National Day!

Today we braved the crowds and went to the city to see how the Chinese celebrate National Day. Lots of flag waving, lots of people wandering around, lots of shopping. Sort of seemed like a holiday in the US!

First we headed to the People’s Park to drink a few Pi Jius. (Beers) We were seated at a little table eating pistachios and peanuts when we noticed a little Chinese girl, sitting beside us, blowing bubbles and saying in English, “Hello, How are you? I like potato chips.” She was really cute and before we knew it, she was talking our heads off. Her English was very good, but very basic. Her father sat at a nearby table just laughing.  The girl began trying to get us to say things in Chinese, which really drew a crowd. We must have had 20 people standing around just watching as we brutalized the language. Everyone was laughing of course. Funny how back in the US I would have just been mortified, but here it just seems natural that a crowd would gather around us at any moment.

After spending an hour or so in the park we went to our favorite Brasilian restaurant and had a feast of barbecued meat – all for $4 per person. We stopped by a very swanky club (on Chinese standards) and listened to a great Filipino band for a while before taking a taxi back to the airport. Another great day as high-rollers in China.

Now back at home on TV we are watching the sort of celebrations we expected on a National Day – military bands, soldiers standing in formation…. Right now a guy in a white military uniform is singing some sort of patriotic anthem while a group of soldiers perform syncronized maneuvers behind him. One thing I noticed in the city, many old men were walking around wearing their old military uniforms, or what remained of them. I took a few pictures and hopefully I will figure out how to upload some here.


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