Monday, March 5, 2012

Backtrack to Beijing

The trip to China was an adventure of a lifetime and while the memories are still somewhat fresh, I'm backtracking to Beijing for not only my sake, but also for Keira's. I want her to know what we did and what we saw during our two weeks in her incredible country.

Beijing was quite the contrast to Jiangxi, an interesting mix of western metropolis and ancient tradition. It wasn't difficult to find a decent place to eat in Beijing nor was it lacking in places to shop at ANY time of day. Stores seemed to be open quite late and there were always people about. Our hotel was just steps away from an array of stores plus a large (and I do mean large) Mall with shops of all shapes and sizes. It was always incredibly clean and never appeared to be crowded. They had a fantastic selection of restaurants, a Starbucks and a Haagen Dazs. Seriously? What more does one need? Along the strip leading to the Mall were a series of high end shops plus one amazing children's store which had every possible toy imaginable plus furniture, clothing and accessories. It was quite something.

We managed to get out for supper with a few of the other families a couple of the evenings plus ventured out on our own. Each time, when walking back to the hotel, we passed a large crowd of people, young and old, partaking in line dancing outside in what can be described as a public square. There was a director leading the way and people appeared to be having a great time. Who knows where they all came from - they simply appeared! Off to the side at the far back corner, a small group practised ballroom dancing to their own music. This happened every single night. There were easily 65 to 85 people participating, if not more. Amidst the bright lights and the fancy shops, nightly dancing, out in the open, young and old, all together, simply enjoying life.....personally I don't think we see enough of that!

Although difficult to see, this is the square where nightly line dancing took place.
Chinese New Year Preparations were evident throughout the city - throughout the country actually!