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Sunday, March 21, 2004

i got behind in posting chris's stuff again... sorry - enjoy! ~jane

Hello,

I am a little sore at the Moment. My students complained that I have wore them out this week, but it is they who have made my muscles ache. I guess that I have been playing to hard. I learned a really neat
version of Duck Suck Goose Today. I am not sure that I can explain it in words. Other than people stand in
Pairs around a circle. A person is it then tags one of them. At this point, there is no safe spot for that
person. He simply has to run from the catcher until he tags someone else then they can start running. If the catcher tags someone then they are it. Everyone gets involved and it is very active. They made me sing
today, but I sounded like a Frog since I burnt my throat. I had some amazing aubergine that had a fish
flavor. The only problem is that it burnt the back of my throat. When I ate one that was scorching. It got
caught in the back of my throat and burnt the heck out of me. It was really sore for awhile, but it feels
better now. It has been a beautiful day, but I am getting ready to go to Beijing. I am going to leave
around 6:30 in the morning. Got Paid, so I am off to the Big City to enjoy myself. I am going to try and
develop some of my film. I am very excited about that. I have a living room table covered in souvenirs plus
others stored everywhere else. It is a little crazy. I just keep seeing cheap little souvenirs and pick
something up. It also does not hurt that I am buying for thirty-five people. I am going to have to have a
whole other suitcase to come home with. Or one Big Carry on bag. This and I have not even been to the
majority of my destination yet. I have took the train of thought that I should buy before the Tourist Season Gets here or otherwise I will not be able to Negotiate. I am trying to keep from using my credit
card though, so I have to watch my Money which is not too easy when you travel. I have a lot of money
coming back towards the end of my time here as they refund my ticket, but I do not get it until I
complete my contract. It would be more useful to have now though as I could travel comfortably. Oh well, I
need to get to sleep. The morning comes early.
Christopher

Today has been so freaken crazy. I feel as if I am whipped. I woke up at 5:00 to catch a train which I
missed somehow, so I caught the bus which was hot and crowded. The woman next to me was sick and vomiting, and it was starting to make me nauseous, but luckily she got off early. I end up in Beijing way the hell away from my hotel and have to get a taxi which was very expensive. Only four American dollars, but that is a lot in China. I get here, and they try to overcharge me on the room, but I fixed that problem. I then got to start my day of adventures. I went and had lunch. Egg Plant with potatoes, and a huge egg roll that resembles a borrito. It was delicious but greasy. I then went and dropped off film to be developed. Not sure how much it will cost, but I guess that I will see. Hopefully, not too much. I am trying not to use
my Credit card, so I will see how that works. I then went to one temple. It was alright. I also went to
the Confucius. It had not been restored from the Revolution. It was somber and quiet, but I liked it as
an escape from the loudness of the city. I then caught the subway to the next stop. It was to two temples. The were both very beautiful. I then walked for several hours and found two wonderful parks. The first was an Island in the middle of a lake with a huge and stunning temple complex on it. The other was behind the Forbidden City. It was dusk and all the buildings were colorfully light. I relaxed then caught a Tricycle Ride to the fast food market. There was anything and everything you could imagine. I thought
that the Squid on a stick in Chengde was exotic, but they had starfish, seahorse, scorpion, and silkworms
on a stick, and they were ready to cook them for you. I did taste some starfish. Did not care for it. My
noodles were fantastic as was my banana fried in dough. I ate them up. I then went to a Cathedral and
looked around at stores. I was tired, so I started home. I passed by lots of dancers and Tai Chi people
on the way here. I got here and unloaded. I am now getting ready for bed. Hope all is going well. Talk to
you later,
Christopher

I have walked so much today I feel as if my feet are about to break off. I woke up this morning and washed
up. I then went and picked up my film. It looks pretty good, but it was a little expensive as well. It cost
me sixty dollars for eight rolls which is about normal. I love advantix, but it is expensive. I am glad that I brought a lot of film as they want six dollars a role here. I simply can not pay that. It is the only expensive thing which I have seen here. I went to three temples and a Mosque today. They were all spread out, and I walked to each one. The first had a beautiful Pagoda, but I could not get inside as it was close, so I went through the Market next door. I then went to the Mosque. It was a converted temple. It was alright, but I much preferred the double lime green Mosque down the street. It was simply something to behold. I must say. I went to another Buddhist temple then rested in a couple of parks. I did not eat all day as I had a huge breakfast burrito/eggroll. It was filled with Mutton, and it was absolutely delicious. I gobbled it down. I had peach juice with it. That stuff is like Ambrosia. It is soo good. After resting, I tried to walk, but I could not. I took a Taxi to the next temple which I am glad as I would have never found it. It was the heavenly temple, and it was truly stunning. I loved the two round sanctuaries. My favorite part was all the singing and bands. They were playing on their traditional instruments. It is the first traditional Chinese music that I have heard since I have been here. The rest has been pop or techno infused. My favorite were the crowds of Chinese tourists who were gathered together singing traditional ballads. They were very heanting but stunning. I sat for a long time listening. I eventually left and tried to find my way back to main
street. After walking twenty clocks and getting lost, I caught a cab who dropped me off at the wrong place.
I was a little pissed. I met a Newzelander who showed me the subway near by and caught it to my home. I took a nap for several hours then went and had pork for supper. I am extremely tired and ready for bed. Talk with you tomorrow.
Christopher

Today has been really good, but I am glad that I will be going home tomorrow as I do not think that my feet can take too much more sightseeing, They are very sore, and they have some incredible blisters on the bottoms of my feet. Woke up this morning and went and picked up two more rolls of film. They turned out alright. My night pictures did not really turn out, but I am ok with that. I then picked up an egg
"croissant" for lack of a better word. It was an egg pastry, and it was absolutely delicious. Especially
with my peach juice. I love that stuff. I then headed out to the Drum and Bell Tower to see some of the
sights. The Drum tower was really neat. I arrived just after the hour and got to watch them beating the drums to mark the time. It was really awesome as the rooms are simply filled with these huge bongo looking drums. I then went to the bell tower. It was alright. The steps to bother were extremely steep, and it was a tough climb for my weary legs. I then walked back to the metro and caught it to another temple. This temple was a Taoist Temple, and it was truly one of my most favorite temples that I have been in thus far. It was really neat. In the mail square, there were fifty rooms that surrounded them temple and each room was filled with the main God, and his court. The Gods were all sorts of people and Ghouls. The rooms were dedicated to everything imaginable. They had Mountain, Environmental, Rain, Wind Gods as well as wealth, Plague, Fortune, Pills, Abortion, and really just anything that you could imagine. All of the statues were oversized and very colorful. Then, in the back square they had the folk arts museum, and they had some of the most beautiful pieces of stuff that I have seen in a very long time. I really liked may of the pieces. It made me so happy. I then walked around the temple some more and decided to go to the ancient Observatory. It was a fairly neat Museum of Antique Astronomy Equipment. That was in the shapes of dragons and other things. I liked the exhibits, but it could use a little money for improvement. Leaving there, I decided to go to the silk market. This was a clothing persons paradise. They had jackets, coats, pants, silk scares, shoes, and every kind of clothing related item that you could imagine. I liked it but it was a little crowded. I did not like having to push my way through the crowds. They had a few nice things. I almost considered buying a Chinese Silk Robe for a future solstice, but I decided against it. Maybe when I come back next time. There were some other beautiful silk pieces of Chinese clothing, but I decided that no one would really appreciate them. Maybe, I might pick up something I am not sure. I left there and decided to go get some food. I came back to my street and went to the restaurant with the English Menu. I ordered the Pork and Noodles and was all ready to eat. Then she brings me out this plate of cut up Pork jello. The jello that I have been seeing on the street is actually a noodle. I took one bite and was disgusted. This was not what I expected. I paid the bill grabbed my bag and left. They all looked shocked. I went to the market and got a mutton sandwich and a pastry. The mutton sandwich was just awful, so I ate my pastry. It was very good. I then came back to the hotel and looked at my loot from the weekend. It was a lot of fun, but I am very tired and ready to go to Chengde to recuperate. Until Next time, Christopher

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