It’s A Big, Big City
After I got through with that whole internet problem this morning, I went off to see a Beijing park to see more New Years celebrations. It seems there are a lot of parks with a lot of celebrations going on. Again, there were carnival games and all kinds of wierd foods.
There was also a huge pavilion in the middle. I went over to the pavilion thinking there were performances from famous local singers… then I realized everyone was in line to do karaoke! I find it interesting that in a country where the people are so humble and shy, karaoke is such a big hit… and the people sitting in the pavilion were loving it! They didn’t care if the singer was off tune!
There were a lot of games for kids, some that I thought were kind of funny and a little wierd. There was this one game in which kids are zipped into these plastic “bubbles” in a plastic pool filled with icy water and they just try and move around. It looks like a pool with a bunch of kids in bubbles!
There was also food. It seems that the Chinese really love food on sticks — and who doesn’t at a carnival? But most of these foods looked a little too scary for me to try. Squid and things with tentacles, plus lots and lots of mystery meat.
I did try the corn on the cob, but it didn’t taste right to me.
After that, I was off to the Temple of Heaven. I decided to take it easy on myself today and rely on cabs. They’re really cheap around Beijing, and generally cost between about 2 and 5 dollars.
I had gotten a late start, and by the time I got there, the temple was closed — but I did manage to see it from outside the gate and got a couple of photos. It’s a huge complex and it took me forever to walk around it, even though I didn’t get close up.
The trees and grounds were as beautiful as the Temple, itself.
Then it was off to the night market.
The night market is a line of people selling the mystery meat I saw at the park. Lots and lots of mystery meat, and people were loving it! They were also selling these strange fruit skewers that looked like they were dipped in ice, but I’m guesing it was some sort of sugar, the stuff candied apples are made of.
And other foods, too:
There was a huge walkway near the night market. The streets are really wide and pretty clean here in Beijing. There are so many people here, too. It’s easy to get swept away with the crowd. The other thing that strikes me about this city is how many shopping malls there are! There are huge complexes on almost every block! I guess with so many people here, they have to have places they can go to buy clothes, shoes and electronics.
When I got back to the hotel from the night market, I ran into Tammy and we decided to go out. We wanted to find a restaurant or bar or karaoke place, but it was just so hard to find something! We went back to the night market and all we found were shopping malls. We went to the cinema, but everything was in Chinese. After a good while looking around trying to find a restaurant, we just gave up and decided to come back to the hotel. We’ll do our research and try again tomorrow.