This post will be slightly picture heavy... its so hard to just choose a few.
First, I just want to share this music video with you. Its a song you may or may not have already heard. It was made for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. BUT - I love this song. I think its really special, and so beautiful, and I think that comes across whether or not you understand what they are saying. I think you can feel what they are saying... I feel it when I just listen, let alone watch the video (and this has English subtitles). I hope you enjoy it, and it can also give you an idea of what the Chinese language sounds like.
Yesterday we decided to take a walk through the Forbidden City. This is easier said than done - I think going on a Saturday wasn't the smartest thing to do, it was packed! When we took the subway there yesterday, I actually let the first two trains pass by because they were so packed... when the third one rolled around and I realized there weren't going to be any less people, I got on... lol.
Briefly, the Forbidden City was the Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty. Starting in 1420, the emperor and his household lived here. It's huge.
Our first glimpse as we walked in (and some soldiers? in formation walked past)
Notice the smog? I thought the food was going to be the biggest adjustment, but I think its actually going to be the air quality issue. Here is what I want you all to do for me. After reading this post, I want you to walk outside, look around you, take a deep breath of that wonderful, beautiful, refreshingly clean air, and be consciously thankful for it.
After we walked through the Forbidden City, we took a walk through some of Beijing's hutongs. These hutongs are lanes or alleys, and these lanes or alleys are created by the walls of traditional Chinese courtyard houses. Here is a drawing of what these would look like from above.
According to my guidebook, the wall not only adds privacy, but keeps out spirits as they are unable to turn corners. As prescribed by feng shui, the entrance is at the Southeast corner.
We actually stopped in one of these hutong areas because we saw a sign for China Mobile. We bought a SIM card for our new cell phones... it was fun speaking to the shopkeeper in Chinese. After we first walked in, we said a simple Chinese sentence like "I want to buy a SIM card." She was showing us a few different ones and telling us about them and when she realized we were understanding everything she was saying, she was really happy and gave us a better deal than she originally intended to. When we could read the information in Chinese, she was even more impressed!
Me on the way back to the subway and back to our hotel. I was only asked to have my picture taken twice today.
Just another word on those split pants for babies that I mentioned earlier... I found an interesting article on it. Apparently split-pants-trained Chinese babies are usually fully potty trained before they turn 1! Not only that, but its not uncommon to see Chinese mothers whistling to their babies on the side of the street - this is because the babies "go" on the command of the whistle!
I thought it was interesting to learn more about the practice, and if you are interested in the article, you can read it by clicking here.
I wanted to include some new MAC shadow purchases and a review of Benefit's Hoola Bronzer and High Beam - but decided to make it into a separate post, so stay tuned for that.
What did you think of the song?