Friday, October 16, 2009-Our final day in China.
This being our final day in Beijing and in China, there were still many things to see and to purchase. Gerald, Ellen, Trish, Joe, Marion, and Judy arranged a guided tour to the Forbidden City, a visit to a teahouse and a trip to Hard Rock-Beijing; while Robert and I had to complete the last minute arrangements and logistics for our container and had a few small items left to purchase.
The Forbidden City tour group very much enjoyed their guided hours in this gilded palace-city, once forbidden entry to anyone but the royal Chinese court. It is another site in China that inspires awe while being so aesthetically pleasing.
The last-minute shopping group was able to make sure that all furniture and small items purchased were paid for, would be packaged and placed in a container, and shipping to the USA arranged. Lily of Lily’s Furniture and her excellent staff are given all the credit for all arranging all of these logistics.
For our last night in Beijing, we planned a farewell dinner of Peking duck at Beijing’s most famous Peking duck restaurant and a Chinese acrobat show at a downtown theatre.
The Peking duck dinner was fabulous. The secret of the duck is being crunchy on the outside, while being moist and tasty on the inside. We were somewhat worried that we would have to carve the whole duck with our chopsticks but part of the restaurant’s presentation is that the server carves the duck at the table. In addition to the tasty duck, the table was filled with many other Chinese delicacies and treats, but somehow after a few minutes, all the serving trays were empty but our stomachs were filled.
With our stomachs filled, luckily, we were not the ones that would have to do all the acrobats at the show. Beijing features a few acrobat shows. The show we attended this evening was billed as the best in Beijing. Previously Robert and I had seen other acrobat shows in Shanghai and in Beijing and I do agree that this show was the best. The exclamations of “Amazing!”, “How can they do that?”, “They are so young!”, “What skill and talent!”, and others do not adequately convey what these young boys and girls accomplish. I think some of them were as young as 6 or 7 years old and maybe the oldest was 20. They bent their bodies in various configurations while balancing on one hand, jumped through hoops while doing tumbles, jumped through the air, rode 12 to a bicycle, etc, etc.
I sat behind Trish during the performance and was so tickled to watch her head shaking no in disbelief throughout most of the performance. The others in our group were equally impressed. Judy was a bit relieved when it was over, because I had told her I had offered her as an audience participant. Maybe it was the wine during dinner that provoked my offer.
Returning to our hotel after an excellent meal and an amazing performance, we gathered in the hotel lobby bar for our last time together. Each of our groups were returning home via different airlines and departing at different times from Beijing. We ordered drinks to toast to China, to our amazing journey and to rehash our experiences and impressions and our new friendships.
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