Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tian An Men Square and the not-so-Forbidden City

This post has a new author (but she hired an editor). Tian An Men Square was basically a huge square with several thousand other tourists walking around on it too. I’m sure it was supposed to be impressive, but I’ve seen large areas of concrete before. These people seem to have something against grass and trees or maybe it’s just that they won’t grow because of all of the pollution. Give me fields of green and blue skies any day. Editor’s Note: Interesting that the main image in my mind of The Square is the young man standing in front of the tanks during the protest…that piece of history did NOT make the talking points for the tour. Otherwise, your new author hit the proverbial nail on the head. Yes, the buildings are beautiful and the spectacle is foreboding, but it represents something I don’t particularly… (well, let’s save that for after we’re back on US soil). :)

Even 12 degree weather couldn’t keep us away from the Forbidden City. Well, actually it could have, but Kevin said we’ve already paid for it so we’re going. Truth be told, it was a remarkable place. The ornate detail in everything from the roof to the decorative stonework in the walkways was unbelievable. Too bad Maggie didn’t see any of it, as she coped with the cold by sleeping through it. Mary told us many facts about the palace and the two dynasties that ruled there. But the most fascinating part was the corridor that held the concubines. Editor’s Note: Yeah, I agree! They each had their own beautiful courtyard surrounded by several rooms. The most interesting story was about one of these women who was taken away from her true love to serve the Emperor. She ended up giving him his only child and after the Emperor’s death her son took control. She, however, ruled the kingdom from behind the veil. Just like a woman, all the work and none of the credit. Editor’s Note: Umm, disagree. Also, it was quite odd to see the considerable number of souvenir, photo, memento book, etc. vendors INSIDE the Forbidden City. I even saw a military guard (dressed just like the ones standing their post) selling replica military hats out of a backpack while presumably making his rounds. It looked pretty capitalistic to me.

We had intended to visit a silk store but it was lunchtime for the little lady. Mary and I did have a chance to discuss some of the traditional silk outfits and the meanings behind them. She was able to get a dig in on the fact that, due to western influence, the younger generation prefers to wear a white gown. That’s right, you may outnumber us, but our marketing can’t be matched. I also did a little size comparison, and I’m sorry to say I won’t be trading in my blue jeans and t-shirts for silk. A large (the biggest I could find in this particular store) compares to a size 4 in the states. Rats, just missed it by a size or two, wouldn’t you know it. Maybe I can find a scarf in my size. Editor’s Note: Not touching that one. Love to all!


China Dreams said...

I'm glad to see this post. I thought the square was a big yawn; you get there, you stand in the middle of it, and then you wonder, now what? I'm a history teacher but I like there to be things at historical sites-you know, exhibitions, living history displays, stuff like that. Not just millions of other people walking through empty halls or across empty concrete.


Kelly said...

Kevin and Marcie, I LOVE your posts. I laugh and cry as I read of your journey. I haven't had much time to respond as we just had our two new family members move in this weekend. We have just been blessed with a 14 and 15 year old brother and sister sibling group. I am now the Mother of 7. LOL. Anyway, Maggie is amazing. I can't wait to see you with the boys. :-) Keep those awesome posts coming. God Bless. Kelly Treesh

Clay and Tanya said...

You should try to buy a swimsuit in China while pregnant. Yeah. Right.