Miscellaneous Pictures


The Office
Training Rooms

The Sites
The Great Wall
The Ming Tombs
The Summer Palace
The Forbidden City
Tianamen Square

Wheat Drying
Silk Street
Street Scenes
Other Shopping
Other Fun Stuff
The Tea House
Empress of GTTI

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Drying Wheat

An up-to-date way of drying wheat.  These farmers took over one lane of the highway (in this case, a right turn lane) to spread out the chaffed wheat to dry.  They would keep sweeping the wheat over the pavement, use flat shovels to bang the wheat heads and to pick up the dried wheat.  I guess if they use that section and no cars have dropped oil on the pavement, it would be all right.  Maybe that's why the bread tastes different over here ! ! !  <snicker>


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Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Silk Street

About 5 blocks from Tianamen Square is a narrow street called Silk Street.  Tiny shop after tiny shop with each one selling a specialty item.  Along the way (left) ES and Dawn are window shopping.  Fred (right) has decided that his daughters in law need new silk bathrobes. 

But there is a secret in buying on Silk Street.   First there is the asking price, then there is you bid price which is usually about 25% of the asking price.  Here, she started out at 80RMB and I offered 20RMB.   Ridiculous you say?  Of course she said no way and that I should raise my bid.   Of course I said no and that she should lower her asking price.  She came down to 60RMB.  I said that was still too much but I counter-offered at 25RMB. She laughingly advised me that there was no way she could do it, so I thanked her for her time and started to leave the shop.  She touched my arm and offered 50RMB.  I said 30, she said 40, I said 35.  Then I asked her what kind of a discount would she give me is I bought two of them.  After much consideration, she said 38RMB each.  The deal was struck, the exact items were chosen and everyone was happy.  Then, ES asked me is I wanted to buy silk scarves here - that set her off again and away we went.   As it turned out, I helped the local economy and she could eat steak that night.   A fun time was had by all.


Several shots, here.  Upon arrival at the hotel, my first look at the surrounding territory.  I was not impressed.

Especially when I saw this sign in the bathroom.  ES Hair warned me that one does not drink the natural water in China.  Further that one does not buy water from street hawkers because of the possibility that the bottles are just filled from the tap.   Take provided water bottles from the hotel is your best chance of not getting sick.

After several days, I was impressed when I had my laundry done.

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Rush Hour

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Street Sweeper

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Street Scenes

No one can explain and no amount of books or video documentaries can really prepare you for life on Beijing streets.

The sights and sounds and actions are something to behold.  Remember the only rule in Beijing (the one about there are no rules)? 
Example:  Yielding the right of way.  A myth.  The most important part of cars in Beijing are the horn and the brakes.  The first one in the intersection has the right of way.  Bicycles don't, people don't.  the light turns red?  If you can force your way through, go for it.

How about garbage pickup?  Just dump it on the side of the road, the street sweeper will get it (eventually).

Housing?  Been afraid of taking pictures down the narrow alleys to the small one-room shacks.  Picture the raunchiest flee-bag motel you have seen - this is a palace. 

In old China, there was a clear definition for a street or a lane. A 36-meter-wide road was called a big street. An 18-meter-wide one was called a small street. And a 9-meter-wide lane was called a Hutong.

Most of the hutongs in Beijing are in east-west or north-south directions. That has resulted from the need for houses to face south so as to take in more sunshine and resist cold wind from the north. Of course there are also slant hutongs, half hutongs or " blind hutongs". Some are hutongs within hutongs, and some are like maze. So to walk in a hutong is a great fun as lng as you are not afraid of getting killed.


Other Shopping

Wholesale pearl shopping can be quite an experience and you should have some kind of expert with you.  Here, Dawn has brought along Chinnee Tong's wife, Leona, to help.  About an hour later, with money in hand, Dawn has finally selected her pearls, watched the shop owner string them together and is ready to hand out the money.  A bargain???  If she were to sell these in the US, she would probably pay for her entire trip.  Cheap??  Let's call it "inexpensive".

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What's a boss supposed to do?  Spoil his troops?  Buy them trinkets?  Send them around the world on Glenayre's money?  How about a 30 minute cab ride (one way) to get one his troops something from the Hard Rock Cafe in Beijing?  Yep, been there, done that.
Peking Duck
Have you heard of the delicacy dish called "Peking Duck"?   Well, when visiting Beijing - formerly known as Peking - why not try it.   After all, it is famous isn't it?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I am not impressed.  To much fat, the Chinese meal is weird, not enough meat.

Fortunately, after carving off the skin and making a kind of roll out of it, the staff took it back to the kitchen to finish "carving" it.  Some of the meat they brought back didn't look too appetizing.

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Really Happy Smile for the Camera
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And again They just Don't Want to Smile At All
Foot Massage
After dinner, our host (Henry Tsang from our Beijing office) decided that we needed to relax.  NO, not the communal baths.  This was a Reflexology Foot Massage.  Now I'm here to tell you that it sure is different.  It is more a ceremony than anything else, however, through massaging the feet and ankles, these folks are supposed to be able to tell  you what's ailing you.  For 80RMB (about $10US), the feet are bathed for 15 minutes, manipulated for 30 minutes per foot, re-bathed to get the "medical oils" off you feet, and then you're ready to go.   Interesting experience.  Now, Judy, the massaging never got above the knees and I kept all my clothes on and zipped the entire time.

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