More of the same....
Trip Start Mar 01, 2010
4Trip End Ongoing
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The last few days have been pretty nuts. I’ve been all over the city, partied with local students into the early morning hours at bars and karaoke clubs. I've eaten some pretty foul street food too, and the famous roast duck. I was lucky enough to meet a cute chinese girl that spoke english and didn't try to sell me something or buy her something. We went to a hole in the wall restaurant where there was no english menus, and probably wouldn't dare entering without a companion. We had lotus root salad followed by roast duck. The Lotus root was interesting, not bad. The duck was very greasy but the way they eat it was not what I expected. You take the pieces of duck and place them into a very thin rice ... tortilla, I guess. It reminded me more of philo dough though. Then you add very strong thickened soy sauce, onion and cucmber and wrap it up into a burrito and eat with your hands
I’ve been to a few more historical places and I’ll eventually post more pics but the upload speed here is very slow and I'm taking fewer pictures and just letting everything sink in. Anyway, I checked out the Temple of Heaven today. It’s a very large walled garden area with religious significance here. It’s slightly larger than the forbidden city, demonstrating heaven's superiority to the emperors palace in the forbidden city.
I also visited the drum and bell towers, Confucius temple and Lama temple. They are in a the northern section of Dongcheng district. The farther I strayed from the center of town the more I got to see of the real city. The police and army disapear. The tall buildings are gone. Nothing more than single story shops surrounded by hutongs. It's dirty, men urinate on the sidewalk, and there are mangy stray dogs and cats everywhere. On one hand I enjoyed it more because nobody speaks a lick of english, so they won't bother to stick something in your face to sell you, but I did get the humurous broken "hello, good afternoon" from a few friendly locals just being polite, and a small group of students who wanted me to be in their film.
I do wish to have met more foreigners whom I could converse with and hang out, but quite a lot of them are european and don't speak english.
Tomorrow I’ll be going to the great wall and summer palace.