Trip to Adopt Anna

12/27/2001 - Meet Travel Group


Crazybunch Home
Anna Adoption Story
Referral Photos
To China
To Shenyang
Sue's View
Catholic Church
Christmas Eve
Leaving Shenyang
Meet Travel Group
1st Day w/Anna
2nd Day w/Anna
3rd Day w/Anna
4th Day w/Anna
5th Day w/Anna
To Guangzhou
Hard Rock Cafe
Hong Kong
Home at Last

12/27/2001 - Beijing, Meet our travel group

On WangFuJing Street, we found a little diner where we had our breakfast. It is one of the small eating places next to the big oriental place. The food is good but price is moderate. After breakfast, we headed to the art museum as a special request from Joshua. Toby bought Chinese a writing brush-pen and some bookmarks. These brushes are used to produce the famous Chinese writings, similar to our calligraphy. This is considered a special form of art that gets a lot of attention from the Chinese society. The shop people were very interested in our family. In both Shenyang and Beijing, people often asked me if Toby and Joshua were twins. It is rare to have two kids in China unless they are twins. One of the sellers in the shop admired our two boys but commented that it would be nice to have a girl to the family too. We told her that we will have one in a few days. She was very happy for us. She thought that we are very lucky people.

We left the museum and walked to Jinshan Park. This is a small park. The only thing that is famous is the tree where one of the Chinese Emperors committed suicide. It is just an old tree trunk. Besides that there are 5 Buddhism temples in this park. They really look like beautiful old Chinese style Gazebos. Originally there were Buddha in all five of them. Today, only the largest one in the center on the Top of the hill has a statue of Buddha left. The five Buddha symbolize the five major ingredients (spices or taste) in Chinese food, salty, sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. The park itself is a manmade hill. As we climbed up the hill to each of the temples, we could see more clearly the city. On the top of the big temple, we could see the entire Forbidden City. It was cold but beautiful up there.

From there we went to Beihai Park. It is a huge park where the white pagoda is. There are a lot of lama budda in this park from Tibet. This park has mainly worship places or monuments related to Buddhism Tibetans or so called esoteric Buddhism. There is a huge lake in the park. Unfortunately, the lake was frozen other wise we could have a canoe ride in the lake if the weather is warm. But, we had some Kentucky fried chicken for kids for their delight.

We had dumplings for dinner. After some rest in the hotel, we went to a Beijing opera. It was fun. We had tea and cookies while the professional troops played Beijing opera on the stage. Kids had good time. The three small plays are written for tourists which are full of fun acts. It may have not been THE famous Chinese opera which is located in Beijing, but it was very beautiful and easy to understand for the kids. We taped a short section of it. If anybody would like to be bored with our tape, please feel free and we will gladly arrange a showing.

We wandered on the street after the opera and had some fried chicken and lamb on the stick from the street vendors. Close to our hotel, there is a small street where many street vendors selling all kinds of food. A taxi driver told us that this is government regulated marked where people need to get special permit to sell their and the quality and cleanliness is monitored by officials. They need to pass a strict sanitary test and must obey the rules in order to sell there. In other words, their food is considered safe for visitors like us to eat. There are some exotic food such as frog legs and grasshoppers which we did not dare to try. However, we tried some other more common foods and it was delicious. Needless to say, we did not get sick. Wish us luck, we have two more weeks to go and eat. One American here had bought a stick with grasshoppers. We saw him eat the first one with little emotion and then he offered the other three to us. He said”” I just wanted to try it.” We politely declined and the grasshoppers ended up in a public rubbish bin. After we cam back to the hotel Berthold felt sorry that he did not try the frog legs.

Again, Food is an integral part of the Chinese culture. Whenever you meet, sit down together, visit somebody or being visited, or just feel like it you eat. China with its 55 minority nationalities has more varieties in food than one can imagine. Americans would think that it could not be any more than in their country – wrong, because you can also find American and all other kind of ethnic food (Italian, German, polish etc.) here besides the enormous amount of Chinese varieties. B Berthold was a little bit concerned about the fact that you can find Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC and many other American fast food chains (no Burger King). Since they are more expensive than regular Restaurants it is something special to go their. It nearly appears like this would be considered “fine dining” or ‘fashion dining”. Berthold is afraid that this would be of great danger for the future of Chinese culture.

We did not have time to write our journal during this time. Too busy and too tired. There were so much things to do in Beijing. While we were on our own, we tried to relax and did the tour freely. We attracted a lot local people simply because that Bert does not look like a Chinese and we have more kid too many. Wait we get our daughter!!

We met our travel group on the 29th. We toured the Forbidden city, visited a Jade factory and climbed THE GREAT WALL, of course. There were so many wonderful crafts and arts. But there were so little money left in our pockets and so little lugage space !!

We left Beijing on the evening of 12/30/01 to Hefei. On our way to pick up Anna !! Can't wait.