Beijing to Xi’an – Day 4

Thanks for bearing with us….we are now back to internet access at the hotel in Xi’an (pronounced she-ann).

On our final morning in Beijing we visited a private elementary boarding school. It was interesting to see a change in our girls behavior while we were at the school. There was no joking and messing around and all the girls were on their best behavior. This boarding school houses the children dormitory style with four to a room with two bunk beds and a small bath to each room. The school children live at the school from Monday through Friday and then return home on the weekends. Following a Chinese school shooting not long ago, schools are no longer open to visitors; in fact this school only allows one parent to pick up or drop off their student.  So glad we had connections as Tu’s daughter was a student there. This school is a language school. The children we visited were in the third grade (about age 10). We were able to participate in their English class. I think this was a great experience for both parents and all the students (the visiting ones and those in the class).

Lunch was at a hotel with an Chinese and Western buffet. The kids, big ones and small ones including adults, were all thrilled to have ice cream for dessert. This was the first ice cream since we left the States.  Ice cream flavors in the buffet are unique and included: kiwi, cherry, peach, green tea, strawberry, some sort of nut and chocolate that tasted like a tootsie roll. Marc’s favorite was the peach. I think we each had two bowls full!

The afternoon was spent by attempting to learn how to tie Chinese knots and paper cutting. This turned out to be a lot more challenging than we anticipated. Becca did a great job with the paper cutting. Tim and Jenae hung in there on the paper cutting right up until the end.

Next was the best part of my day….shopping! We had about 1.5 hours at the “fish” market to do some power shopping. We decided to divide and conquer. Tim took our guide, Chiara (I may have her name spelled wrong), to the third floor for pearl shopping. Those two did a great job—I love the way the bargaining happens in these markets. The vendors have a whole different and reduced price when a Chinese speaking person is involved. On that note: Celia, Rae, Kris and Ann you will be pleased to know we were successful in the pearl market.

I would have loved to shop more but we had reservations to eat the Beijing Duck (also known as Peking Duck). The meal was good and we left for the train station with all of our stomachs “Thanksgiving full”.

Our train departed Beijing headed direct to Xi’an for a non-stop 11 hour trip. We traveled on a Z train which is the fastest with no stops. As a note to remember the Z plus the number trains are the fastest and the T then the number trains are the slowest. Each family had a private sleeper compartment for four people. Mia and Becca called the top bunk and Tim and I slept on the bottom bunks. Next compartment over was Lois and Jenae in bottom bunks and Marc and Chiara in top bunks. Marc enjoyed the train except for the cigarette smoke coming from down the hall. (A lot of Chinese men smoke…) We were all rocked to sleep by the movement of the train.

Goodbye Beijing!


One Response to “Beijing to Xi’an – Day 4”

  1. Trina says:

    Love the picture of all of you in the train :D