On our first week in Beijing, we were welcomed by the school with a trip to the Great Wall and a “retreat” where we were able to meet most of the teachers and staff we would be working with directly during the year. Between the new friends we’ve made and our own wanderings, we’re starting to learn our way around.
At each entrance to the Great Wall, there are markets set up where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs. Don’t like the price? Walk away, and watch how fast the price drops!
Near our apartment, there is a hutong (alley or side street) that sells all sorts of bizarre food on a stick. Starfish! Silk worms! Scorpions! We got ’em!
This picture is from a street just off one of the nearby subway stops. The restaurant behind them served us delicious food (with numbing peppers in every dish!)
Why come to China for a NEW experience, when you can eat at Subway, McDonalds and Starbucks, and shop at Ikea, the Gap, and Nike stores? Though will all the other changes, I’ll admit it’s nice to have the option.
In Beihai Park, just north of the Forbidden City, there is a courtyard full of these wish trees, where people hang tokens with wishes or prayers written on them.