Day Numero 1

First blog....along with the rest of the students I met on this trip I can easily say that these first two days were ones I will remember forever. Although the plane trip was long and uncomfortable, arriving in Beijing totally made up for it. I would lie if I said there was no culture shock when we got here. Not being able to communicate with the locals or figure out directions to a convenience store made it very prevalent that this is not America and nothing comes as easy as we are used too. After getting about, 5 out of 36 hours of sleep, we woke up for a busy day visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Our continental breakfast in the hotel was similar to the one you would get in the states, minus the dumplings, duck eggs, root vegetables, liver, tofu soup, chicken with bones, and something that had the consistency of chewing a rubber sheet. When we arrived at Tiananmen Square we were shocked when we saw some 40 thousand people walking around. Seeing this place in pictures or on TV is one thing but up front a personal is another. The scale of this square was massive including the buildings around it. One thing that really caught me by surprise was the fact that the Chinese people were infatuated with us Americans, constantly looking and asking us to take pictures with them. The blond girls especially were targeted for these paparazzi like situations. We then made our way to the Forbidden City were the Emperor as well as his concubines, used to live. As we walked through gateway after gateway entering the city we were explained the history behind every little piece of the buildings. There is so much history associated with this place everywhere you turn you are learning something new and exciting.
Up next was lunch, which was much needed after the walk through the city that seemed to be instead, the forever city. We took rickshaws to a traditional style Chinese house which was a one room, no bathroom house which was tightly surrounded by the identical looking houses. We were bombarded with some of the most delectable foods I have ever had the chance to taste. Carrot wrapped vegetable balls, dumplings in sweet and sour sauce, beef served over fried onions and sticky rice were some of the dishes we received. After lunch we took the rickshaws on a tour of the city and some traditional style housing in Beijing. The tea garden was next. As a group we tried six different types of tea in a traditional style manor. The Chinese lady who was serving us must have also been a salesman because after the testing was finished almost everyone purchases something from the store. At this point I was starting to feel a little tired but the day was far from over. Next we went to an acrobatic show similar to Circus Olay which continued to amaze me as these young kids bent and twisted themselves. Finally the day came to an end with an amazing dinner at the famous Peeking Duck restaurant where we eat another traditional meal but this time with duck. Overall this day was amazing, as we fit a weeks worth of activities into one day, this is gunna be hard to top.

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