Wednesday, June 6, 2007

fifth china post - June 1

I don't know if you all will remember but actually So Little Time was a tv show way back in the 90s with Mary Kate and Ashley. My subject heading was not intentional but it just made me think of the good old days in the 90s. Anyways...

So, we have been back in Beijing for a few days, wrapping things up. We leave on Tuesday so really I only have three full days left, and it is so weird to think that we have been here for so long (this'll be our fourth weekend) and we have done so much yet it isn't really that much time at all and I could be here for so much longer. provided I learned more of the language, of course. We have had class for two days and we also have class Monday, as our final wrap-up for the academic portion (which we all know is the most important part right? right...) On thursday we visited the temple of heaven, the lamaist temple (a sect of Buddshism- it's tibetan buddhism) and the confucious temple/the imperial college. it was really interesting even though it was rainy. we also ate peking duck lunch which is delicious! you don't just eat the duck, you dip it in sweetish sauce, place it in a tortilla-like wrap with cucumber and onion and garlic and then wrap it up like a taco. (all with your chopsticks, of course. that part's kind of difficult.) it is really tasty and they cook and carve the duck right in front of you, and it was FEAST like all of our meals our here, with the group. they just keep bringing out dishes and dishes and dishes. most of them are delicious but there are some that i have eaten that i have honestly NO IDEA what i was eating. but you know they tasted fine so i just keep eating. one thing that is really good is lotus root, actually. never thought i would eat that but it's delicious!

i also went to the pearl market yeterday where they sell freshwater pearls and they are very...aggressive... and they grab your arm and try to sell you things (well not the pearl floor, but the shoes/purses/scarves/everything you ever wanted for fake floor). believe me they got a few death stares and some "boo yaos" which means i dont want it. it's quite intense but it's kind of fun to play a game with them, providing they don't touch me. then we have problems.
anyways. we went to wangfujing the other night which is one of the nicer shopping streets (also next to tiananmen...the beijing hotel is there and on the top you can take some GREAT photographs of the square... ones that might not show up on google images here). and there is an exoctic food market on wangfujing at night so we went and enjoyed some exoctic food. and so, i figured i am in china once why not? so i ate (i am quite proud of this fact, actually) a deep-fried scorpion, snake, and a little starfish. yes that's right, i ate a scorpion on a stick. it was actually quite delicious (partly because they douse it in salt.) it was difficult to put it in my mouth at first because it's kind of psychological...i mean it's not exactly NATURAL to be eating a scorpion so i had a few false starts but eventually i took the plunge and ate it. and i am so glad i did if anything because i can say that i have eaten scorpion (maybe that's not a big deal to you but i think it's pretty cool. obviously since i spent a whole paragraph on it.) anyways.

tomorrow we are going to a tea ceremony which i am pretty excited about. sunday is the peking opera. an interesting experience i'm sure. (if you haven't heard peking opera it's rather...loud...and it sounds, some say, like cats fighting.) i don't mind the sound that much i think it's kind of interesting but i'll be able to tell you better once i go see it.
i am just overwhelmed that it's time to leave already! i just pray that i will be able to come back someday (that's what i keep telling myself) and also i am SO excited for mandarin in the fall. at least i can say hello, and thank you, and too much and right. you know, the shopping lingo, of course, the all important dialogue.

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