Here I am....it is 5:30 in the evening in Beijing. I am fighting sleep like you would not believe! Thank goodness one of the ladies that is traveling with her friend to adopt her daughter....just called to ask me to go to dinner! Because I REALLY want to be able to call and talk to the kids before they go to school in the AM! And to do that...I need to stay up till 8:30pm my time!!: ) Going to be a struggle...but I will make it!! :)
Beijing was a very interesting city! We toured several places today - the Forbidden City, the silk factory, had lunch in a very traditional Chinese Restaurant, and then headed the place in the city where common people life. Took a ride on a carriage pulled by a man pedaling an attached BIKE! I rode with the 11 year old son of one of my travel companions. It was really fun hearing his take on the huge difference in LIFE here.
I knew it would be different, but I don't think I realized just how different it would be! The smog is so thick that you can cut it with a knife. People walk with masks on their faces to help clean the air that they take in. You can even buy designer face masks here that have bling on them and are bright colors! NO JOKE!
During the day time today, I knew the sun was up there...but you can't really see anything but a bright haze where you know the sun must be! It was bitter cold today and while it is less than fun to be attacked in the streets by people selling everything you can think of...I can't lie....the man that bombarded me with the offer of gloves - hit the jack pot!! I was happy to pay him 15 Chinese dollars for some knock off South Face gloves!! My hands were every so warm all day for about 2 American dollars? Yeah!!! :) We love that particular pushy man!!!
The streets are so crowded with people, bikes, and cars, that I truly COULD not drive here? Heck...I was afraid to Walk here! We have such nice tour guides and a super nice bus driver to get us from place to place and so we are very well taken care of! I'll tell ya...I knew I would appreciate our agency and the care they would take of us here in China, but now I realize just how VERY MUCH we are in need of tour guides! So happy to have George and Barbara!!!
It was a good day! I bought Josh a little Chinese outfit to take his picure in - from the silk factory....and I got few other crazy things from the street sellers. More because I can't say no...than because I liked or needed any of the things they were selling. I'll get better at saying no tomorow...or I won't have any money to get Josh and I home!! ha ha ha
I do have pics of Beijing, but I am not able to load them to the blogger via this internet connections. It is just too weak. I am sure our next hotel will be better and I'll get some pics up. But the real pics - that everyone is looking forward to...will come on Monday!! And I'll go to an internet cafe if I need to - to post those!! I promise!!!
All my love to you all! Tomorrow is the Great wall, a show and then we fly out to Henan on Sunday to prep for our big day on Monday!! I am having fun...but I miss home!!