One last post of photos and videos. Just have a lot to show.
This is crazy short, because it was supposed to be a photo. I went ahead and posted it because it so perfectly shows a very dressed up lady, next to a woman in jean shorts, and a man with his shirt rolled up. Very typical sight.
This (below) was also pretty typical, of the street up to the grocery store where I walked several times. There was so much more I wanted to capture, but usually didn't have a camera, or couldn't get to it, when the best sights presented themselves. (You learn fast NEVER to set your bag or packages on the ground, for any reason. And benches are non-existent.) I would have loved to have gotten a picture, for example, of the man I saw who had been "fire-cupped"--big brown circles on his back where a ritual of ancient medicine had been performed on him. I don't know if the circles are current burns or are scars. I would also have loved to get a picture of the men on bicycles with large carts behind them, taking trash to who knows where. Or the man who was burning money on a street corner; according to Andrew, to appease his ancestors. Or the man in the Beijing train station wearing what we would consider to be a little boy's summer pajamas, screen printed with birds. Or the people who stared. :-)
This photo is of the same general area as the video above. I wanted a picture to show how, wherever you see an arable spot of land, someone has planted a garden on it. This was no exception.
Two examples of Chinglish. The first one was at the back room of a restaurant where the group met on a Sunday morning; the second one was on the side of an escalator.
I took this because it was a typical sight. This is the back door of the restaurant that is located near Andrew's apartment building on the college campus. The lady squatting (a little hard to see) is doing some kind of prep work of vegetables or meat. I saw this in many places - the preparation of food takes place outside of restaurants or even homes if possible. Seeing people squatting doing this kind of work is very common.
Andrew's washing machine. It holds about five pieces at a time, all of which have to be hung to dry. He just got a drying rack from a friend who came back to the States; before that, everything had to be hung in the wet bath - which meant it took about 24 hours to dry.
Waiting for English Corner to start. This young couple is coming to the States this fall to continue their eduation. They just graduated from a very intense, Ivy-league style school in the city.
Another view from the Great Wall. It was beautiful. I would have loved to have taken a video on the chair-lift ride up, but the potential risk of dropping phone or iPad was just a little too great. Had I realized how beautiful the ride up would be, and gotten it out of my pocketbook beforehand, I would have done so. But Mrs. Klutz herself wasn't about to risk it while on the chair-lift hanging who knows how high above the jungle.
Beijing on the day I left. It was not a cloudy day; the fuzzy appearance is smog. On this day, the smog level was FIVE times the maximum allowable levels of smog in the U.S.