September 19th, 2009 – by: csusb1
Arriving in Beijing
We were welcomed to the city of Beijing
by a magnificent dinner show on the sixth floor of the Silk Alley. The show conveyed a very peculiar character, dressed in a traditional Chinese attire and whom randomly would change the mask he was wearing...fast and efficiently. It was quite obvious that he didn't change the mask manually but rather used a sort of detector that would trigger the change at any desired moment; and the main course consisted of Peking Duck. That same night, after our dinner, we put into practice our bargaining skills and went around the alley trying to get the best price for bargains our crew thought were out of the ordinary. During such, we learned that most of the short-tempered vendors in the alley spoke more than just ordinary English phrases; that is, some of the people in our group were able to carry conversations with the vendors in Spanish, English, and even Portugues.
The upcoming morning we went to University of Science and Technology Beijing, in order to study the current economic status of China, and also to tour the campus. There were three students escorting us around the campus. They showed us some of the buildings within the university's grounds that hold historical relevance, and also the newly added library, bookstore and student store. Following the campus tour, we were taken for a traditional western style lunch. After we were all equally stuffed, we all carried conversations and shared thoughts on the many differences and similarities our cultures have. After the meal, we left for our visit and short overview of the Sinosteel Corporation Beijing. The company is a big player in the steel industry in China and the world; nonetheless, they welcomed us and gave us the opportunity to see and learn about their organizational structure, current development status, and ambitious long-term goals.
Thursday morning. The first stop was the China Beijing Equity Exchange headquarters. Here, we had the pleasure of sitting down and lectured by the Chairman and the top executive of the Beijing Exchange. They acknowledge the fact that the Beijing Equity Exchange is not the traditional model used in the United States. Unlike the American Equity Exchange model, in China, all transactions are "transparent" and "public" for the market to see and bid on. They operate on an auction model whereby once listed on the exchange, anyone can bid on assets being sold. Our lecture was followed by a lunch at the nearby Westin Hotel. Once again we received great treatment and were delightfully satisfied. Later that same day, we continued our cultural activities in Beijing by visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
Red pillars engraved with gold Chinese characters, which will be used to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the PRC on October 1st of the present year, surrounded the vast area of the square; however, this didn't immediately drew our attention, but the enormous lively portrait of Chairman Mao Tse Tung, founder of the PRC and national symbol of the Chinese people, standing on the gate-wall of the forbidden city, drew some immediate attention. Trying to cross the gates and enter the city was not an easy task, as it became difficult to walk through the hundreds of visitors and vendors that were there, admiring the portrait of Chairman Mao, or doing the same thing we were intending to do. Once indoors, our tour guide, Mary, explained to us that The Forbidden City was constructed under the emperor Chou Di, during the Ming dynasty period.
After touring the city for approximately ninety minutes, we were not able to continue and were forced to leave. After this arduous trek, we were taken to a dinner show, which featured a shadow show featuring a turtle, crane, and two little frogs. The shadow show was followed by a traditional Chinese folk show.