Day 3 in Beijing - The day of the creatures

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November 2nd 2008
Published: November 2nd 2008
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Melinda and Ernest in a RickshawMelinda and Ernest in a RickshawMelinda and Ernest in a Rickshaw

The driver really earned his tip driving us around
And our last day in Beijing. Today was a bit different from the rest, much more relaxing.

But before we get into details, I have to take a moment to respond to some of our messages.
First, for Jesse, both Ernest and I felt the duck was good but not any better than in Houston, and the fish today was much better than the duck. Jesse, Ernest bargained to get an IPod Nano, 8 gig, for about $15. Just dwell on that.
I won't be eating any dog because Ernest is in love with every one he sees here as his pic today shows. They are so well trained here, that the owners never use a leash, the dog just follows them around no problem. However, rest assured I will take a few risks to get those good stories. The first day is not keeping me down. Just keep reading.

This morning we went to the Hutong district neighborhood which dates back to the Tang Dynasty. A good bit of the area was torn down to build for the Olympics, but what was left was developed into a real tourist showplace. Signs are very clear directing you to various points of interest and they have added (according to Ernest who has been here before), several restaurants and even the street vendors have a PA system as if just yelling wasn't enough. Our guide said that most of the residents are Manchu and they are on welfare, so the regular population is not too keen on them since they don't work.

After lunch, with the great fish shown, we headed out to 2 of the largest shopping markets in Beijing. At the first we could not get the kindof bargins we got on the street, but Ernest did pretty good of course. The second market was pretty much a bust for us. Nothing there worth haggling over. But for those not familiar, you are expected to haggle very hard and it's serious. I had hawkers pulling at me for everything. It was sort of fun.

This evening we went down to the local night market which has been shown on the Travel Channel and throughout Olympics coverage with all the street food vendors. It was really crowded but really cool. There was dog stew, but to my nieces, I didn't even think about it. However, as I told
The fishThe fishThe fish

lunch was very good according to Ernest the expert
most of you my goal was to eat a fried scorpion. I DID IT ! and I have pics to prove it ! I got the small ones and it was so crispy and had a good bit of seasoning on it so it didn't have really any taste but the pics tell the whole story.

Tomorrow we leave at 5:30 am for our flight to Xi'an.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Inside Hutong homeInside Hutong home
Inside Hutong home

the courtyard of a Hutong home that has 4 bedrooms on each side and a common kitchen
Hutong alleyHutong alley
Hutong alley

our Hutong local guide
Melinda and Ernest in Hutong districtMelinda and Ernest in Hutong district
Melinda and Ernest in Hutong district

standing in middle of several shops surrounded by young Chinese girls getting their pics with American men
The dogThe dog
The dog

Ernest is in love with this dog; thought I'd have to stuff him in my carry on
The catThe cat
The cat

This fat cat had his own perch with this glass window ledge over the Hutong street
Dumplings with soup in itDumplings with soup in it
Dumplings with soup in it

you sip the soup through the straw. Ernest got one to try. It tasted like dough, nothing special.
The BugsThe Bugs
The Bugs

Scorpions, beetles, cockroaches and a few silk worms thrown in
I think I canI think I can
I think I can

ok here it goes
I know I canI know I can
I know I can

here goes nothing
what was I thinking ?!what was I thinking ?!
what was I thinking ?!

not really. just the thought of it was more disgusting. amazingly, Ernest refused to try one
ok, it's not so badok, it's not so bad
ok, it's not so bad

so a bit of the second one for posterity

2nd November 2008

I never doubted that you would eat a bug of some sort. The market pic looks like it did on TV. I am very disappointed that Ernest didn't try any bugs. Lucy is glad you didn't try the dog stew. And I think that's a cute little dog, too. And by the way, if Ernest feel the need to bargain to get me an Ipod for $15, I'll be glad to pay him back when you get back home. And one last thing, Jason wants to be added to your travel blog if you could. He was enjoying hearing us tell about your adventures and would like to read about them first hand. His email is oceans_away@ (same carrier as me).
2nd November 2008

ewwwwww! fried scorpion!
ewwwwwww! how COULD you?
3rd November 2008

Scorpion & Cutest Dog
OMG! Melinda - you ate the scorpion!! Now you can join those reality shows that win BIG MONEY for eating all sorts of disgusting creatures. Ernest would love that!! Ernest - if you decide to bring that cute dog home, please bring his/her cousin, I'M IN LOVE WITH THE DOG TOO! :-)
3rd November 2008

You can do it girl!
Wow, that looks so tasty!! Ernest, don't be a chicken shit and try one! Hey, it may taste like chicken! Whatever you do, DONT eat any dog meat! The thought that people can eat those lovely creatures is beyond me but there are a lot of mouths to feed there! Anyway, we look forward to seeing you both soon! Glad Halloween is over! It was SO EXHAUSTING! Take care and be safe!

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