From the monthly archives:

March 2009

From the curtain calls it is easy to see that why Chinese consider this show to be strictly for tourists: cheesy, gaudy, and full of Kung Fu cliches. But it is the same with all the Kung Fu (and Wuxia) movies that we love. So why not just admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this show? There is no shame in this…

The Legend of Kung Fu at Red Theatre. Turns out they are such a well-organized attraction that they have a nice website with preview clips.

FWIW, uploaded the curtain calls I videotaped as a proof that I was there…

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These picture shows the slippery slope up the Great Wall. It was snowing and bitterly cold when we were up there. We couldn’t even walk up to the very top of this section of the Great Wall. My 6 yo ran up and couldn’t get down on his own. So I had to pull myself up along the railing, and then slid down the middle of the wall on my behind with my 6 yo doing the same ahead of me. It was so slippery that even sitting on the seat of my jeans, I still needed to try and grab the surface with my gloved hands and shoes as much as I could to stop myself from sliding all the way down to the landing.
People were laughing but probably also envying my courage in making a fool of myself. LOL.
So many people were wearing suits and dress shoes. And we even saw women in high heels. I cannot even imagine how they got where they were in those!

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The said Concubine Zhen entered the palace when she was thirteen and soon became the Emperor’s favorite. I guess the Emperor’s still-young (according to the modern standard) windowed mother, the Empress Dowager Cixi was not too fond of this fact.
There are so many titillating stories about Cixi. I often wonder whether she was born evil or was forced by circumstances to grow into such a ruthless power-hungry figure.
On our outings to admire the various palaces, I could not help but tell my eldest the horror stories behind the grandeur of Chinese dynasties, including what it means to be an eunuch and what it takes to bind a woman’s feet.
I think I have forever scarred him. “All that glitters is not gold.”
Mission accomplished.

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I didn’t know that you need a Chinatown in China…

March 30, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet ’nuff said.

So proud of my boys; they sat through 2-hour Chinese opera last night after a day at the Great Wall & Ming Tombs

March 30, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet without understanding a single word in the play.   Not that many Chinese adults can say that, I can attest to that.

If you think turtles are cute, how about turtles with head of dragon? They are everywhere…

March 30, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet At one of the Ming Tombs (resting place of one of the thirteen Emperors during the Ming Dynasty)… and inside the Forbidden City.

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My first picture taken inside the Forbidden City is a sign that warns against vandalism

March 30, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Tweet Mind you, the grammar is correct.  But nobody speaks this way.  And this sign is everywhere inside the Forbidden City.   It always amazes me that folks cannot seem to find other folks that can properly translate a language into another language. I believe even if you go on Yahoo! Answers and ask your language […]

Would you want to have your wedding picture taken with Chairman Mao? Apparently lots of newly weds do.

March 30, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Tweet

Speaking of tourist trap, how about let’s just forgo all pretenses, and admit that this is all for commercialism

March 30, 2009 marketing at work

Tweet and souvenir shopping is the main reason why you are all here? The exhibit of the Emperor Sedan is now directly inside this souvenir shop. Pay and you get to have a picture taken with it, up close and personal. Pay more you get to move to the left side, where you can dress […]

Bird Nest in Beijing: A sad sight in contrast to its glory during 2008 Olympics

March 30, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet The official name for the Olympic Stadium in Beijing IS Bird Nest. It is NOT just a nick name. Chinese people justifiably feel pride in this world’s largest steel structure. Groups after groups of domestic visitors lovingly crowd around the dirty, not-well-maintained mascots to have their pictures taken. I am hoping that China will […]