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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Getting old

I must be getting old.

I booked 2 tours today - 1 for the Great Wall in Badaling and Ming Tombs, the other for Forbidden city, Tian'amen Square and the Temple of Heaven.

I have only done 1 tour in my life and that was because my mom was around. But I decided all the figuring out, traveling and endless walking wasn't really worth the trouble this time round.

But the tours was for tomorrow and Saturday.

Today, I did walk a lot, but I wised up by returning to the hotel before 6. In the old days, I would be back much later than that.

Not a good sign.

This morning, I visited Yonghegong, a Tibetan Buddhist temple. One of the highlights was seeing a prayer ceremony with a group of monks. They were seated on cushions with low tables in front of them. The tables had little lamps to help the monks read scripture, I presume. The head honcho (abbot?) was seated opposite the Buddha in an elevated chair with gold fabric wrapped all around him. 2 ladies came up to him, went past his entourage and he put his palms on their heads forcefully. No, nothing dramatic happened afterwards.

After the temple, found myself at Qianmen, determined to find some Beijing duck. They say Quan Ju De is the place to be. And indeed I found myself there, thanks to a great sense of determination. It was ok, too oily for me really and I wouldn't mind not having it for the next 5 years. But there were a lot of people and even a long queue outside for the takeaway.

I wanted to pay my respects to Chairman Mao but apparently so did thousands of patriotic Chinese. They was such a long queue and such a massive sea of people that I felt intimidated. What if I failed to bow at the correct time or weep with great emotion at the sight of his casket. No, I was not going to incur the wrath of so many fervent devotees.

I tried to do some shopping before heading back to the hotel. I ended up buying a Starbucks Frappucino, a Breadtalk loaf and a $15 box of tea leaves.

And ended up in the hotel watching American Idol.



At 2/24/2006 04:30:00 PM, Blogger I AM ... NA said...

Ha ha ha ... looks like you've been talent spotted ...


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