So far, I have flown on a 13 hour flight to Beijing, taken a two hour bus ride through Beijing to get to the train station, and taken the bullet train to Shijiazhuang. Although the plane ride was long, I was upgraded to business class, so I am spoiled. My chair turned into a bed and I was served with real plates and glasses. The bus ride through Beijing was neat to see the city change as I traveled closer and closer to the center. The bullet train turned a 4 hour car ride into a 1 hour train ride, which was much appreciated after two full days of travel!
On Saturday, I went to school with Grace since it was the last day of school before the Chinese New Year Festival begins. After school, Grace and her friends took me to a mall to eat lunch, since they always go out for lunch on the last day of school before Chinese New Year. We ate fish soup, egg and mushroom soup served in a bread bowl, tofu with peanuts on top, beef that was similar to a pot roast, and of course white rice. The mall was not long like American malls are. Instead, it had 8 smaller floors so that it does not take up a whole city block of space.
After lunch, we went to the HeBei Province musuem, where we saw how an artist used a stone with carvings on it to "print" with ink. He used a brush to spread ink on the stone and then pressed a paper on it to transfer the ink. It was very interesting. Then the artist will use another stone and a different color ink to continue making the picture. I also watched another artist make clay monkey figurines, since it is the year of the monkey.
The museuem had lots of neat artifacts that had been dug up in fields or excavated from tombs. The problem with tombs in China is that many people steal the artifacts. This statue of a woman, for example, is missing a head becuase it has been stolen and is supposedly located in both an English and a French museum. I really enjoyed seeing the china (pottery) and the ways it has changed since ancient times. The museum was so large that I will have to go back to finish looking at everything later.
After the musuem, Grace's mom took me to the supermarket in a different mall, (There are three malls total!), to buy new clothes to wear for Chinese New Year. I got to see how different sizing works in China! In the US, I am usually around a medium. In China, I am a 6XL!
I am not sure how often I will post, but I will try to post relatively often!