Friday, January 14, 2011

Big Blue Nation goes to the Great Wall…and Marcie Misses Home

Maggie took us on a short tour of her homeland today, and then fell asleep when we got there. But we came, we saw, we sort of kicked its butt. BBN was well represented (as evidenced by the gloves in the picture and a shirt you can’t see), but once again, nobody else noticed the Wildcat logo emblazoned on my apparel. I guess since Yao didn’t play there…

Anyway, the Wall is an absolutely incredible feat of Chinese engineering. To stand on just a very small piece of it and be able to see merely another few miles or so of it in either direction is amazing; yet, then you realize there are actually another 3,900 actual miles of wall you can’t see…5,500 miles if you include branches, trenches and rivers that act as additional barriers. Wow…and the rugged, mountainous, beautiful terrain that surrounds it is astonishing. The leaders and workers who built it may not have believed in God, but He certainly had a hand in the beauty of this place. And we could feel his presence in every piece of it.

Have I mentioned how tall each step is? Or that it looks and feels like it goes straight up (and straight down coming back)? Or that we are not in the best shape? Or that Maggie fell asleep and Marcie could barely see each step? Anyway, the girls hung out at the lower Tower 1 while Dad trudged on up. Oh my, I forgot (on purpose) what breathing in 20 degree air feels like when I‘m breathing hard. Nice workout. But I had to prove the carved stone right. The saying in the picture means basically “he who climbs the wall is a real man, a sort of hero” according to Mary. Oh yeah. 

The other heading in today’s post is not meant to incite worries or fears regarding Marcie’s feelings about home…it was simply meant as an opening to one of the funniest things I have ever heard come out of her mouth. So we went to the wall…where restrooms exist apparently wherever little Asian children are standing and lunch was included at a large tourist building (looked & felt government owned) that wasn’t the cleanest facility we’ve ever been in (I even kept an extra eye open). So we get back to the hotel and Marcie starts that little whiney voice I love so much… “I miss home”. Me: really, what’s wrong? Marcie: “I miss the FDA, the EPA, OSHA, the Dept of Transporation and all those other people that keep us clean and safe.” Bwahahaha. Good one Sweetie…good one.


Faye said...

Ah yes. Children with split-pants... just squat and go. And have you encountered the "squatty potties" in the actual PR's yet? Fun, fun, fun!
Sounds like you're having a great time. Looks like it's cold and windy at the wall...

Clay and Tanya said...

I said over and over again this trip......I usually despise the EPA, but if that's what it takes to not have this filth, I'll endure them! It's only one picture, but apparently what I heard in Oct is looks better in winter. Honestly, I can't believe you have a blue sky. We literally could not see the sun the entire time we were in Beijing. Talk about depressing!

China Dreams said...

Oh my gosh, I remember those steps. Tall, uneven, different depths. I was embarrassed that I could only make it so far without panting, until I looked over at our four and a half year old son who was panting, too! So we went up high enough for a good view, then returned to the bottom where our travel mate was with a stroller.

We couldn't see the sun, either, but neither could any American industrial city dweller at the turn of the last century. We've just shipped our pollution there and let them make everything for us to avoid actually fixing the problem. Sorry, I know that's heavy; I'm a history teacher.