Wednesday, June 6, 2007

i forgot this one somewhere in the middle - may 16

Okay so I know I just sent you a really really long email last night but since I am here again in the internet cafe (yes the sketchy, gamer one full of cigarette smoke) I thought I might as well tell you about the forbidden city. It was incredible. There is no way to describe it. That might be kind of annoying for me to tell you because you think well Ashley the point of an email is to describe your experiences and so on and so forth, but that's really what I have to say. I took about a billion pictures (of course of course) and so if you want to see them when I get back then you can but of course I won't bore you against your will. Anyways, we saw Tiananmen first which has Mao's Mauseleum (ok i dont know how to spell that) and the Beijing National Museum (which by the way has the official countdown the olympics. they are quite excited.) We couldn't see Mao's body, which I am not sure is good or bad - I personally think it's kind of creepy. We also saw Mao's giant portrait at the gate... it was eerie. It was quite interesting and surreal to imagine that I was actually standing there. I don't know what I think about it yet. The forbidden city has about four gates at the entrances and so we walked through four of them, each one thinking we were close but in actuality we were not. They like to trick you that way. The buildings are gorgeous with Chinese styles roofs and guardians (phong dings and l dings, sara beth? in abundance.) and they are HUGE. HUGE. i can't even think of a complex as enormous as this in the US. so many ceremonial buldings. and its surrounded by a moat. pretty much the most luxurius palace i've ever seen (of the ones that i've seen which isn't that many but you can get the idea.)
so, that's my most recent experience. oh and we went to coal hill park where you climb up to see the forbidden city from a mountain, and there were many old people doing taichi and dancing. apparently when you retire you are given a free pass to parks and this is one where they can go every morning for exercises. it was really cool to see them all in unison. and men doing ancient chinese poems in water calligraphy on the ground. of course i have no idea what it says but the process is cool.

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