|We saw 10 Panda Bear|
|This tiger was on the move|
|Lots of decorations for reading|
|They eat Moon Cakes for harvest time|
It is Monday morning in Beijing - I am home alone. Lulu is at the American Embassy on special assignment. All this week she will work from 9 to 5. She got up and dressed early today - and took a taxi to the Embassy about 4 miles east of us.
My jobs are simple - do the dishes - do the laundry - mop the floors - get some groceries - and write this story. After that is done - I can go out.
It was a nice sunny weekend - temps were around 80. Although we take the subway and buses - we walk about 5 miles a day touring. We walk around the museums and parks.
Bei Hai Park was Saturday afternoon. It has been public land since 1100 AD. In the 1400s - it was the Imperial City of the Ming Dynasty. Kublai Khan lived there. In 1925 - it was turned into a public park. It has a big lake - and reminds you of the old parks in America - like Lakewood or Ontelaunee Park. The public pays $1.50 to enter - foreign tourists are let in free by showing their passports. One can rent paddle boats or electric boats. This park is smack dab in the middle of Beijing - although you would swear you were way out in the country. There are temples and palaces from long ago.
Sunday morning we woke up at 7AM to listen to the FSU at UVA football game. We listened on Internet Radio - because the ACC Network is having a dispute with Comcast - thus we did not have coverage. The game was very exciting to the last second. My son and grandson were at the game and we talked on facetime for an hour about it. FSU lost on the last play - they were expected to lose to a ranked opponent on the road - but it was an exciting game. The game was Saturday night at 7 PM in Virginia - but it was already 7 AM Sunday here.
After the game on Sunday - we took a bus to the Beijing Zoo. It is only about 2 miles from our apartment. Again we were surprised that admission was free to foreigners with passports - the price to locals was $3. It is a really big zoo - we may have covered 1/3 of it before we ran out of gas.
It was nice sitting around the zoo. Families dress up nicely for outings like this. Dresses - skirts - etc - are worn. One young lady stopped us for a picture for her school project. We posed with her. People can't help but recognize our white faces and light hair. They do a double take - but show respect - it is a nice feeling. We were sitting in a dining area - maybe 40 tables - we were right in the middle - we had a snack and just listened to the banter among families. There are a lot of extended families - two grandparents - two parents - one child. It is no longer the law for only one child - but younger people realize it is costly to raise kids today. They are used to it. We can't judge a society on one day - but still it is fun. We are getting to feel like experts.
The Internet - we rely on the Internet at home a lot. Over here it is even more our connection. We do not have the cable hooked up to the TV. We do not know if we even have the service. We do have DSL Internet - that fluctuates. It is not as good as Cable Modem at home. Since our service here is free - we do not complain.
T-Mobile Phone Service - our ace in the hole is our cellphone service. Our t-mobile phones work here - we have unlimited text - data - internet. Calls are 25 cents but I do not make any calls. We can talk to people on Facetime for free. What is nice is that the Great China Internet Wall does not block out stuff with t-mobile. We get email - surf the net - read the papers from home - see our TV from home - listen to Sirius radio from home. We get unfiltered news from CNN - CBS - NBC - ABC. Our entire bill for two phones is $90 a month. The fact that is is not filtered is a bonus. I can even read my own web page!
|In the old days - you read the newspaper this way.|
|Mickey Mouse knock off - honey flavor - gooey clear toy|
|Temples around the park|
|A little touch up|
|We climbed a 100 foothill on the island|
|The view from the island top|
|Temple on island hill - 500 years old|
|Beautiful gardens for October 1st|
|Lulu and the Panda House - special admission - free to us|
|Bored or lazy Pandas|
|Gifts were reasonable - as were snacks|
|No burning - in zoo.|
|Joel - I felt just like at home|
|Lady with white hair - rare here|
|Lots of boat to rent at park|
|Always checking out books|