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Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break in China


Last week for Spring Break, I went to Beijing, China to study aboard. WOW! Where do I start?

Last last Friday, on March 2, 2012, I went on my first out of country flight ever! AHH!!!! I have the best and most supportive parents ever. They knew how scared, nervous, and anxious I would be, so the night before I left, they drove to Charlotte to sleepover and take me to the airport. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! Anyways the plane ride there was terrible! D: I had a sucky seat and it was behind the restrooms, so I started getting nausea. The first 5 hours wasn't that bad, but soon after that I started to get really sick. There was really bad costumer service there also.  The flight attendant was really and they did not attend to my needs at all. :/ Luckily we arrived to Beijing in 13 hours. WOOOWHOO!

First evening, we had a welcoming dinner with our instructors. Eating legit Chinese food was real good. It was way better than any of the Chinese food over here in the U.S.

First day, we went to Tienanmen Square and The Forbidden City. It was really cool and pretty scary because when we were there, the China was holding a meeting for the Communist party and there were a lot of security. Popos were everywhere and when we were discussing about the events that took place on Tienanmen Square a couple of police questioned us if we were reporters and journalist. D: How scary. We could be in big trouble if we got caught talking about the massacre at Tienanmen Square.

The AMAZING Forbidden City



Jisang Park located directly across the Forbidden City.
After that we made our way to The Forbidden City because it was directly right across from Tienanmen. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME. It felt amazing to be here because it was the reason why I really wanted to go to China. I've always saw movies and dramas that took place at the Forbidden City, and what really pushed me to go to China was the Chinese drama called Bu Bu Jing Xing. It was a beautiful story based on historical events and it inspired me to visit this place. I am very VERY impressed by the all the details of the buildings. Did you know that about 100,000 artisans were hired to do all the details in the city?

Second day, we went to the Temple of Heaven. Wow, this place was pretty itself. While the Forbidden City was where the Emperor lived and where he practiced his supreme power, this place was the spiritual and religious aspect for the emperor. The Temple of Heaven was the place where he would sacrifice and pray to the gods and heavens for good harvest. Super awesome! Interesting fact, did you know that the reason 3 doors were created by gates to the palaces or temples were because it is believed that only the emperor can walk through the middle door. He was that holy.  Everyone else has to go around.

That same evening I went to a local bar near the hotel that we stayed. It was my first experience because for those who knows me, I don't ever go out to club or drink. :) I'm a goody good girl who enjoys having fun at home. But wow, it was very strange for me. I didn't drink even though China doesn't have a limit to the drinking age.

Third day was THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA! WOWWWW!!!! All the pictures and videos does not do the wall any justice at all! I believe something that makes this architecture so famous and interesting is because everything is so precise and at such a grand scale. All the little details are exact and the measurements of the bricks are almost perfect. They made this wall to follow the natural lines of the mountains. There's an amazing view from the wall of the beautiful mountains.  It's amazing and mind blowing. It is believed that the mastermind behind building the wall calculated so well that there was only one brick left unused after they finished the wall. "You are not a real man until you have climbed the great wall." - Mao Zedong.

Buddhist temple on the hill by the frozen lake
Fourth day we went to the beautiful Summer Palace. This place is GORGEOUS. This was a place where the emperors would come and relax. There is a lake located in the middle and from there you can see the Buddhist temple at the top of the hill and on the other side you can see a long bridge connecting to a little island. The water was half frozen, when I was there, but I can only imagine how beautiful it must during spring. It's amazing how this place still hasn't changed at all. In the Buddhist temple there is a 20 ton statue of the Bodhisattva Guan Yin. Wow! IT'S UNBELIEVABLE!

I'm the yin yang symbol.
Fifth day was the White Cloud Daoist Temple. There was less grand but still very interesting. Honestly, that day was really cold, so I did not pay much attention to the information given out. This place was also very religious, so you can smell the burning incense everywhere. We saw two Daoist monks who talked with us about their journey to the temple and their daily life as monk. They recited a sutra for the group and also prayed for us to be well and successful. Awwww... They are very sweet.


Lamastary
Sixth day we visited the Lamastary. This was a religious place where Tibetan Buddhism are practiced. There were a lot of people there, and i couldn't help but to be touched by their devotion. I'm a pretty religious person and when I see people who are that devoted about their religion it makes me smile. I don't necessarily agree with it but am impressed and inspired by their love for Buddhism. Burnt incense and fruits are brought as gifts to the Buddhist and Bodhisattva. This day was also freezing cold.

That night, half of the group went out to eat at a Korean BBQ place. VERY YUMMY INDEED. After that a couple of us wanted to check out a place where called "Disco Disco". We obviously thought it was a club and we were interested in going to it because we haven't went to one before. This random guy brought us into a building and took us down stair. From afar, you can hear the bass of the music thumping and you knew it was a dancing place but once we opened the door there was a girl dancing on a pole. :O WOOOOHHH, that was not what I expected. There was nerdy guy dancing so I decided to dance with him. He was pretty cool. Even though  he can't dance, it was awesome to know that he had fun.  Long story sort, we figured out this place was a prostitution place by the amount of hot and sexy girls that were there. I though the guy dancing with us was gay but I guess not. He told me that he was going to go upstair and suggested for me to go, but I didn't understand so I just nodded my head and smiled. He took a girl by the hand and went up; moments later, all the girls that were sitting together had all left up stair silently and all came down about 15 minutes later. It was a strange atmosphere when they came down. I wonder how much they got since all the girls were a part of it. Some where actually smoking suggesting that they must have been doing something. AHAHAHAH! It was starting to feel awkward so we left and went back to our hotel. It surely was "Disco Disco" alright.




The seventh day, was more of a relaxing day, we went to one of my instructor's old friend. She's an artist and what makes her so special is that she had polio and it left her bound to a wheelchair. She can't move much of her muscles and the only thing that she can do is talk. At the age of 60 something, she chose to learn English, and even though her words are limited, she is still very good at it. She's now 70 something, I believe. She's is a sweet old lady who is a great painter and has a beautiful heart. Her husband is still alive but suffers from Alzheimer, so you can imagine what kind of hardships she gone through. It is remarkable how loving and  humble she is. It's an inspiration. I bought a dragon painting from her.

In the new Beijing Airport waiting to depart
The eighth day was our last day there before we flew out that evening. Man, I saw the sun rise and set twice on the same day. How exhausting. I came back home last Sunday night at 11:30. So now I'm still very jet lag and that is why I am still up typing when I should be sleeping. I wonder how long is this going to carry on. I missed class this morning because I overslept. Hahahha. and it was at 12:30 PM.

Overall I would say that my favorite places is the Great Wall and the Summer Palace. That does not mean that I did not like the other ones, but these are the places that stood out to me the most because The Great Wall was spectacular and so big and the Summer Palace was so beautiful. I'm glad I went on this trip. I'm happy, and I'm proud of myself for being able to go to the places I have always wanted to go. I'm satisfied even though it was very costly. :)


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