30 May 2005
After two days of playing lacrosse, the Wildcats went back to exploring China. We started off by taking a “hutong” tour — a tour of more traditional neighborhoods of urban Beijing. Above is a picture of Jamie Butler and Nick Tapert in a pedicab, on our way to visit a neighborhood kindergarden.
The guys loved visiting the kids who attended this state-run kindergarden, even though their Chinese was not as good as these 4-5 year olds! Here’s Ryan Robertson trying to talk to them.
We then visited inside one of the traditional “siheyuan” houses, with a woman explaining who she and her family are, and how they share the compound with other related families; the family happens to be Manchurian (different ethnicity from the Han, and the same ethnic group as the last imperial dynasty of China), and the twenty-five year old son happens to be a “football fanatic,” as you can see from the decorations on the wall. He also had a poster of Britney Spears, in addition to world soccer stars, in his bedroom.
After seeing the hutongs and the Bell and Drum Tower, we went on to visit the Summer Palace. The guys enjoyed seeing the palace complex and the gardens, but especially enjoyed the “Long Corridor” where scenese of the Chinese South are painted on the ceilings and the stone ship built by the Empress Dowager. We took a boat ride to get to the other side of the palace grounds, which the guys (John Hoke is in the picture below) liked much better than walking!
After lunch, from a special request by Will Nexsen, the guys visited a pearl market to do some shopping. Geoff Fehling was chosen to pick an oyster, and a sales woman demonstrated how pearls are found.
The guys then had some free time in the “Silk Market,” a place for them to buy souvenirs and all sorts of goods. The long day finished off with a meal of “Peking Duck.” Tomorrow will be a free day, time for everyone to self-schedule their last full day in Beijing.
30 May 2005