My Spiritual Giant

The Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing.

After dinner, The Kid turned to me and said, “Mom, today in Church no one really talked about Palm Sunday.” He was disappointed and concerned.

I’ve known from the time he was young, The Kid was gifted not only in intellect but also in compassion towards others. He is my Spiritual Giant, even in his youth.

The Crane

Forbidden City, Beijing.

According to United Studios of Self Defense, “The Crane is noted for its balance, gracefulness and agility. It represents longevity and teaches us concentration and patience. It has a calm, quiet nature.” I need to channel some Crane tonight. I’m busying working on Church invitations, lessons and musical performance and ironing clothes for the early morning rush. Please pardon the brief post, but photos of the Hutongs are coming soon.

Temple of Heaven Part 2

Fire pits.

Forgive me if I seem distracted tonight. While we were eating dinner, a giant cockroach flew in through our kitchen window. The Hubs is gone and The Circus and I ran around screaming our little heads off. Then, the bar in my closet broke and my clothes were strewn everywhere. It was an “Our pets’ heads are falling off!” moment.

The Circus is snug as bugs (shudder) in their beds. And I am considering contending with the roach under the glass jar in my kitchen. It’s been doused liberally with kitchen cleaner. Somehow, the bugs come out of hiding when The Hubs is gone. I suppose they can smell fear a mile away.

Back to the Temple of Heaven. I am intrigued by all of the symbolism and use of numerology. Have you read about the Temple of Heaven, yet?
The Circular Mound Altar was fascinating. The number of stones were of the sacred number nine or nonuples. The Heart of Heaven, or center stone, is where the emperor prayed.
The Kid, praying for more sunshine.

Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. Or cockroaches.

Temple of Heaven Part 1


On our last day in Beijing, we made a quick stop at the Temple of Heaven. It was near closing time, so we hurried through the three main sites.

Inside the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.

The Circus, enjoying it.

Perhaps I felt rushed or tired. Or a bit frustrated with my photos; the lighting was too bright or shadowed or fading. Regardless, I wish I had enjoyed the Temple of Heaven more, like The Circus. I hope you’ll read about it. More photos to come.

Wangfujing, Bug Free

No more bugs, I Pinky Stinky promise.

In my exuberance to share what I deem an interesting aspect of another culture, I fear I’ve alienated some of my readers with too many creepy crawlies. I don’t blame you one bit. I could barely kill the little spider in The Kid’s room yesterday without stifling a small scream of terror. (Arachnophobia is real!) But fear not, as intriguing as the bug eats are, Wangfujing offers a myriad of other snacks.

Meatballs and fishballs with goji berries. Speaking of goji berries, my father grew them in our backyard in Utah. I have wonderful childhood memories of my grandmother picking and drying goji berries, every summer.

Roasted chestnuts. This is how I envision Christmastime, courtesy of Nat King Cole. With Jack Frost nipping at your nose. But not necessarily with a billion Chinese people.

Flat dumpling wraps.

Chinese gyro.

Stinky tofu. Don’t ask. The smell is beyond repulsive. But my parents will enjoy this photo.

Egg wraps or Chinese burritos.

Crackers and cookies.

Better than bugs, eh?

Wangfujing By Night

Welcome to my one hundredth post. Huzzah!
Originally, I had planned on a Great Wall photo for post number one hundred. But in my eagerness, I’ve already posted Mutianyu. I sought for something just as spectacular.

We returned to Wangfujing the night before we left Beijing.

Remember the spiders on a stick?

Mmmmm…how about some Chinese churrasco?

This brave woman is from Holland. They must enjoy all forms of protein there. She told us the scorpions tasted better.
I couldn’t find anyone eating the large scorpions. So we went back to the small scorpion stand.
Where they also sold locusts.
Which this guy enjoyed eating.

Back to the small scorpions.
This woman enjoyed them, as well as many other people. The Hubs and I came close to trying them. But maybe next time. They probably taste like chicken. Speaking of which, we didn’t even sample the chicken.

Or is that squab?
In the end, we stuck with something more tempting to an American palate. Sugar.

We stopped by the candy man for some tang hulu

Fresh fruit skewers coated with caramelized sugar. Much more appealing than what my brother-in-law calls a “tarantula popsicle.”

Dear China,
Sorry, but your Chinese churrasco is not for me.
I prefer my meat minus the multiple, furry legs.
Circus Mom

Wangfujing By Day

The Circus was captivated by Wangfujing, Beijing’s renown night market.

Tchotchke galore for sale at every vendor’s stall.
And then came an encounter with street food. At first glance, there was nothing out of the ordinary.
Deep fried doughnuts filled with banana.
Skewers of fresh fruit and sliced meats for grilling.

And then…

Scorpions on a stick. Still alive, legs wiggling, even as I photographed them.

Tarantulas…I know. Thankfully, they were not moving.

Snakes and lizards.

Sea urchin.


Trays of giant larvae, seahorses, millipedes, grasshoppers and other exotic fare, threaded on skewers, were ready for deep frying. I’ve never thought of myself as extremely adventurous, but now I know I am not. Wangfujing leans toward Bear Grylls or Andrew Zimmern kind of adventure…

Wait until you see post number 100.

Zhonglou / Bell Tower

Although we have returned to Shanghai (after a mere three hour flight delay which, apparently, is common occurrence in China), there is still plenty of Beijing still to see.
More harrowing stairs up to the Bell Tower.
In ancient times, the bell was struck to signify specific times, such as when the city gates were closing.
View of the Drum Tower.
And, of course, one of the front doors.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

I confess, I’ve read many Hemingway novels, but not that one. However, I do enjoy a good title for a blog post.

After a mere three hour flight delay, The Circus has returned to Shanghai. I can barely keep my eyes open from a long day, so I will post about the Bell Tower tomorrow. In the meanwhile, check out the fortress which houses the bell.
Wait until you see the rest of it.