Today it was smoggy, 25% humidity and 34 degrees F, but we went to see the Forbidden City (Imperial City) anyway. The complex and grounds are as big the Mall in D.C. It is undergoing renovation for the O8 Olympics. If you have visited old cathedrals in Europe, you know that everything, every item, every part of the structure has a meaning or was done in a certain way, not just for function, but to teach or say something. That is the way it is with the City. The way the buildings are arranged, the symbols of power at doorways or on roofs, the ancient name of the buildings are all meant to convey a meaning and carry with them the implication of power. Size, position, color, decor are all meaningful. A Chinese national lady, Mary, who guided us through the grounds and explained each detail to us was wonderful. We enjoyed her company appreciated her detailed knowledge of the City. If anyone wants an excellent guide of the Great Wall sites or any area of Beijing, contact Mary on her website. I have also placed her site on the list of other web sites on my main page.
Since the sun is down by 5 PM, we had very little time to visit the Hutoung complex around the City but they are worth the tour and usually done by bicycle rickshaw.
Supper was very un-Chinese at TGIF’s with Mexician food. Good as the states. I got to use a fork. I think that is why Americans are so overweight. If we used chopsticks, we would eat a lot less. 😉