"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." Author unknown

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2011 Nov 1 - Day 2 - Beijing

The buffet breakfast here is huge and very good.  There are a variety of foods - eggs made to order, baked sweet potatoes (which I have eaten every day for breakfast), various Asian dishes, lots of pastries and much more.  We have been stuffing ourselves at breakfast and then just eating a light snack for lunch and waiting till dinner time to eat another meal. It's one way to save.

Since we didn't have to meet out guide until 1pm, we had a few hours to kill, therefore, we decided to take morning walk to the 6 story shopping center that we found yesterday on our first day, in our search for KFC. Each level had a focus of products and then many "booth like" sellers to which you could buy from. There were so many "booths" and so much to look at, we easily spent 2 hours looking around and never saw the whole place. I ended up purchasing two beautiful traditional boy silk outfits with dragons on them and mom purchased a pair of earrings. Shortly after noon, after 2 hours of exploring, we headed back to the hotel

At 1pm we met our guide, Ivan, for today's activities which were Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City, a rickshaw ride through old town Beijing and an amazing acrobat show (there are a few video clips on the right side of our Shutterfly photo page).

It was another foggy day here in Beijing so once again, therefore, you could not enjoy the full beauty and amazing vastness of Tian an Men Square of the Forbidden city but we still enjoyed the tour.  Ivan is very informational and provided us with some history. We were done with our tour by 3pm and had time to kill before the acrobat show at 5:15 so Ivan gave us two other sites to see and we chose to take a rickshaw ride through an "old town" area of Beijing.  I have to say I am really glad we decided to do this, we got to visit the home of a family to see how they live.

In this area, families share a "courtyard" that leads to the front door of about 5 different families homes.  We walked through a door that is in a wall the lines the narrow alley type streets, into this courtyard (which is more like a sidewalk).  We approached the home of a family of 3, husband, wife and their 15 year old son.  The wife is a homemaker and greeted us at the door with a warm welcome. Even though she could not speak English you, she would talk to us like we understoon and our guide would interpret for her.  The homemaker was so very happy to have us and served us green tea, which I enjoyed (mom and aunt Sharon, not so much). She shared with us typical family life and asked questions about our families.  She was very fascinated that we each come from our have large families. She said the most Chinese can really only afford one child due to high education cost.

Their homes are very small, made up of only two small rooms. One room appeared to be their bedroom/office and TV room, while the room we sat in served as a kitchen/dining area and their son's bedroom. I cannot imagine being so cramped, we Americans are so spoiled as far as our homes go.

Our rickshaw tour ended after almost an hour, our guide picked us up and we headed to the acrobat show in rush hour traffic. We arrived about a half hour early so I took pictures of Beijing while we waited outside for our guide to get the tickets.  We had not used the restroom for several hours so we made a stop at the restroom before going into the theater, I almost thought I were going to have to give in and use a squatty toilet for the first time but low and behold there was a western toilet in the last stall!!!! Hallelujah and I had toilet paper in my purse!!!!

The acrobat show was amazing, the way people can bend their bodies and manipulate them is fascinating.  Makes my body hurt though.  The last act had me on the edge of my seat, worried that someone was going to get hurt.  There was a wire sphere that eventually, 5 motorcyclists ended up inside - I really thought someone was going to crash - I know that is just part of the anticipation and excitement of the show.  Mom took a video of the end of it, check it out it made for a really neat light show.

We were back at our hotel before 7pm and starving so we said our goodbyes to Ivan as it was his final time with us and headed out in search of pizza.  There are two pizza places near our hotel so we entered one of them in attempt to ask for a table and she just kept talking to us in Chinese and my hand jesters didn't seem to get our point across so we just turned around and left.  We then decided to give the other place a try and we had no problems there.  We ordered a  large Hawaiian thin crust pizza which had pineapple, ham and back on it and was really good.  We were also amazed when we got our bill and saw that they gave us a 50% discount, well after checking out the advertisements on the table we discovered that Tuesdays are half price day! Our meal, large pizza and two beers cost less than $15!  The place was call The Pizza Company.

Another full day complete.

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Pictures of our Journey to bring Tegan and Corban home!