End of tour plus one day
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
70Trip End Jul 31, 2011
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Sam the tour guide came to assist me with my registration again. This time we were able to find out more information on my status. Apparently, I also needed another health examination to extend my visa before it expires. We were instructed to go to a state operated health clinic in the Haidian area. Now Haidian district is huge, we took a taxi on a freeway for nearly half an hour away from the city. It was nearly the countryside when we arrived at our destination
After finishing with my health exam, Sam and I went to lunch in a courtyard garden setting. It was very impressive as the owner of the restaurant went to great lengths to replicate the Chinese courtyard feeling. The atmosphere and the ambiance was quite tranquil and soothing. It removed my sense of the busy bustling world of the Chinese capital. We had two dishes and ordered a pot of tea, the bill was quite excessive as you were primarily paying for the experience of eating in a Qing era courtyard with attendants in traditional costumes.
We took the subway to our next destination, the Nepalese Embassy. Sam had previously arranged to pick up his visa so he may visit Nepal for several days in October
Our afternoon took us to the art district of Beijing of Qijiuba (798). Originally a factory compound, it has been successfully converted into a magnet of art galleries, a forum for art presentation and a destination for art lovers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here as there were many pieces available to examine and to ponder about. The artwork often times showed the artist's inner ideals and was presented through the medium. A Statue of Liberty structure was welded over and over again from several smaller models to create a singular item for presentation. Many interesting items were around each corner, some were minute in detail but had a large impact on me.
After observing a large fat statue, the corner of my eye was attracted to a statue clinging to the roof of the factory. In fact, it was the design of an Western angel who had fallen from heaven due to his small wings. An angel had fallen and is now clinging to a former Chinese factory made the gears in my brain churn and ponder. Other exhibits included photo galleries, freedom of bodily expression including nudity, some exhibits contained a political theme
My day was not yet done, I still had some time and made a journey to Wangfujiang street. My previous attempt several nights ago ended in failure as the bizarre snack market was closed and much of the neon lights were shut off for the night. This time I had arrived at 7:30PM and walked up and down the glitzy, light filled street. Many foreigners were present as the stores did cater towards a Western audience. I went into the Wangfujiang bookstore and indulged myself into the books available, I primarily scouted out the photography section in an attempt to improve my photos.
After filling my mind with more techniques and knowledge, I had to fill my stomach as it was near dinner time. I persuaded Sam to allow me to try the bizarre foods with Andrew Zimmern had tried on the Travel Channel. Indeed, there were many bizarre food items from scorpions, beetles, silkworms, to deer meat, squid, octopus, and stinky tofu