This evening is the 3-week mark of my parents’ arrival in China, and I think the constant travel – early mornings, late nights, and crazy days in between – is starting to show a little. We slept in until nearly 10, and even then got ready slowly. I’m glad that we did the big things in Beijing early, so that we could take it easy today.
Our first goal after getting dressed was food. We happened on a street market not too far from our hotel and spent a while wandering the alley checking out the food available.
We bought an egg roll and the candied fruit looked good as always,
but some of the offerings were too much for my parents to handle, namely the scorpions, grasshoppers, seahorses, and starfish (although they were displayed quite nicely).
We ended up grabbing lunch in the food court of a nearby mall, eating some delicious curry and rice at a Thai restaurant, and then caught the metro headed towards the Olympic Village. Faced with quite a long ride across Beijing, we came up with a brilliant idea – we first rode the subway two stops in the other direction to the terminus, where we were able to board the totally empty train and grab seats for the long haul.
Don’t we look happy and comfortable?
The Olympic Village is mainly located north of the city center, and is connected to the city’s public transportation system by a special little leg. We got off at the first stop, and came out of the subway within sight of the National Stadium (better known as the Bird Nest) and the National Aquatics Center (the Water Cube).
Both buildings look really great up close, and we were hoping to even be able to go inside.
But . . . there was something going on in the Bird Nest and entrance was 120 kuai (almost $20), so we didn’t go in there.
And . . . the Water Cube was “having a decoration” (under construction), so Dad didn’t get to go in there and swim in the fast water.
It was a little disappointing, but I’m still glad we went. I am approximately the greatest fan of the Olympics ever – seriously – and while I prefer to watch the events on TV, it was really great to see the venues in person.
We caught the subway back, but unfortunately had absolutely no luck getting seats . . .
By the time we got home, I had a killer headache so we spent the evening in the room. We have one last morning to catch a museum or something, then my parents 回国 (return home) and I am free!!!
Two quick meta-journal notes:
- I added a note to the January 24th post because I came across an article on the Union of Catholic Asian News about the ceremony that took place after Mass! It turns out that it was a coming-of-age ceremony, something that originated from Confucianism, for church members who recently turned 18.
- My dad just finished a post containing some observations on his time in China, with a special bonus Chinglish section, so make sure to check it out.