One month after the fact, I bring you...... CHINA!
For those who don't know: I spent one month in China studying the game of go. Fun times, good people, interesting sights, but maybe just not *my* place, fun times anyway.
This is what it's like crossing a street in China. There are lights, but they honestly have no meaning. Cars have the right of way at all times, and people just cross whenever there is a chance, no matter how many cars are there.
People just set up places to sleep anywhere during the late night, early day.
My friend challenged a worker in a market to a game of go! They ended up playing 5 in a row instead.
Demolition and reconstruction everywhere. This is right next to a nice fancy mall.
This place is also known as the Japanese go club, I recommend if you are in Beijing and want a nice match of Weiqi!
All the Chinese ice cream, next to some Dreyer's ice cream in 100% English. Something tells me that batch had a different destination than this grocery store.
Famous Asian fruit called a Durian. I didn't actually try one, cause I hear they taste like dirty feet.... if you want some exotic *yummy* fruit, I recommend the Dragon fruit, which I didn't take any pictures of, even though it's prettier!
Chinese people just don't like rules.
This cart kinda freaked me out.
I was amazed such a message was even *allowed* in China. This was taken in the Beijing aquarium.. the only modification is that the words weren't readable so I took separate pictures of the bubbles and added them in here.
Lovely display at the mall, I especially love the copy of Carcassonne in the back!
The same market place as above with the guys sleeping on couches. Later in the day time, they pack up, and the market comes out til about midnight.
Alright, China may not be my place, but their terrible English is definitely #1!
Pretty view from my apartment.
I ate these crepes almost every day! Miss them so much...
The most clear weathered day my entire time in China. Almost every day is so smoggy with pollution, that you can barely see even 3 blocks down the street. But the day after a rainfall, it tends to clear up quite a bit.
My friends acting cute!
Nothing beats a game of Go in the park.
Welcome to the Altar of the land of God and Grain. Oh, so exciting.
We sat at this place, just enjoying the world, for quite a while... it was my favorite place in Beijing, ended up going back a few times. It's in the park next to the forbidden city, across frmo Tiennanmen Square.
The bell at a famous Zen temple called Yong ZeDong... it cost 10 yuan if you want to ring this bell alone.. I don't recommend this temple at all, far too....... impersonal.
Did I mention Chinese people hate rules?
Oh Hello Mr. Monk!
OK this is absolutely the best restaurant name ever. Though I've never eaten there!
The Great Wall of China is amazing. I have been to many touristy places in my life, but this is the first and only that sincerely felt more like a journey, or a quest, than just some place a guide book pointed out. Everything about the climb was just amazing! I joined my friend in walking it barefoot, too!
Michael here actually moved this rock you see, to find the scorpion seen above. When the rock was moved, the scorpion was still alive, but he almost instantly killed itself, stabbing itself in the spine with it's stinger. We can only assume this is because it had two legs torn off. Two physicists on this trip said that this really conflicts with the laws of natural instincts... so it's pretty interesting.
If you see the two paths on the sides here, we actually climbed up the right side, and down the left. This was *after* climbing up and down a completely separate part of the mountain!
So this is the thing to do on the Great Wall. Take pictures with the Chinese people, or in their case, with the foreigners. This especially works if you wear a Chinese hat.
My good friend Nikolaj and I at the edge of the wall!
Welcome to the Summer Palace. Another recommended place if you go to China. Very beautiful place.
These kind of rocks can be found in parks all around.
Welcome.... to a very... interesting market.
You can EAT SCORPIONS! No real flavor to them actually, just the spices... very crunchy
Larva taste gross. Never again.
Surprisingly, this market is very popular. It is known only for the exotic strange foods about.
This is a Chinese workers' cult. We found many many businesses that would have these random meetings at anytime. They would talk, shout, cheer, just all sorts of things that your normal employee wouldn't do unless they were a sports team.
We went to a go match!
This little girl is stronger than me at Go!
Outside the forbidden city. It is expensive, and not worth it, so we didn't go in.
A picture across the street, showing Tiennanmen Square. The security there is very very intense. There are gates all around the square, blocked in by road. The only way to enter is underground, and every underground path requires a security check. Actually I don't think I mentioned, but security checks are very common in China. You can't enter any subway station without a bag check.
Security cameras are pretty intense
Statue 'for the people' at Tiennanmen Square.... how ironic.
Chinese silk worm!
Last real dinner with the folk... this is our cool chrysanthemum tea.