Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Wonders of Wangfujing

   While perusing the large shopping area called "Wangfujing" in central Beijing, I and some other Summer Staffers decided to do the most touristy thing possible and sample one particular item sold on Snack Street - fried scorpion.  No, no one eats scorpion for dinner here, but it was fun to try crunchy black arachnid anyway!  Blech.  I say that I tried it, but I really just licked it.  No regrets.  My lovely friends who took large bites confirmed rather quickly that I had made the right decision.
   Besides the craziness listed above, our time in Wangfujing was primarily quite comfortable - by comfortable, I mean we indulged in Western food.  We bought ice cream cones from McDonald's and had some lovely Pizza Hut pizza.  As my Burmese friend Piang (from the ORU team that spent time here) would say: "Sooo gooooooood."
Pretty Grace!

A Catholic church in the middle of Wangfujing.
[Rachel gave me permission to share this.]

Orla and Rob! 



   The pictures taken indoors are all from the mall - it was rather large and clean and nice.  (It also housed lots of Western stores and restaurants.)  Beijing is like a different world compared to Qingyundian where I live.  I love it all, though.  In Qingyundian, we're foreigners who stand out quite a bit.  In Beijing, we're foreigners, but few people think twice about us.  In Qingyundian, we don't take photos so as not to be such a strong foreign presence, while in Beijing, we're so obviously tourists that taking photos of everything is expected.  It's all lovely.  Just very different.     


Snack Street!


Check out that tat.

"Old Beijing Snacks."

Katherine referred to the picture on this Pizza Hut menu as "macaroni and cookie pizza."


   I simply love observing culture!  Everywhere I go, there are new things to learn.  I'm always thinking about how crazy it is that our world is so full of mindsets and customs that are black and white when compared to one another.  The Chinese drink hot water, Westerners drink cold water.  The Chinese find ways to make their way around a problem, Westerners are told to face problems head-on.  The Chinese encourage complete devotion to following leaders, Westerners are encouraged to innovate.  Who can say which one is right or wrong?  I know I can't.  

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