Well a lot has happened. Here are the happy highlights:
Thursday: Saw the only lama temple in Beijing. Had Peking Duck for dinner before going to the Beijing Opera. The duck was absolutely amazing! The Beijing Opera was much better than I had expected it to be. The second scene was nothing but a bunch of awesome kung fu moves (not as cool as tang soo do, but still martial arts as a whole is pretty awesome).
Friday: We went to the Beijing Film Academy (BFA). We had to pretend to be so interested in film that we were thinking of attending.. that was awkward. Bringing a bunch of business and English majors that are not so interested. The cool thing was that we saw them play a first person shooter that the students had created. After dinner we went to Wu Wenguang's studio. He directed Bumming in Beijing
. A film about 5 people that move to Beijing in the 1980s. I did not particularly care for the film, but I did like his current project. Folk Memory Project is about his students (a small handful) going back to their villages to interview their older relatives about the Great Famine (1959-1961). We got to watch some of the interviews that had already been done.
Saturday: The Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. As quickly as you can say their names is about as fast as we went through them. We stayed on the main path and did not venture out and see the places that were less crowded. Imagine Disney in the middle of summer. We walked through both in about 3-4 hours total. :/ Coming back to go through more of it.
Sunday: Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. We spent a little bit more time on both places but we could not stay long. The hotel that we are at decided to double book our rooms because there is a confrence going on that is more important. They have a policy of getting out before 1pm the day of check-out. Our professors were not intelligent and did not stick to the original schedule (checking out before sight seeing) so we had to rush at the end and through lunch so that we could get back in time. We ended up being 30 mins late, but Wu laoshi had kissed enough butt that they were oky with that and just let us change rooms nice and quietly. I'm sleeping on a cot in the middle of the living room area because we are now in single bedrooms. I gave the bed up because the living room has the connection to the internet and I always try to Skype my parents when I wake up and I do not like waking up Jennifer. After the room change we went to a Hutong tour. A hutong is a village area that is old. They look like what most people imagine what the old urban areas of China before urbanization. We got to ride a rickswah around that stopped at different places for our tour guide to explain things. We met a woman who has a son that is in the US teaching kung fu in Houston. His father was a student of Jet Li, so that was pretty swesome. Afterwards we went back to the hotel before having dinner.
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