Am giving you the cultural view -what struck me as a Westerner. We went the year before the Olympics for a week, so many things were more authentically Chinese. Our son lived there, and staying at his apartment, gave us more insight of the life of the locals.
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THE GOOD: The Giant Pandas have a den you see during the tour of the Great Wall
Also Good: You barter for anything, except in Western stores or restaurants. Everything is dirt cheap and our son kept saying “You pay too much!” Food is super cheap (also in restaurants) and hotels are half of the price in the USA.
Fence in the foreground for safety. Hazy sky and 95 % humidity!
THE RANDOM: Hubby and son went to the Great Wall, and I went painting here, left from this bridge. Some of you have already asked for the painting, Here it is, below
Two Bridges in Beijing, Oil, © StGermain
Painted like a fairy tale and other worldly style, which this whole trip was for me. Also, so I could break some naturalistic rules here (like, putting the focus in the middle)
new bridge is the one above. On the right is the old marble looking bridge-very close by.
One of the workers at the bed and breakfast told it’s very unusual here to paint in the street, and even more for a woman to be alone and paint, but since I obviously was a Westerner, they let me get away with it:)
Felt safe, even though I couldn’t speak one word, let alone read Chinese, and felt those watching eyes. Back then westerners were still kind of a celebrity. We got used to people staring:):)
THE FUN: At the Great Wall most visitors were Chinese.
Surprisingly for Asia, most women work and have a voice here.
While my two guys were taken up with bartering for a Sony phone in a giant mall specifically for gadgets, I watched a woman – across from us, blast a Middle Eastern man – no doubt wanting the special treatment – not giving in to his demands.
I loved watching when Miss High and Mighty spewed fire and won the half hour lasting loud argument. Priceless:):) Didn’t need to understand Chinese for this. The body language came over loud and clear!
Only pic from Shen-Shen in this post.
China loves replications …. and mishmash – From left to right, German Dutch, English, and in the back the Eiffel Tower:) The mainland has an unusual mix of communism mixed with a democratic slant in business. Hong Kong is called (which is a half hour walk over the bridge) “the West.”
All the reflections are from Catching the Light behind us.
Royal silk Robe display behind glass in the Forbidden City (that means China had a royal family before Communism took over). The Forbidden City are the former Royal palaces, and visiting them is like the Louvre – never enough time!
Mind boggling for a Westerner
No special education for the handicapped*
(Six Words Sat)
yet 2 and 3 year olds start learning English in (Pre)Kindergarden
* mentally handicapped. Some are taken care of by the parents. Others are abandoned and wander the streets
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