Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Today, Wednesday, we toured the Hutong, visited the Summer Palace, and attended a performance of Chinese acrobats.

The Hutongs, (listed in the book 1000 Places To See Before You Die…I know, not the kind of list you want to blow through), are ancient narrow alleyways where only pedicabs can maneuver. Many were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming(1368-1628) and Qing(1644-1908) dynasties. You don’t want to get lost in there because it’s a maze you’ll never get out of.

After lunch, ironically “Chinese,” we went to the Bang Fu Chun Pearl Store. (Write your own joke for Bang Fu and send them in). The Pearl Store gets its pearls from the Pearl River. This stop was basically a government run infomercial, with what seemed like hundreds of overly helpful girls trying to force you into buying pearls. (Nicki buckled under pressure).

Then it was off to the Summer Palace and the Marble Boat. (Right now we’re both too tired to think up anything clever or funny about either place).

After that we were whisked (okay maybe not whisked) to a Chinese Acrobat show. While not the top acrobat show in Beijing, it was still pretty damn impressive. (The microwaved popcorn, however, was not impressive at all).

Then it was off to dinner. Chinese again. But we did see McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, TGIFriday’s, Schlotzsky’s Deli, and the ever faithful Starbucks. (And China wonders why it’s facing an obesity problem).

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