This morning we left the hotel around 8 am and noticed all the dust that had settled over the city. Workers sweeping everywhere. Seemed like a pointless job, as dusty as it was.
The bus took us to Tiananmen Square where we walked around for a bit. It's the largest public square in the world. Following that, we toured the Forbidden City, where the emperors of China once lived. The south gate of the Forbidden City faces Tiananmen Square. You may have seen famous images of it...it has a large picture of Mao Tse Tung right in the middle. When I get back to the states, I will post some pictures.
Next, we rode in rickshaws through a "hutong," a traditional Beijing neighborhood. The entire hutong is walled-in with small homes facing an open courtyard. The rickshaws took us down long, narrow alleyways with doors to the homes and shops along the way. While in the hutong, we visited the home of a Mr. Liu (sp?). He was the consummate host, serving us jasmine tea, rose flower snacks, dried Chinese crabapple, and seasoned peanuts. He also shared with us his pet crickets and grasshoppers. Apparently he is a well-known "cricket fighter"...which is now illegal in China. It wasn't clear to us if Mr. Liu has gone straight. Nevertheless, he was quite a character, a warm and funny man. In fact, one of his crickets was named "Little Jerry Seinfeld." (Actually, that's not true...just an inside joke for you Seinfeld fans)
Had a two hour break for a late lunch/early dinner, followed by a Chinese acrobat show at a local theatre. Saw some amazing feats there.
Even with all the action today, it was hard not to keep thinking about the big event tomorrow. Finally, we all get our babies. You could almost see the anticipation on everyone's faces. We leave for Nanchang tomorrow at 10:45 am. After we check in to the hotel, we get our babies sometime in the afternoon. The details are sketchy about when and where. I'm assuming it's at the hotel.
Wherever it will be, I can't wait!