If I could describe my sightseeing experiences of Beijing in one word, it would have to be “hot.” All of the days we have been here, the weather has been hot and humid. When we hiked the Great Wall, I was already dripping sweat after the first two steps. This past day was full of some “hot” experiences as well. The first place we visited was the Summer Palace, which was humungous, but it was still so humid out that I was constantly sweating the entire time. At one part of the Palace there were some old ladies dancing. Being the experienced dancer that I am, I joined in their step and had mastered their choreography halfway through the song. Needless to say, the old ladies were impressed with my skills and wanted me to dance some more but we had to move on so I politely declined their offer. Our next stop was a touristy section of the Great Wall that almost resembled Disneyland. There were so many street vendors selling souvenirs and everything was way overpriced. Our group then rode gondolas up to the top of the Great Wall, took some pictures, then rode a 2 mile toboggan ride down to the bottom again. It was so much fun but a totally different experience than the other day at the Great Wall.
One thing I know I’m already going to miss is the pricing of stuff here in China. Like the other day, we had a full on dinner for ten people that cost about 180 yuan (about 27 American dollars). Then last night I got a 40 minute back massage for 6 dollars! I’ll probably be upset when I get back to the States and go to a restaurant that will charge 8-12 bucks for one person. Oh well, I’ll enjoy my cheap food and massages while it lasts.