A Travellerspoint blog

Internet Cafe

Ugg

This internet cafe has been extremely confusing so far and we can't get the hard drive to connect so maybe we still can't load our pictures. Grr.
I'm already grumpy today because Alex borrowed my electronics bag to play DS (which was fine), but my passport was in the case and I'd forgotten that it was in there so I panicked when I couldn't find it. Then I tried to plug in the DS and got accidently got electrocuted because the part of the plug with the metal is on a little hinge and it swung out too far and my fingers brushed the metal. I'm fine but my whole arm hurts.
We had little hotdog pastries for breakfast again, and now we're at the internet cafe FINALLY on the computers.

There are these bugs here that all make a very loud noise, they sound like a rattlesnakes tale, and they rattle in waves of sound together all day and all night. It was distracting at first but now I think the sound helps me sleep. I've had more beer here than I've probably ever had before, and I don't really like beer very much but its much safer to drink in restaurants because they always bring it in a bottle so you know its ok. We've had a lot of hot tea too.

When we were on the plane Kailey asked for apple juice, and I said "me too" but the flight attendant thought I said "Piju" which is beer so she tried to give me beer for breakfast and was very confused when we all laughed and I pointed at the juice.

My first instinct is to try to speak French to everyone, which is ridiculous, but probably because all my times in Europe you try the english word, the french word and the spanish word and whoever you're talking to will get the idea, so its built into my brain that when I'm in a foreign country I should speak French. Definitely not working, haha. I'm not sure what we're doing today- wandering Bejing somemore I think. Yesterday Kailey and I bought fans to deal with the heat, today I think I'll buy an unbrella to hide from the nonexistant sunlight that sneaks through the smog.

Posted by Hparrish 20:37 Archived in China Tagged educational Comments (1)

Forbidden City!

A day on our own...

sunny 25 °C

I think I am more used to the time change now, but I'm still waking up very early.
Lihao and his family have been so wonderful and helpful to us exploring China. His mother remarried and lives with her new husband but kept her old apartment, so we have the place to ourselves. Its very big and beautiful. Yesterday we went to Lihao's moms house (where she lives) and she showed us the view out her window of the big important bank buildings, then we went shopping to this crazy 7 story mall that was all little booths of funny knick knacks. Kailey bought a watch, the rest of us just looked. We went to dinner last night with Lihao's step brother, and it was a strange but amazing meal, we each had an individual boiling pan of soup on a little burner, and then they brought us meat that we could dip in the soup to cook it and then eat it. It was delicious! Afterwards we took a taxi to go check out the downtown bar scene and Alex lost his camera in the taxi. We were sure it was gone, but Lihao called the taxi service and they contacted the driver and he brought the camera back to us! It was soooo lucky that he got it back. Today he's wearing his dorky camera case on his belt so it won't fall out of his pocket again. We went to a few different bars but they were obviously tourist trap bars- 500RMB min on most of the tables, so we ended up at a smaller bar where this crazy band was playing US pop songs. A 5 year old girl sang "Umbrella" by Rihanna (Yes Adam, I took a video for you!). I got a pina colata which was very good, but halfway though the drink it occured to me that while I'd been careful not to drink the water here that I didn't know where this ice had come from! So I didn't finish it. But I didn't get sick, so I'm not too worried. We also got these spicy burrito things from the street vendors and we were ok after that too, so I'm feeling less paranoid about the food. Last night we also rented a paddle boat and paddled all over the lake. We got in quite a few collisions with other boats but nothing serious, it was a very croweded lake.
Today Lihao went to go visit his aunt, so we were on our own all day. We decided to go to the Forbidden City, thinking that a bigger tourist spot would be a good place to go. We managed to take the subway all by ourselves, the subways are amazing here- very convenient and easy to understand, and they all have AC. A lot of people stare at us though. So we went to the Forbidden City and it was beautiful! And HUGE. It took us hours to get across the whole thing. We weren't sure we were going to make it until we got to a popcicle stand about halfway that saved our lives. But we made it all the way across to the garden at the other side. After that we went to Tiananmen Square, and then took a taxi to meet Lihao and his aunt for another amazing dinner. It has suprised me how much people eat beans here- green bean popcicles, pastries with bean paste, giant cooked beans- all really delicious. We've also been eating these funny crossants with hot dogs in the middle for breakfast every day.
I have so many amazing pictures so far but I'm still unable to post them! I am writing this from Lihao's aunts computer, which does not have an SD card reader and I don't have a USB cord with me. We bought the Eee PC just for the purpose of posting pictures, but because we are staying at Lihao's moms old apartment the internet is not turned back on there, and we haven't had time to go to a wifi cafe because we've been doing too many fun things! But soon, hopefully tomorrow there will be a massive picture post of the awesome things we've done so far.
We are also trying to decide what to do next- we are discussing throwing all our plans out the window and going to Tibet, because they are letting tourists in at the moment, but it is very far, 36 hours by train. We will decide in the next few days if we're going there or not. We're definitely going to Shanghi at the end of our trip, and we might just fly there from Beijing. Its about 60USD to fly and 70USD to take a crappy train for a few days, so its probably the better option. Soon we're going to the Great Wall, hopefully tomorrow- after the awesomeness of the Forbidden City, I can't wait to see it!

Posted by Hparrish 05:16 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

IN CHINA!

Day 1 in Beijing

sunny

At last we're in China. Its SO hot and the smog is ridiculously bad. I can't believe they're expecting people to compete in this smokey haze. The food is so good and the dollar is so strong that we can order whatever we want! We are staying at Lihao's moms place and its beautiful and air conditioned. Alex and Kailey are waiting for their turn on the internet so I don't have time to post any pictures yet. We won't have wireless at the house for a few more days. I just slept for 12 hours and I'm still tired and feeling a little sick- I got a stuffy nose on the airplane. But we have lots of vitamins and meds so I'm doing fine. :)

Posted by Hparrish 21:56 Archived in China Tagged lodging Comments (0)

Possible Itinerary and Production Jobs

7 days and counting!

Kailey made up this possible itinerary today and it looks pretty good so far. I'm especially excited about Chengdu because there is a Panda Research Base, home to 60 giant pandas, and you can even pose for pictures with them!

  • Beijing 24th -27th
  • Leave Beijing the 27-arrive in Suzhou
  • In Suzhou 28th (stay the night)
  • Leave Suzhou to Shanghai the 29th
  • In Shanghai 29th, 30th, 31st
  • Leave Shanghai to Kunming the 1st / /2nd
  • In Kunming 3rd, 4th
  • Leave Kunming to Chendu the 5th
  • In Chendu the 6th, 7th
  • Leave Chendu to Xi’an the 8th
  • In Xi’an the 9th, 10th
  • Leave Xi’an to Beijing the 11th

We have to be back in Beijing by the 13th at the latest because I am working that day as a Production Assistant for Tom Jennings Productions. A few summers ago I had the privilege to intern for his company and work on several amazing projects, including 20,000 Miles on a Horse and Out of Left Field. Out of Left Field is a documentary about the Chinese Baseball team who has been preparing these last several years to be the first Chinese team to ever participate in Olympic baseball. Their first Olympic game is August 13th- and I will be there on the shoot, probably carrying around and labeling tapes for the camera guy. (Which I've had a lot of practice doing by now!)
"Out of Left Field" will be showing in August on various public broadcasting networks like KQED, so keep an eye out for that.
In the week after the game we're going to go to other Olympic events and see the sights in Beijing! Kailey has her heart set on seeing volleyball, and I would love to see some rowing and sailing. Swimming would be my first choice but its pretty far outside of my price range.

Posted by Hparrish 22:20 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (2)

Ouch

Travel Shots

I am now (hopefully) safer from getting sick on my trip. I got a shot for the tetanus Vaccine, an oral vaccine for typhoid which i already started, and an antibiotic to prevent malaria.

HPIM1572.jpg

I also went to the book store and bought a Mandarin phrase book and a Beijing guide book. According to the guide book we should be able to get Olympic tickets from over 100 Bank of China locations in Beijing when we get there. I've been keeping an eye on Ebay looking for tickets but I'm a little wary of being ripped off.

Posted by Hparrish 13:19 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (2)

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