Saturday, August 26, 2006
One Big Trip
All is well in The Middle Kingdom. After over 24 hours of traveling Beijing greeted us with 100% humidity, gray skies and its lovely people...so who cares about the weather. My God, it is easy to remember why I love this place of my children's birth so much. It is bustling yet comfortable, it is hot but refreshing to the soul, it is confusing but still with a sense of humor. It is a complex place. When I am here I feel Chinese on the inside. So much so that I find myself surprised when my family and I gather stares from passers by.
If you are at all thinking about bringing your little one to China on an upcoming trip just do it. Our 4 year old jet setter did beautifully. She took the on airplane long lags like champ. She conquered the people movers in Newark like no other before her. I might add that the Muffin man and my father logged in a few miles on the people mover as well. Of course when the highlight of a trip is a .20 piece of fabric used to tie bags together over and over and riding a people mover until you are dizzy, you know you are truly seeing international travel through the eyes of a child.
Beijing is different than it was in 2002. Here, folks it is all about Beijing 2008 Olympics baby! No expense will be spared, no person will be worked too hard, and no shred of bamboo will be left untouched in all of China since it is all standing as scaffolding for building venues for the upcoming games!
Today was in essence a blur. But when you are jet lagged and then attempt Tiannamen Square, The Forbidden City, lunch and shopping at a Friendship store and then The Great Wall how could you expect anything else?
I will leave you with our great trek up the wall. (Scroll Up to see photo.) Last time I visited Jujongyang Pass I was teary eyed with reverence for its physical immensity and the metaphorical immensity of how our lives would change in the next 24-48 hours. This time I was equally mesmerized by the Great Wall...but admittedly distracted by Ava's interest and propensity for absolute involvement in life's immediate task at hand, which happened to be climbing that wall. Wonder if this is a metaphor for things to come as well.
We are off to Guangzhou tomorrow to settle into the White Swan and prepare for Olivia Day.