A few tidbits about China before I launch into the Summer Palace. First, one of the most popular cars here is the BUICK. It is the number one General Motors line here and is very popular. There are also quite a few Toys R Us stores. So just because something disappears in America doesn’t mean it isn’t thriving somewhere else. Next, the people here talk very shrill and loud. It’s almost as if they are yelling at each other all the time…And they don’t really honor personal space. Whether driving or walking, if you are in the space, you own it. Some of the places we go get pretty crowded… Often older ladies will push right past or almost through me to get to a spot. I could easily have knocked some of them down if I was Chinese. On the other hand, the people here seem very curious of us as foreigners, and treat us well. Once again, especially for people from the outlying countryside, I don’t think they see many foreigners and are fascinated by my general size, blue eyes, and grey hair. Occasionally someone will ask for a photo, and others gather around and watch the procession.
I have gotten into the routine of asking them for a return photo, which is graciously received and granted. Even Mrs Bear gets in on the action !!!
Finally, a little feedback about The Chinese family structure. It starts when a young person decides to leave his / her rural village and move to a city. They hook up with a second and rent an apartment, usually a studio. At about age 28, there is s marriage. The couple will have a child and buy a small two bedroom. Later, the husband’s parents will come to live with the children, and there will be a relocation to a three bedroom high rise. This is why parents really wanted a male child in the era of one-child only edicts from the government…A child who will eventually help take care of you in your old age.
Ok, the Summer Palace…
The Summer Palace is actually a huge park that contained the summer residence of the Emperor as well as a large lake and Temple complex It allowed the Emporer to escape the heat of the city, and the local people live coming here in the summer… Hence the name: The Summer Palace. Two of the Palace residential buildings can be seen above. But my favorite feature was the “Long Corridor.” Mrs Bear and I are standing in it above…It is over 700 meters long, and the artwork on the panels is never repeated. It was amazing to walk down this pathway, and once again be reminded that the Chinese never do anything small.
A few more pics above. The lake, a photo from outside the long corridor, and the Temple on the hill. I also tried to download a video taken while walking in the corridor, but I can’t tell if it loaded properly. If it did, pay attention to the sounds as well as the sights.