The Forbidden City - Revealed! (Sort of)
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Forbidden City - Revealed! (Sort of)
But the topic of conversation at the moment is the proper way to eat roasted melon seeds. And I have just received a stern lecture. Apparently the female workers here have been giggling about how I tend to suck and chew on the whole seed, instead of just cracking it open to get at the meaty part inside. After the lesson, I was told that "Americans. No do." I think she means we have no cultural aptitude. Hmm... perhaps the fact that I order BEER in a tea house should have been the first clue?
Yesterday, I walked for what seemed like miles. Past
today I started early in the morning, and allowed myself plenty of time to
wander in the footsteps of the
Breaking the rules
So after the 3-hour walk though the Forbidden City (now re-named the "Palace Museum" by the Communist Party, by the way), I walked to the only "mountain" in Beijing. It was created by all of the dirt that was removed from the moat that surrounds the palace grounds. I trudged up hundreds of stairs to find the view that my guidebook promised would be "the best in the city."
But, guess what? After climbing all the way to the top, I found that all of the paths to the viewpoint had been cut off for "renovation." (Damn those 2008 Olympics!) But I had already climbed to the top, so I felt I was OWED a reward (My American sense of entitlement). So I managed to "not see" one of the DO NOT ENTER signs, and tucked under a fallen rope. Shortly, I found myself with a decent view of the whole city below. To be honest, the pictures sucked - due to the bad weather of this week. But at least I was smart enough (sneaky enough) to get what I came for. But within a few seconds, I heard banging on a metal sign, and a security guard was shouting at me. What was he saying? "Have a nice day?" "Hope you get a nice picture?" "Very clever of you to break the rules?" No... it was clear that I needed to get back in line with the masses. ButI'm giggling as I type this, 'cause it was a