Sunday, April 20, 2008

the wall of greatness

china has been a wonderful surprise. all of our preconceived ideas of an old, shabby infrastructure and ancient, far away place have been shattered. come august, beijing will give the world an impressive olympic show. china is almost ready, and the olympic spirit is everywhere! olympic flags, a "no spitting" policy, olympic souvenir shops, vast amounts of chinese lanterns, 90,000 more police on the street, a tienanmen square that has a 7 o'clock curfew... these are all signs that china is getting ready for the world. we passed the "bird's nest" stadium, and it looks fantastic. yesterday, we ventured outside of beijing and took a cable car to some of the best preserved portions of the great wall. at the top of beautiful grey mountain ridges, we walked along a wall that has been in existence for over 2000 years. everything about the wall was impressive... the enormous stones, the ancient architecture, the great history, the beautiful chinese landscapes. it was absolutely incredible. someone thought of a very creative way to make more money at the great wall... instead of taking the cable car down again, we took a super fun toboggan ride to the base! joe went first, and i followed! we went straight down the whole way! the chinese workers kept yelling at us to slow down, but we just nodded to them as we zoomed past at full speed!! i'll be honest, the toboggan ride was a close second to the great wall! we've been blessed (once again) to have some wonderful hosts along our journey. we are reaping kindness from a student my grandparents taught english to while they were living in china over 20 years ago. our host got us settled in to our hotel (no one speaks english there) and he helped us understand some very important information from the front desk. he translated: "you should know that it is common to find long centipedes and scorpions in your room. if there is a problem, just call the front desk and they will take care of things for you." so... these are the phrases that we know in chinese: "hello" "thank you" "how are you?" and "scorpion".

10 comments:

anjuli paschall said...

yeah china, olympics, walls, love and lanterns- but no spitting!
hi! did you get my last email? just wondering if it went thru- last week. love you!

Ireney said...

So a question from fan here, how does one toboggan ride down the great wall of China? Can you give us an explanation. Please! It sounds pretty exciting!

We have a semi-exciting event...little Chloe finally sat through a whole movie...and totally interested. Since she loves sea life...Finding Nemo was an excellent choice! Just a little update! hee hee
Love you guys!

Wichit Maneevone said...

I wish I were there with you. Havea great and wonderful time in China. More photos. Love, Dad

Smik said...

You guys have take some great photos - obviously they must be coming from Wanida. They are creative, unique, interesting and often make me want to gather up my little family (dog included) and take off again...

Melissa said...

wish I could have stepped on those stones with you both... but even more-wish I could have seen your face while zipping down in a toboggan. :)

Debbie said...

Wanida. Did you make Joe walk back up all of those stairs for that award winning picture? I mean, it really is a great picture, but little Joey looks a bit dejected. I love your life right now - so surreal and lovely.

Adam K said...

Just thinking about you guys today. Keep living the adventure!

pandamonium said...

Ni Hao. Xie xie. Ni hao ma? I don't know scorpion so you got me there.

Tatum said...

Love it! Your pictures are incredible and I cannot wait to one day relive your excursions through China. I especially love the fact the Joe picked out the fish you ate for lunch. We need to bring that to America! Talk about incredible service :)
love you guys and miss you -
tates

Mackenzie said...

hey guys...i just talked to anj and she said you guys are in portugal with the sawyers. have fun! portugal is a beautiful country!! give those sawyers a big hug from the abrahams ;)