May 31, 2011
So it has been a while…
This weekend I had my first overnight train experience. We had to take a 12 hour train ride to Xi’an to see the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Huaqing Palace.
The Beijing Railroad Station is HUGE!
We fit 14 people into the sleeper car…
They even came around with a food/drink cart. (Like Hogwarts)
There was construction everywhere in Xi’an! Something interesting is that they use bamboo for scaffolding.
Then we arrived at the Terra Cotta Warriors. The whole thing was impressive and I can not believe all of these were hand made over 2,000 years ago.
After we ate a traditional dish eaten in Xi’an which was Chinese pancakes and beef. I thought it was tasty but our group had mixed feelings about it.
After lunch we went to the huaqing palace. This is a hot spring location, and was used by the emperor during the winter. I am starting to think it was not such a bad idea being an emperor. The Summer Palace as my summer home, Huaqing palace as my winter home, and the Forbidden City as my normal home…
After we ate at a Chinese Dumpling place which was delicious!!
And then…everyone back on the train. (I got very little sleep even though I had my own bed.)
When we arrived back at home our next stop was to visit a Chinese school. It was cool to hang out with the kids and talk to them, and all of them spoke english so that was nice as well. I sat in on a math class, and helped a few kids out with there home work. Good thing it was just algebra!!
Something a 4th grade boy I met wrote to his parents. I This is one of those priceless letters you save when you have kids.
The school had a lot of similarities and a lot of differences.
Kids were allowed to be on their phones in class, or could be reading a book or sleeping. It was more like if you want to succeed you will listen and do your work. If you don’t want to succeed we aren’t going to make you.
They had lockers, but they used magnetic bracelets to open them, versus a padlock.
In general it just seemed like they had more freedom, I thought going in the school was going to be strict, but it was very lenient.
Their business class operated a coffee shop, which I thought was a pretty cool idea. It taught the kids accounting, business, and communication skills.
I apologize for not blogging as much as I would like but between the busy schedule and a SUPER slow internet it makes it pretty difficult. I only get internet here from 6am till about 8am and then it just gets jammed up….