A New Mode of Transportation

thumbnail_IMG_2994.jpgThere are many modes of transportation here in Beijing, but this week we experienced one that set itself apart from any other.

The most common ways of getting around in Beijing are by walking, catching the bus, or taking the subway. On the way to church we use all three modes of transportation. This Sunday we added another way to our portfolio. After church we decided to grab lunch with some of our new friends. The restaurant was a few blocks down the road so we decided to pile as many people as we could into their motor-scooter they fondly call “trike”. In the end we crammed 9 people onto the cart. Their 5 year old daughter Lily immediately instructed us to take of our shoes, and after this procedure was carried out, off we went. (The moms walk with the strollers) Now, as I’ve said before, our outings attract attention in and of themselves so you can only imagine the stares and smiles we received bumping down the road. (This gave a whole new meaning to the term “clown car”) We survived the Chinese traffic, which is an achievement as well. It was a short ride, but it saved us the energy of walking, so we were all happy. But when we really needed the scooter was during the walk home from the bus stop, which we fondly call “The Walk of Terror”.

-Audrey

 

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A Chinese Pool Party

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A large part Ochsner Family summer is usually spent in the water, but because of our move we did not set up our pool or get many opportunities for swimming before we left. The weather here in Beijing is equivalent to the heat of Kansas City, but much more humid. Almost every day it has been in the upper 80s to mid 90s, but it always “feels like” about 100 degrees because of the humidity. The summer weather in Oklahoma is usually that warm, or even warmer, but in Oklahoma we don’t spend as much time outside in heat. Yesterday, we had finally reached our breaking point and decided we just had to jump in the pool, no matter how far we had to go to find one. And so another adventure began…  Continue reading “A Chinese Pool Party”

Two Things That Take Some Getting Used To

This past Saturday we took an adventure to the National Museum of China. Though the museum was interesting in and of itself, getting there was definitely the real adventure.

IMG_5517This is a picture of one of the many instances that we were asked to take pictures during this adventure. And when I say many instances, I’m talking over twenty times throughout the trip. I was even asked once in the bathroom. We joked that we could be a museum exhibit ourselves. Here in China, people just stare when we pass. It’s so different then what we’re used to in the US, where we are proud of diversity. There, no one stares or asks to take pictures, but things are different very here.  At the end of the day we were so done with people taking pictures and staring, but I guess it’s just something we’ll have to get used to.

IMG_5539Another thing that we got to experience this trip were lines. Actually, I don’t know that they could actually be called lines, they were more of blobs. Here in China there are no turns; if what you want is available, you just take it. Also, when there are lines, they are in the strangest places. From the time we walked out of the subway station to the time we went into the National Museum, we waited in about 5 lines which look just about exactly like the picture above. Needless to say, while being here we have learned to fight for what we want (and have had many opportunities to practice our patience too!). 😉

Once we actually got into the museum, there were some really awesome exhibits. We visited the Ancient China display, and one of the oldest things we saw was supposedly from 5000 BC. It was amazing to get to see so many things that were around even before Jesus’ time on Earth.

Eventually we began the journey home, and resolved to not take any more adventures on the weekends to avoid crowds. Saturday was definitely a long day.

I’m sure by the time we come home, we will be seasoned pros at turn snatching and picture posing, but for now, we are still looking for new ways to adjust to our new environment and trying to figure out how to make chocolate chip cookies with out an oven. We’ll let you know if we figure that one out…

-Audrey

The Old Summer Palace

20160728_080610.jpgIMG_5446.JPGLast Thursday we took a trip to our first historical site here in China, the Old Summer Palace. It wasn’t the Summer Palace that most people visit, but one even older than that. It was built around colonial times. The palace (which isn’t really a palace anymore, only ruins) was surrounded by a beautiful garden which we enjoyed walking through before entering the ruins. There were awesome marble bridges and hoards of lotus growing in the ponds. It cost slightly more to get into the ruins, but it was definitely worth it. Our total cost to get 7 people in both the park and the ruins was 105 yuan (which is about 15 US dollars), which is pretty inexpensive considering the awesome things we saw. Continue reading “The Old Summer Palace”