Friday, June 25, 2010
Let’s Get Down to Business!
Today, I climbed the Great Wall of China. I thought that I would not make it pass one tower, but I ended up climbing up four. The Great Wall is absolutely fantastic. Just to think that its thousands of years old, is incredible. While stopping at the towers to take a break, I got to take a look at where the slaves used to warn soldiers of when enemies were coming to attack. These towers had a weird smell to them. I can’t really explain the smell, but lets just say, it’s worse than the smell you smell when you go down a dirty parking lot stairwell. Yeah, it’s worse than the dried pee smell. But other than that, the view was beautiful, and I’m quite pleased with myself that I climbed that far. Although my knees are killing me now.
After the Great Wall, we went to a bunch of factory tours. At these factory tours, aggressive sales people were always on the attack to sell things to us. We went to an herbal tea factory, a silk factory and a jade factory. Some of us in our group were sucked into buying these purchases, and some of us decided that we would save our money and spend it on something else. Our tour guide Alan, made an approximately $650 US worth of commission from the purchases we made at these factories. We could see the money signs rolling off his eyes!
Alan thought since we spent most of our day on our feet, sent us to get free foot massages. The place we went too was full of massage trainees looking to get some training time on some new patients. Basically, we were their guinea pigs. I decided to soak my feet in what seemed like tea. After I removed my feet from the tea, my feet became extremely itchy for the whole night!
Getting a relaxing treatment was nice, but I was in the mood to do some shopping. Alan took us to a market in a bust part of Beijing to do some bargain hunting at this mall. My aunt who lives in Shanghai decided to help us bargain since she knows fluent mandarin. There was a knock off Dolce and Gabana trench coat that my other aunt wanted. The trench coat was offered to her at 700 Yuen. My aunt talked the salesperson down to selling the coat for 150 Yuen! We all were shocked at how she criticized the quality of the coat, and how she was able to talk down the price by some much. I’ve decided to take her everywhere I shop from now on!
We spent our last night in Beijing at a nice restaurant. Except that they served us this really weird looking beef/meatball dish. I swear it looked like dog food. I decided to try some, and it tasted exactly what it looked like…dog food. Not saying that I’ve tried dog food before. But it was pretty nasty.
Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Hong Kong. I’m kind of excited! Looking forward to hearing some Cantonese, and something that I can understand!