Monday, July 24, 2006

Week 3 begins

This past weekend, we went to visit the National Museum of China, formerly the National Cultural and Revolutionary History Museum. This museum is currently being renovated so only some exhibits were open to the public.

We saw an exhibit of selected archeological items from various periods in Chinese history. There wasn't much organization to this exhibit. It looks like the museum just took some notable pieces and laid them out. We then went to an exhibit on relics from the Inca, most of which were on loan from the National Archeological Museum of Peru. Another exhibit was a mini wax museum, which included wax sculptures of various historical, political, as well as modern figures of China. Some interesting foreign figures included wax sculptures of Bill Gates, Piccaso, Beckham, and Charlie Chaplin. This may be a sign that China has been really eager and successful at integrating the rest of the world into its own cultural development.

While we were waiting in the museum, a little boy of about 6 or 7 years old came up to Starla and asked if she's a 'wai guo ren' -- a foreigner. She said she was. He said that he learned English but had forgotten all of it already. He then wanted her to teach him how to say 'dan tong' in English, but we didn't know what he meant by it. We later found out that apparently it's a type of snow cone.

After dinner on Saturday, we went to Tiananmen Square and watched the soldiers lower the Chinese flag as they do every day at dusk. None of us have seen them raise it every morning because I guess it's too early for us. We stayed around a bit to watch the lights come up around the square and the many kite flyers displaying their skills. There were also plenty of peddlers selling kites, and many were sold to parents of young kids. The smart ones also bought string, while the less diligent ones were left tugging the kites on only about a foot of string.

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