beijing, day #1.

yesterday we walked muslim street, bought dried kiwis {i am so sad i ate all the kiwis!}, ate lunch, and then got on a sleeper-bus around six p.m. to start our journey to beijing.  oh boy!

we went to the back of the bus on the top floor.  i can imagine all the chinese people laughing at us in their heads.  “stupid foreigners…. the top and back of the bus? don’t they understand physics?  they’re in for a bumpy ride….”  seriously.  what were we thinking?

the morning was a blur of transferring from trains to buses, back to trains, and then walking about a half-mile to our hostel.  {john also got his first taste of a beijing accent.  we’ve decided that they sound like pirates.}

we got famous peiking duck to lunch, and it was amazing.  oh roast duck, where have you been all my life?  john also introduced me to fried buns dipped in sweetened-condensed milk.  could there be anything more incredible? 

at night we went to see the changing of the guard in tiananmen square.  it was, in a word, creepy.  i feel a little unsettled by the censorship that goes on in china.  i will stop here and comment:

no facebook
no blogger
no youtube
email censorship
cameras on every corner of any public place {even all over the great wall}
many policeman in tiananmen, i assume to prevent protests like the one in the 80s.

too much control over what people learn about the world outside of china.  it scared me a little bit.  i was afraid to write too much in an email for fear that some officer would come to the hostel, handcuff me, and deport me.  they even have some sort of training program or something where people can become “volunteer security” and, i assume, snitch on anyone who speaks against communism?  i’m just speculating here.

after the changing of the guard, we went to “little eats street” which has been dubbed by some u.s. foreigners as “fear-factor street”.  the first thing that caught our eye as we walked in was the live skewered scorpions, that i already posted about in a previous post.

also, tarantula.  which i would never eat under any circumstances in my whole entire life. 

they also had papaya milk {viva taiwan!}, which pretty much made my day.  

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