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Published: August 22nd 2006
It didn't take long to get to the Forbidden City from our hotel. It's weird that a place that big was so close. I was already in a daze when we got there and the haze surrounding the place made it even more unreal. Again, so many people. I know, I know, it's China, what did I expect. Oh well, I like taking pictures of people if you couldn't tell.
Oh, and for those that don't know, the emperors of the Qing and Ming dynasty used to live in this city, that's why it was forbidden by regular joe's like us. Now it is open to everyone. Yea!
So many people at the Great Wall wanted to take their picture with us. It was so funny. We felt like celebrities.
And Quint was trying to give this kid a high-five, but he didn't understand. So they ended up playing that hand game where you pull your hand away just before it's slapped. Only the emperor was allowed over this intricate ramp. His servants carried him over it from
the steps on the sides. They had it blocked off.
Then we entered the gardens.
And I think there was some kind of living quarters or just cleaning houses in the back.
Then we left the Forbidden City and our friendly guides, Helen and April, took us to a really good restaurant. A lot of the locals went there. Of course, I think we all liked the sweet and sour pork the best. These guys were outside the restaurant, I'm not sure what they were doing.
We went shopping again, at a different Pearl Market. It was smaller and the vendors were starting to recognize me when I walked by more than once. (It's not like I stand out or anything.) Jack Garrett and Jonathon (Kaffy) were also wanting to go back to the hotel so we caught a cab. This was the first cab that I've ever gotten. I will never forget it. That cab was the BEST CAB I HAVE EVER BEEN IN!!!! Could I say that with any more excitement? First of all, in
Beijing, well, anywhere in China, the traffic is horrible and it is because of cab drivers. So if you aren't a pedestrian, cabs rock. We got in this one and he actually spoke a little english. He was asking what we got, how much we bought it for, and then would respond "too much, too much". He was whipping in and out of traffic, getting us there as fast as he could. That's what I love about cab drivers in general. Even if you aren't in a hurry, they won't waste your time. If you've got a place to go, they'll get you there as fast as they can. Our cab driver was singing along to a cd of Britney Spears. "She's so lucky, she's a star, but she cries cries cries with a lonely heart thinkin' if there's nothin' missing in her life then WHYYYYY do these tears come at night......" Don't lie, you know the words. HONK HONK! We just missed running over this lady's feet! She jumps back and I just catch her look of pure fright. The cab driver cracks up laughing and yells over Britney, "that's my job! that's my job!". He pulled us right
up to our hotel (our bus doesn't usually go right up to it because it's up a small street with lots of pedestrians, but who cares about pedestrians!!!! HA HA HA!!) As we get out, he jumps out to and grabs me saying, "picture, picture!".
Ah, what a great ride.
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