Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

From Kate:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We had lecture and then we went to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Let me tell you, Tiananmen Square is MUCH bigger than it first seems to be. We got a few group pictures in front of Mao’s picture before heading into the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is enormous as well. In fact it’s so big that I thought we had gone through the gates to the palace area, but in reality, we hadn’t even reached the ticket-selling entryway. After we left the Forbidden City, we went to Wangfujing, a shopping district in Beijing. Jenn and I really wanted to go there in order to get some books in English as we had both finished our books for fun. However, Wangfujing wasn’t exactly what I expected. I expected a street lined with smaller shops, when in reality it is a huge street blocked off from traffic with 3-4 story buildings of high-end stores. Jenn, Dominic, Matt and I DID find a side street where there was a bunch of food vendors with crazy food like scorpions, whole roasting birds, and other interesting food. After we emerged from that street, we took a cab back to the university and went to one of the food vendors in a food court near campus.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010
This morning we met with the architect of the Olympic Forest Park. His talk was really interesting and informative—for example, did you know that the park is over twice the size of Central Park in New York? Afterward, we came back to the university, had our de-brief, went to lunch at Yellow Table (by far my favorite restaurant!!) where we had some of the yummiest dishes like fried pumpkin, sweet and sour pork, chicken with peppers, egg with chile peppers, pan-fried scallion dumplings, broccoli, tofu, etc. Anyway, then we went to our class which focused on energy. The professor was a really good lecturer and although I wasn’t sure that the topic would be interesting for me, it was! Tonight we all met at 7 and went out to this place that we called the “Rainbow Stairs.” It was a restaurant on the second floor of a shopping center and had a spiral staircase that was decorated with rainbow lights (hence the name). It took a little while to order because the menus didn’t have English on them and the pictures were somewhat indistinguishable. We ended up ordering fried rice, a shrimp dish (which came with the shrimp still in its shell), and what turned out to be intestine. After this experience, we were all still hungry, so we went back to the place that we ate at last night and I had a bowl of noodles.

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