Published: July 29th 2010July 29th 2010
This morning Jie and I got an early start and went to Tian'anmen Square but didn't look at the zombie of Mao Zedong yet. We're doing that later this week. (Every Communist country preserves the body of their first leader in the capital and put it on display - Lenin, Mao, Kim Jung Song). Today we went straight for the Forbidden City. It was still a little foggy but we had a great time. First you have to go through Tian'anmen Square, then take an underground tunnel under the main road, to the other side right outside the Forbidden City. Even from far away at the back of Tian'anmen Square you can see the huge portrait of Mao Zedong on the wall above the gate to the Forbidden City. After you get to the other side you're ushered through the huge wooden doors and into a tunnel, opening out to one of the many MANY buildings. I never knew the Forbidden City was so big. I wish now I had bought one of the maps of it but you can probably find them online. You walk up a lot of stairs to the first building, and go around it to
another courtyard with another three huge buildings. We did this 3 or 4 times before reaching the main attraction, Tai He Dian, the building that the Emperor worked in. With his empirical chair. It was really hard to get a picture because there were so many people flocking against the gates. They didn't let you inside this building. Getting out of the crowd reminded me of the mosh pits at concerts in the US :P
The Forbidden City is a city created for the Emperor to live in. It's construction went through many different dynasties before it was finally finished. We also bought special tickets to go through the treasure room and the room or clocks and watches. Both were pretty interesting and luckily air conditioned. We were soaked in sweat by the time we left though. Jie said they keep all the really nice treasures hidden and you have to be pretty rich or powerful to see those ones.
From there we decided to go find something to eat. It took forever to get a taxi because Tian'anmen Square is right in the center of Beijing and really busy. We ended up eating at a nice restaurant inside
the Forbidden City
taken from Tian'anmen Square
a huge Beijing mall. It reminded me of the malls in the US. After that we shopped around a little and ended up seeing a sign for EF Beijing to learn English. Since I'm going to EF Munich this year we decided to check out the Beijing one. After finally finding it in the office section of the mall, we found out this one was for English learners. She gave us the address for the Chinese one though so we began our search for it.
We found out the fastest way was using the subway. Jie hates the subway but I convinced him to go since I had never been in any subway before. China probably wasn't the best place to try it out, but I actually didn't mind it. Maybe because I was already soaked in sweat and felt gross.
We finally found the school and one of the teachers talked to us and showed us around a little. It lets me know what the Beijing school would be like if I wanted to go. We also met one of the students there. She asked me where I was from and I was sure she was teasing
me because she said she was from North Carolina too....But when I told her Apex she started freaking out. It turns out she was from Holly Springs, about 5 minutes away from where I live. Haha it's funny to live that close and never meet but we met in Beijing, population 20,000,000.
After that we went back to the hotel and Jie walked me to the holiday inn a couple blocks away that had a gym you could pay a little bit to use. I actually had the energy to do my full 1.5 hour workout this time. Lately I'd only done an hour because I was so exhausted. I blame it on - the time change, more walking than I've ever done, and the humidity and weather here. As soon as I finished and walked back to our hotel, Jie's family were getting ready for dinner and we went with one of Jie's dad's co-workers. Now I'm back and pretty tired so I'll probably go to sleep after I post these pictures.
Oh I also sent more post cards today so those should hit America in 7-10 days.
There are more photos below