So sorry it has taken so long to update this...I just keep forgetting but I will hopefully have it all updated by today :) For starters we went to Beijing about a week ago and it was a very interesting experience. It was both fun and a pain in the butt, I shall explain.
#1: We were set up on an actual tour...like with scheduled stops, guides, and everything. Basically we went where THEY wanted us to go, when THEY wanted to take us (THEY being the tour company). So we get on the bus on Friday evening and come to find out we have 2 bus drivers, neither speak any English. We have a tour guide...he doesn't speak English either. Then we have the tour guides translator, who spoke about as much English as I speak Chinese...which is like 3 or 4 basic phrases. So here we are in this huge city with one guy who kinda knows a minuscule amount of English and 20 of us teachers thinking we would have some time to do stuff, boy were we wrong! We got maybe, maybe an hour and a half at each location we went to (the forbidden city, the great wall of china, the temple of heaven, etc) and the biggest disappointment was we only got 10 minutes, 10 MINUTES! at the Olympic park so they would not allow me to go tour the inside of the pool! Anyways it just felt rushed the entire time and the food believe it or not was better here at our schools cafeteria. Except for the 3 meals we managed to sneak away for...in which cases I had McDonals and Subway :) Note to Self: NEVER take guided tours in China...
#2: We had this awesome market about 10 minutes from our hotel called the silk market. It has more than silk, in fact it is 6 floors of "name your price", "barter all you want", shopping :) One of the most fun things I have ever done, we got very good a haggling by the end of those 2 days. So basically you have the 1st floor is all electronics, 2nd floor is coats and jeans, 3rd floor is clothing of all sorts of varieties, 4th floor is anything and everything silk. I mean you name it and if it can be made of silk, it is there., 5th floor was all jewelry, and the top floor was big purchase items such as full sized Terra cotta warriors..they were pretty legit but also real pricey even when bartering. I did get quite a few things there but my favorite purchase has to be the silk robe that I got...not just because it's way cool but I was able to barter with her so well! The lady wanted 2500 qwia (about $400) and I was able to talk her down to 50 qwia :) That's right...I paid $8 for a $400 100% silk robe :) I am very proud of myself, the trick is to stand your ground and walk away. Some people were so crazy they'd like chase you down the escalators still yelling lower prices to you! Even if you had zero interest in buying it! Well all in all it was a fun fun place to shop!
#3: The Great Wall was so cool! It is very steep though, it's like the steepness of stairs, minus the steps part. And as it is in all attractions we were asked t be in many family photos haha I think it is funny how people try to sneak a picture of the "white people" and they aren't really sneaky at all. Anyways so before I left home I promised a friend of mine that I would have a dance party in China, just for her, but I had an even better idea. I decided to have that dance party...in China...on the great wall. Yes, we had a dance party, to Justin Bieber, on the great wall of China. My sister even filmed it and I will try to get it posted somewhere for you to watch it! It was epic and we were a bigger hit than the wall itself haha. We had the biggest crowd of other tourists filming us, taking pictures, trying to dance with us, it was a great moment :)
I was very excited to just get home though to Wei Hai, never thought I'd say I missed this little old place but I did and am happy to be back.