This was our free day in Beijing, but we're exhausted! We started with a great buffet breakfast in our hotel, and then ventured out to find the LDS Church here. We were trying to go to the International branch, but found out the two congregations had combined for the summer, and they only had Sacrament meeting at 8:30. So, we attended Relief Society and Priesthood meeting instead. We met some very nice people and got a small sense of what it means to be LDS and living in China.
We enjoyed rice bowls with meat and vegetables for lunch. We were tempted to just go to McDonalds, but it was our first day here, and it somehow didn't seem right. We found fast food Chinese instead.
We followed our tour organizers suggestions for the rest of the day and went to the Silk Street shopping Center and Wangfujing Pedestrian street. The first reminded me of vendors in Mexico, but in a much nicer venue. The second was like a nice pedestrian mall in Europe. It rained in the afternoon, which seemed to cool things off a little, but didn't help much with the heat and humidity. We had an adventure using the metro, which was very efficient, and only costs about 32 cents each direction! That was a bargain!
There were some great shops, the best of which was an instrument shop where Amanda fell in love with a kulusi wind instrument, which was tuned to a pentatonic scaleThere were some great shops, the best of which was an instrument shop where Amanda fell in love with a kulusi wind instrument, which was tuned to a pentatonic scale
We ended up at dinner time at the DongHuaMen outdoor night market about dinner time. John talked us in to trying a special delicacy with a particularly pungent odor and fetid tast-- Stinky Tofu! We got also bought some potstickers, dumplings and fried bananas that were all delicious.
We didn't have the courage to try the fried insects—grasshoppers, crickets, silk worm pupae, scorpions and tarantulas!