1/23/10: Beijing, China
The Great Wall is one of those sites that you really do have to see if you’re in the area, but there’s no real surprise when you get there. It’s pretty much exactly what you expect, maybe even a little less – well – great. I’m pretty sure that it can’t be true that the Great Wall is the only man-made structure that can be seen from outer space. Because if you can see the Great Wall from outer space, then you should also be able to see I-95, which is at least three times as wide (and has way more cars).
I guess my ho-hum attitude today towards our Great Wall visit was also due to a few other factors: the freezing temperatures and biting wind (colder than when we were in the Annapurnas!), the fact that I’ve been there a few times before (there are pictures of me with my cousins at the wall, and we’re all wearing matching polka-dotted outfits), and maybe most importantly, that we visited one of the restored and also most touristy parts of the wall. I think it would have been a completely different and more awe-inspiring experience to visit an unrestored, remote part of the wall away from the crowds.
But, one thing about our visit to the Great Wall was indeed really great – and that was meeting up with Kevin’s Aunt Marilyn and cousin TJ!
Kevin’s aunt, cousin and another colleague had spent the past several days on a business trip in Northern China and we were lucky enough to catch them in Beijing on their last day. It was really nice and a bit surreal to be able to see some familiar faces so far from home.
After our trip to the Great Wall, we made another trip that I think all tourists should take – a trip to the local Chinese supermarket!
I guess the supermarket wasn’t so terribly different from your average American supermarket, but there were a few things that blew us (ok, mainly me) away. Example: they sell eggs in plastic bags. BY WEIGHT. Now that, I think, is genius.
They also have these inexplicably giant apples the size of my head. Who buys these things? Elephant-owners?
And of course, the most famous Chinese person is also at the supermarket – promoting frozen dumplings.
But the best part of the grocery store trip? Kevin was instructed to fill up two bags with as many peanuts as he wanted. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him look quite so happy.
Ohio Picture: Well, of course you can’t visit the Great Wall and NOT do an O H I O. That would just be crazy.
Picture of the Day: My aunt says that when I was small, I wouldn’t go to sleep unless I had one of these oranges in each hand. How Kevin and I ended up together remains a mystery.