Wednesday 27th July
Today started off beautifully. Well, as beautiful as it can get for China at least. For breakfast, a fake baguette with cheese and butter as well as peaches and apples.
Our conversation at the Temple of Heaven ticket desk was rather entertaining, and went somewhat like this:
MUM: Do students get half price?
TICKET OFFICER: Passports please.
MUM: *presents British passports*
TI: Only Chinese national students get half price.
MUM: Well, OK, do you have a map?
MUM: Do you have an information guide leaflet?
Incredible. To make matters worse, the day was scorching hot, most of the places were closed or desolately empty and the main attractions were pretty busy, aka the actual Temple of Heaven as well as the Echo Wall, which this year was boarded up with fences with signs saying ‘No Climbing’. It’s said that if you leaned in and whispered something, anyone from any part of the wall could hear it. Well, keep listening. We also took one of those cheesy dress up photos, but I think I looked pretty snazzy. (or ‘zazzy’ as Sheldon calls his cats.)
Temple of Heaven. Yes that is a spork at the bottom of the picture that you see.
Since we were nearby a place called Dong Dan, accessible from the subway, which is the equivalent of Beijing’s Oxford Street (if Oxford Street were more wide, yet still more crowded and dangerous), we ate whatever we liked; jerky from a shop my brother had been to whilst in Singapore, takoyaki (which is very much Japanese thank you), cooked egg in a mug with this blue lemonade with invisible pearls in it and something else or other. My LOH loved the jerky-she bought an entire bag of it, only to slowly devour it over the next two days.
Think that was all the food we had? Well, think again. After spending about an hour, once again in Miniso, which is just ridiculously cheap to the point of being stupid compared to the prices you get in the UK, especially with our current state-pretty good headphones, with a nice case to put them in, cost only £1.50 approx after converting to pounds, two nail polishes cost £1 together, as well as perfume, plasters, wet wipes and this Marvel Age of Ultron jigsaw puzzle we found-we went back to that lovely dim sum place, where this time, with more people to go around, we managed to get the magical Mahjong dish, which consisted of three mahjong pieces (东，南 and 西) with an edible rice paper note. The mahjong piece was made of coconut for the white top and a sort of lime jelly for the green bit at the bottom. Delicious!
Yam paste. It might not look that appetising but it is actually very tasty!
Next up: a day at the zoo, and lots of naked people. Not in that way though.