Friday, September 30, 2011

A Few Pics from China

In case it's been awhile since you looked at my blog- here is our most recent story in a "nutshell". On Sep. 3, Ron traveled to Beijing, China to work there for a month. On Sep. 14 he was in the hospital having surgery to remove his appendix and part of his large intestine. His appendix had ruptured, but it had ruptured on the side that is insulated with a layer of fat. That layer contained the infection until the surgeon was removing the appendix. The appendix was so infected that part of his large intestine was also infected. Since the surgery was more complicated than a normal appendectomy, his stay in the hospital was almost 1 week. (He was released from the hospital on Sep. 20.) I left Houston early in the morning on Sep.17 and arrived in Beijing on Sunday afternoon, Sep. 18. After they released Ron from the hospital, we stayed in a Marriott hotel until Saturday, Sep. 24- then we flew back to Houston. On one afternoon I went to the Forbidden City and on another afternoon I went to the Great Wall of China. The hospital, the hotel, and the office building, where ConocoPhillips is located, are all in the northeast part of Beijing. Here are a few pictures from there.


At the Great Wall.


There are several places in China, where you can go to the Great Wall. The location that we went to, was about 1 1/2 hours from Beijing. It is one of the more "touristy" spots. On the way "up" to the wall there is this small cobblestone street lined with small markets of "stuff". I did buy a few items here. The amazing thing is that each little stand has exactly the same items as the others. There is great competition between vendors to persuade a customer to buy from them. Of course lots of bartering!! And of course, as soon as they spot an American tourist (with money :), the price goes up!! I prefer Wal Mart, with a bargain price (?) posted right on the item. hehe
(I will post some pics. later of the treasures, I brought home :)

This is the building were ConocoPhillips is located there.


A couple of restaurants on the street between the hotel and the office building.
The one on the right is a Dairy Queen. The streets are very congested with cars, taxi cabs, bicycles, and pedestrians.

This was one of Ron's favorite restaurants- they serve Chinese dumplings here. Ron is pretty adventurous about trying foreign foods- I'm not so good at that. He was very patient with me, and let me be "picky".  

This is the Marriott, Beijing Northeast.

The reason I took this picture, is because Beijing is an interesting combination of prosperity and extreme poverty. Just behind this sign, near a very expensive, skyscraper hotel, is a "shack" community. You can just barely see one wall of the neighborhood, behind this sign. From the street it is hidden behind some trees, but from a window in the hotel, several floors above, it can be seen clearly. Basically, just walls, no windows or doors. I'm not sure if they have running water or electricity there. Many of the bathrooms in Beijing (even in the restaurants), are simply a hole in the floor- no toilets.





A couple of pics. from the Forbidden City. A place filled with history, tradition, superstition, and symbolism.

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