We soon realized that we are different on day one of going out to see the world. Beijing is bustling with tourists, mostly from other parts of China. And they all had to have their pictures taken with our girls!
It started in Tiananmen Square. A proud father of two girls the same age as ours motioned Sophie and Claire to pose in a photo with his daughters. Then another photographer took advantage of our photo op to take his own shots. Then it was the grandparents looking after the baby wanting the girls in a photo, and so on and so on. Sophie says she thinks she could get used to being famous!!!
Tiananmen Square was decked out to celebrate the end of WWII. It will be the focal point for the military parade on Thursday that the average Joe will not be allowed to get anywhere near. Security was tight and police were everywhere.
We spent some time exploring the hutongs (old Beijing) where the alleyways can be quite narrow with lots of interesting shops. We saw a cook frying up pigs intestines (mmmm… yum). There were also a couple of cute dogs in a cage that the girls swooned over. I didn’t mention why I thought they were in the cages. We also saw “fried enema” on a menu, a rather interesting translation (I hope!)
Our guide then took us to see the Beijing nightlife beside Houhai Lake, which was just getting started. Lots of restaurants and bars, with live music and neon lights packed with people. We went for dinner at a local joint that served food typical of Chinese Muslims, which was delicious. Our guide says he takes people there because it is a “middle road” of Western and Chinese food, which his clients always seem to enjoy. And it cost about $25 to feed five people!
Afterwards our girls mastered the squat toilet (I have yet to take the plunge), and then we promptly fell asleep on the ride home.
Today we’ll make it to the “water wall” known has Huanghuacheng. Looking forward to that, but with a two hour drive, I’m thinking I can’t avoid the squat today!