Thursday, 27 November 2008

Life is good in Beijing

Last night we were invited to have dinner with the people from the British Council. We ate a lot (as you do in China) and had a great night out. The British Council people had been living in Beijing (or elsewhere in China) for a while, so we could ask them a lot of questions.
They all spoke Mandarin, which I thought was very impressive.

Today, Dave, Bob and I went to the 798 Art District, at the edge of the city. It is an industrial complex built by the East Germans in the 50s that has been turned into what is probably best described as an art village. Gallery after gallery in the most amazing spaces.

This is the Originality Square.

And this is some of the art we found there.

After that we took a taxi back into town (taxis are incredibly cheap here, in fact so is food), and went for a walk along the artificial lakes west of the Forbidden City.

The path along the lake was very peaceful for most of it. At one point there were a lot of tourist tat shops, but we ignored them all.

This was the peaceful bit.

And this was one of the lakeside guidelines. We were good children and obeyed the rules.

Then Dave tried out some of the fitness equipment. The Chinese really work on their physical health, they go jogging, stretch, and use these kinds of adult's playgrounds to keep in shape.

This is the entrance to where we perform. Only, it's not where we play. On the first day we all got confused, because what happens is you have to walk around this theatre to get to where we play.

This is where we play. It's a great space and suits us to the bone.

Today the warm-up game was Chinese football, which is with a big shuttlecock. We were rubbish at it and all the ushers laughed at us.

Musical warm-up.

Some subtitles.

Some more subtitles.

After the show we went for dinner and ate some pigeon. This is the pigeon's head.

It's the second time we went to this restaurant - it's really good and close to the hotel. The woman who waits at the door to let people in wears a fur coat.

Yesterday I got a Chinese haircut. I like getting my hair cut in strange places, so I decided this had to be a winner. We all joked beforehand that because the Chinese are not used to curly hair, I might end up with straight black hair.

It didn't end up black, but boy was it straight. The hairdresser worked very hard and got an incredible result: I've never seen my hair like this before.

The next morning, however, it was back to normal.

I would like to add that this is probably the best and most precise haircut I've ever had. But I prefer my own curls.

Tomorrow morning we will leave at 8am to go to THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!

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