If you know me, you know that I believe British TV is the best and no one can make movies like the French. But on our 13 hour Air China flight we had the chance to watch several Asian movies (as well as the option to watch American, but who cares, right?). It’s so funny because on the flight to Beijing I was hesitant but on the return flight I was excited. Now I am in love with Asian cinema and I have a feeling that my Netflix suggestions are about to change.
Here is a list of a few movies I saw and loved.
- Finding Mr. Right
- Best Supporting Actor
- So Young
Do you have a favorite Asian movie? I’d love to know.
The Temple of Heaven in the largest temple complex in China and a paradigm of Chinese architectural balance and symbolism. During each winter solstice ,the Ming and Qing emperors would perform rites and make sacrifices to heaven praying for good harvest for their empire. The most striking edifice is the “Hall of Prayer and Good Harvests“, which according to the emperor’s Fengshui masters, is the exact point where heaven and earth met. In this spot was a marble slab where the Emperor prayed and we stood on it. Even though I believe the Emperor prayed to a different God than I believe in, I only pray to my God. I do this wherever I go because I know that I’m protected by Jesus at all times.
It was crazy to see the old ovens where sacrifices were actually burned. It made me think of the Old Testament and really brought it to life in a new way for me. This stuff really happened!
I’ve always had a thing for birds and I’m not afraid of heights. So I think that if I were an architect I’d create a stadium much like the Bird’s Nest. This is where the epic 2008 Olympics were held. By the way, if you have never seen the opening ceremony show put on by the Chinese, you have to see it. We didn’t hang out here for too long, it was more for the photo opps. But a few things that I noticed and found interesting were that people were drinking bottled milk like it was going out of style. Also, one of our friends on the tour with us crossed paths with a beautiful Chinese girl and they smiled. He wanted to talk to her but the language barrier squashed that. It was painful to witness :).
On our free day in Beijing we decided to check out this spot called 798. Jeff recommended it and said it was the art center within the city. Cab drivers couldn’t take us there because it’s tucked away in an abandoned warehouse district. I’m guessing it’s a bit hipster-ish for this reason. Anyway, it was art heaven. Something interesting happened at 798. The day before we went I remember praying and asking Jesus, “I know that you are everywhere but where are you in Beijing?” I kid you not we saw His name all day long after I prayed that. Around the corner from 798 His name was sprayed on walls. And within the walls and along the fringe vendors sold Christ related gifts.
I guess it was shocking to me because I was told that the church was underground and that religion in general is frowned upon. Maybe Jesus is just hanging out with the creative types in the city?
The Summer Palace is what it sounds like. It was the summer home to the Emperor. Here are two facts you should know about it.
- The water you see is a man made lake.
- The Emperor ordered the workers have their hands chopped off so that they could never recreate it.
Clarence got a cool Chinese version of himself on a plate for basically $2. Also, there were several international groups checking the palace out from places like France, Japan and Spain. There was a boat made of pure marble on the water. It’s just a different way lot living, isn’t it?
One can dream.
I can show you the wooooooorld! Take you wonder by woooooooonder :).
The closest I have ever been to seeing one of the wonders of the world is the Alamo. Yeah, that doesn’t count. It’s really hard to put the experience of The Great Wall into words so I hope that my photos and short video capture it. What I found so amazing with this wonder is that people built this wall. Human beings built a massive wall that is not only tall but thousands of miles long. And you know what cracked me up? We spoke to a few local people and they treated it as if it were no big deal because they were raised near it. And I’m over here practically drooling and falling over myself to get enough photos for the blog. Everyone in our tour group suddenly became 6 years old as we approached The Great Wall.
Have you had the chance to visit any of the Great Wonders of the world?
npthatsme: Cousin go to fb! It’s urgent!
lovelezlie: I can’t, it’s blocked in China. Everything ok?
npthatsme: No. Grandmama passed away. I’m so sorry to tell you like this over Instagram.
This conversation happened after I returned to my hotel from a night out in Beijing. My grandmother Rosa Mae had been sick for 13 years. Due to a series of strokes, she couldn’t walk or talk or take are of herself. Her children took care of her around the clock. I watched my dad and a handful of his siblings (there are 12 in total) reflect the love of Christ by laying down their lives and selflessly attending to their mother’s needs. What a cross they all had to carry!
She was laid to rest the day after Thanksgiving and it was such a beautiful funeral. Per her request we all sang “Jesus Loves Me“. And everyone who shared stories about her had tremendous love in their hearts. Everyone spoke about how much she loved God, she truly loved Him with all of her heart, soul and mind. And I’m so grateful that I am now able to carry her mantle of intercession. The inheritance our parents and grandparents leave us isn’t always financial.
Rosa was a faithful member of Bethesda Christian Church in San Antonio, TX for over 35 years and served as a member of the Ladies Prayer Group. She loved people and had a sweet, loving spirit. Rosa will truly be missed by all those who knew her and loved her.
One of my aunts had a dream exactly one week before she passed away. In the dream she was running in a green field (in perfect health) towards my grandfather and uncle, who have both passed away. I’m happy she is finally at peace and I look forward to seeing her one day again. I can’t imagine facing death without knowing Christ and the promise of eternal life.
The cool thing about traveling with China Spree is that you always have downtime, especially in the evenings. I personally think the best way to experience any city is with a resident if possible. Well, we were blessed because one of Clarence’s friends from high school lives in Beijing and took us around town two nights in a row. I can honestly say that we partied like a pop star because Jeff is an actual pop star in China. He’s so chill and down to earth and it was so fun for me to see Clarence hang out with an old friend. In Beijing they hang out until 5am, much like Ibiza. And as tired as we were from the time change and site seeing with our group there was no way we were going to miss this :). So we did it, no regrets. I’m thankful to Jeff for showing us the new Beijing and introducing me to my first Beijing friend, Sarah.
I discovered that when I have my camera I am a major people watcher, without it not so much. We couldn’t get annoyed with people asking to take photos with Clarence because I was taking photos of everyone I passed that caught my eye. I felt people snap my photo from afar as well. One of the things that I love about traveling is that I get to see how different we are but also how much we are alike. We found a group of locals playing dominoes, HELLO! There are so many beautiful and interesting people around the world, I can’t wait to meet more of them.
I’ve never been big on negotiating prices when I shop. I have always preferred a fixed, but great, price. However, we decided to check out Silk Street with another California couple vacationing in Beijing and I must say it was entertaining. The way it goes down inside this place is like this -
- You see something you like and ask how much it cost.
- They give you a RIDICULOUS price.
- You laugh and offer 1/10th of the price.
- They laugh and then proceed to flatter you with compliments or why they like you with a slightly lower price. She told Kassi she was pretty and tried to connect with me ethnically, asking if I was half Chinese.
- You continue to go back and forth.
- They tell you that you are crazy (usually).
- You walk out of the store as they shout a lower price.
- They finally give you the item for the price you offered last (if you walk out the store).
- If you don’t walk out of the store then you will pay more than you should.
After that little shopping excursion we ate lunch at a local restaurant. Check out the to-go container for Clarence’s noodles.