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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Beijing, and the places in which you need to be photographed

The first full day in China and I was tired and stressed from trying to sleep on a hard bed. I have learned that nearly all the beds in China are hard. The internet was down and I had no way to let my children know we'd arrived safely. That and my splitting headache did not make for a great start. 

Thankfully, I took Tylenol, had a big breakfast and remembered that I'd told my kids 'if you don't hear from us, assume we're having fun'.

We met our tour guide, Tom. They take western names, probably because we'd never remember their Chinese names, and off we went.

Our first stop was a park where seniors come to exercise. I love the concept, all the while cringing at how flexible the Chinese seniors are. And how inflexible I am. Close by, there was a long promenade where people play games, sing to exercise their lungs and even tat and embroider. 

Then it was on to the Temple of Heaven.

Joan, one of our traveling companions, said this was one of those places where you simply must be photographed, so dutifully following the custom, we snapped a few shots.
Now I would be amiss if I didn't mention another cultural norm. The toilet. Not your usual American Standard. The locals must have thought I was nuts taking a picture of one. And once again, I marveled at how flexible they were. They needed to be. 
Yes, that's a typical toilet in China. But hey, if you gotta go, you gotta go.

I'll save the rest of the day for another post. This way, you can digest all I've shown you.


Tim Gascoigne said...

I'm sitting here in bali with my coffee overlooking the rice field and thrilled to see that you posted. And then this is all u get to read? However loved seeing the photo at temple of heaven and your experiences with a squatter. Would you believe me that I lived and travelled in China for 3 years and never used one !

barb phinney said...

Tim, I am running a whole series on our experiences. This is just the first true post. And I don't believe you never used a squatter. Did you pee in the bushes or on the sides of buildings like we saw so many do?