Beijing Academy Student Posts from July 18!
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Today was a long day. We left the school after breakfast and got on the bus to go to Tiananmen Square, which is, as I am told the center of Beijing. It has a fascinating history and is also home to the Beijing National Museum and Mao’s Mausoleum. Once we got there we were definitely taken aback by the scale of everything, as well as the numbers of people. We walked through Tiananmen a bit and then met back at the bus. We were dropped off at a park where we all bought noodles for our lunch, and after eating we explored a bit. I personally went straight up the mountain where I found an intricately carved building with a magnificent view of the city. We had to dodge a few pictures being taken of us, but overall it was quite a sight. We then went to another park for a couple hours and had some snacks and tea. Then we went and watched a very interesting and incredibly impressive performance at a Beijing sports school. I had heard about sports schools, and the talent of the performers definitely lived up to the expectation. The beginning was a bit off-putting, as I thought the whole performance was going to be done in panda costumes (since that's what the first performers wore), but then I quickly realized that was not the case. It was a play in beautifully done martial arts and acrobatics. That was definitely my highlight. Then it was off to a buffet for dinner, and then we headed back to school for some MUCH needed sleep.
Today was another interesting day, filled with learning and adventure. First, we boarded our bus, starting our Saturday excursion. We arrived at Tiananmen Square, and were allowed to explore for a little while. Next, we drove to Jingsheng Park. Here we ate lunch, and had time to explore the many features the park had to offer. The park featured a sculpture garden and a multitude of ornate pavilions. From the top-most pavilion, we were able to enjoy a picturesque view of the Forbidden City. Next, we went to Bei Hei Park. While some people walked around taking in the beauty, others hopped onto boats and glided through the calm waters of the lake. Then, we all went to Shichahai Sports School to watch a Kung Fu performance. This performance was about a lovely panda couple who searched for the art of kung fu throughout Beijing and the kung fu masters they met along the way. The performers' (one of which was our Tai Chi teacher) impeccable skill and colorful costumes left us in awe, and made for an excellent experience. After the performance, we got a taste of the “Olympic dinner,” which featured excellent cuisine that was designed to fit the needs and constrains of an athlete’s diet. Then, after an action packed day, we all returned to our dorms, happy, satisfied, and ready to rest.
This Saturday all the students woke up for an early breakfast in the first floor dining room. We then prepared to go to Tiananmen Square two hours later, where students and teachers took many pictures. After Tiananmen Square we headed over to Jingshan Park where we ate lunch and walked up the many steps to the emperor’s palace overlooking the Forbidden City. At 2:30 we met up at the East Gate before walking over to Beihai Park. We were allowed to walk around Beihai Park’s lake, take pictures, eat food, or even ride the boats. At around 4pm we went to the Shichahai Theater to watch a Kung Fu-themed performance about a Kung Fu-craving panda couple who were big fans of Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan. The show consisted of a large amount of people wearing panda costumes who roamed the theater hugging, and even once kissing, children. Our culture class Tai Chi teacher even made an appearance. After the performance we all went to the Shichahai Sports School to eat a buffet-style “Olympic Champion meal” before finally heading back to the campus after a busy day.
It’s my third week here. Just 9 more days till home. I’ll start off my blog by saying I’m a very heavy sleeper. Due to my heavy sleep, I tend to have an empty mind during the period of bodily rejuvenation. However, for the first time in months, I had 2 consecutive dreams. They were both very similar. In my dreams I was back home in Korea with my family and friends. There are many ways to interpret dreams, but I’ve interpreted these dreams a message from my brain saying, “We need to go home, now.” It was really fun here. I love the people and enjoy exploring the culture. Literally I’ve become bros with the guys here. However, I’m longing to go home to Korea. As Confucius said, “Never deny your heart of its needs.” Just kidding, I don’t think he said that. I bet you initially believed he said that. But in all seriousness, I enjoyed the times I had, but it’s time to go home.
So here I am again writing this blog thingy. So what has happened this last week? Well we have started getting in the groove of things. Wake up, go get breakfast, go to class for three hours (with ten minute breaks every forty-five minutes), get lunch, head to our Chinese arts class (which we just switched, I just started Tai Chi), meet up on second floor, head out on a little outing where we have to ask Chinese people stuff, come back and have dinner, and, finally go to bed. So that’s what happens every day, but now it’s the weekend so today we started off by going to a bunch of places not worth mentioning, but what is worth mentioning is that we went to see a performance in which my Tai Chi teacher participated. There was Kung Fu, swords, spears and pandas! You might be wondering “did he just say panda?” and I reply by saying “yes, I did”. There were a bunch of people dressed up as pandas and the whole performance was around two pandas going the city to learn Kung Fu. The Kung Fu performance was amazing but I just lost interest every time the pandas came on stage.Beijing Academy Student Posts from July 17! More Student Updates from the Beijing Academy! Today's Student Updates from the Beijing Academy!