Tucker in Asia

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dynastic China and Beijing

Week one of China travel is over; we have figured out how to say about two words in Mandarin (Thank you, actually that might be one word here) and have been able to both eat and sleep with no problems. Speaking is apparently the most difficult for me (as is reading Mandarin and this whole blog site is currently in Mandarin, damn) because when I hear a foriegn language spoken to me and am expected to respond in some sort of form I speak in Spanish. I guess this is because it is the only language other than English I sort-of-can-get-by-with. I have found myself muttering Spanish quite a few times here and not just to the hawkers who can speak English but not Spanish or French but cab drivers and hostel staff, oops. The best form of communication for me is really to point at something and mumble, that way the mumble sounds to them as though we are trying to speak Mandarin but don't completly have it figured out, but it works out because they know what we are saying by the pointing. This works really well for food and we have been largely successful. In Beijing we ate the famed Peking Roast Duck. They just bring out a roasted duck and cut it up in front of you. Sort of neat and it tastes pretty good. Other food is tastey as well, everything is famlily style so we order for the table.

We started our journey in Beijing in an effort to see the ancient, dynastic China. Sites we saw included Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, The Lama Temple, and The Temple of Heaven. Everything is very large and so arrogantly grand. Built solely for the Emporer these places represent power and self proclaimed greatness showing the evils of a monarchy, however, because of the size and architecture they are magnificant to gaze and gawk at. The city of Beijing is almost under complete re-construction in preparation for the upcoming 2008 Olympics. Indeed this will be a great year for the city of Beijing and the country of China as they will have the oportunity to show off today's China. Although Communism is very much alive here and thousands of people line up each and every day to see the pickled body of Mao Zedong the surface of China is bustling with economic growth and expanding mega cities. The population of Beijing is just about 14 million people. It is big enough that cruising around we were not able to comprehend a size.

Out of Beijing we took a trip to see and walk the Great Wall. It really is an amazing engineering feat. It is so huge and spans across the tops of mountains. Crazy. We walked about a 10km stretch.

Last night we took an overnight train to Xi'an, in central China. This is where the Terra-Cotta warriors are located which we will see tomorrow. From here we will continue south.

So, I hope this makes it up onto the web, there are web filters in place that will not let us view blogs but it seems we are able to post. Catch y'all later. tucker


  • Where are you eating? in the restraunts, street markets, etc? And, do you know what you are eating?
    Besides the language, let us know about some of the biggest cultural differences.
    Keep the new coming. Sorry you won't be around for Ely bobcat days.
    Blog on
    Uncle Dick

    By Blogger another Uncle, at 9:07 PM  

  • Hey Tucker.
    Your blog is working well. I can hardly remember how we got by before blogs. Enjoy your next month, and I'll talk to you then. Lock it up!

    By Blogger Max, at 9:27 AM  

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