page 🙂
One thing that I learned today that may not be on wikipedia: the Temple of Heaven is made without any nails. It’s constructed entirely of interlocking pieces. O_o wow!
Anywho, we walked around the temple for a looooong time… it’s basically a really big park with some sweet, ancient architecture. There were vendors selling rinky-dink things for cheap, with lots of haggling tourists and natives, old men lined up on a short wall playing card games, along with a Chinese game with round wooden pieces that had Chinese characters written on them. There’s a game similar to hacky sack called Jianzi that we’ve seen played by people a lot since we’ve been here – I’ve already invested in some of my own Jianzi 🙂 There were also some karaoke singers, and some group fitness activities going on! We’re calling it Chinese Zumba. It doesn’t really resemble what we know to be Zumba, but it humors us! There were also vendors selling food things, and Sarah and I saw Candied Haw Berries. In our Chinese classes leading up to this trip, we learned that they are haw berries dipped in caramelized sugar and are a winter treat. So, we bought some 🙂 we got one with haw berries and strawberries to share… it was really tasty.
*yawn* I started this post at 6:00PM, fell asleep from exhaustion, and am now completing it… it’s 9:00PM.
Next we wandered around the park some more, now separated from our group, until we saw all the sights and made our way back out of the park. We still had 45 minutes before the meeting time we agreed on, so we did some browsing with the vendors and had a seat in the grass to relax, stretch, and rest our bodies. The sun was out today, along with a huuuuge Carolina blue sky 🙂 Beijing was much prettier today than it has been.
Lunch was wonderful, and the market was QUITE an experience. Unfortunately, I find myself continuing to fall asleep while trying to type this, so I’m going to give in to my exhaustion and go to bed. Will finish this tomorrow! (your later this evening!)