Sunday, October 06, 2019
The Summer Palace With Jan and Nan - China Day 48
Saturday was such a pretty day in Beijing - China. We are in the middle of their Golden Week - the celebration of the 70th year of the new Republic. Even though China's history is traced back 4500 years - The People' Republic of China is relatively young.
Our good friend Jan Davis flew over to spend some time with us. After 48 days of just Lulu and me - it is nice for Lulu to have another English speaking girl to pal around with. Jan is the perfect one. Years ago - when they were both young Tamaqua mothers - they had play group for the kids. It was also a chance for some much needed adulting for the mothers.
Jan's husband Dick was a long time friend of mine. We both left Tamaqua years ago - but you never leave Tamaqua or not be a Coal Cracker. After they sold the Davis Funeral Home in Tamaqua - they headed to Arizona to work in the funeral business there. They raised a family - and thanks to the Internet - we reconnected years later. Dick died of cancer a couple years back. Jan still lives near Phoenix AZ.
After a 12 hour flight from San Franciso - Jan arrived at 3 PM. We met her at the airport and took a cab to our apartment. We went outa little bit - had supper - and all settled into bed at 9 PM. At 8 AM - Jan was up and ready to go - not a hint of jet lag. As I type this - Jan and Nan are out at a shopping bazaar. They have not missed a beat. It is like they were going to the Hometown Auction. I was left at home to do the dishes - laundry - vacuuming - and mopping the floor.
Getting back to the Summer Palace. It is about 7 miles northwest of ur apartment. After a $4 cab ride - we were at the main gate. We presented our passports - which gave us automatic free admission. I still am not sure it is because we are Americans or over 60. There are lots of people from all over China - for the celebrations. It was crowded by our standards - but the crowds are very docile. It is mostly families - parents with grandparents - and one child. It is not long the law that you can only have one child - but it has become the custom. China is a middle working class country - of long hours - and grandparents watching the child. Extended families in one house.
Everyone was doing the same things - walking the paths - up the hill to the Summer Palace. Some were renting boats to paddle on the lake. We walked up the 200 foot tall Palace Hill two times. We eventually found the main entrance.
The Summer Palace was built around 1750. It was used by royalty to escape the city heat. In 1860 - the British and the French burned it down. In 1885 - it was rebuilt. In 1925 - it was turned into a public park. Normally - it is pretty empty. This day is was packed. Luckily the 60s temperatures and clear blue skies made it nice for walking.
At 1 PM - we stopped a little court yard and bought lunch. It was very interesting. It was basically chicken and rice. But it had a heating system built in. You opened it - pour a liquid on a small push and it gave off tremendous heat. You put it together like a double boiler. It kept boiling while you ate. After lunch we continued on our quest.
The Palace had a covered portico along the lake that was 1/2 mile long. This day is was a long line of people
The girls just got back from the market - I am writing this story - and did not take my bath. In one hour we are leaving for a Kung Fu Show. So I must run.