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The Beijing Experience.

CHINA | Friday, 24 April 2009 | Views [432]

   Though I left China in January, after only having spent two weeks there, I still vividly remember everything. I was so excited to get on the ferry from Incheon South Korea, but as soon as I stepped off the boat into China I was terrified.  Always scared to go through customs and security, (I  have the feeling like I'm doing something wrong and have no idea!),  China was waaay more intense. The woman behind the counter kept looking at my passport, then at me, then back at my passport; this went on for what felt like forever before she finally let me in the country.  Once outside my two friends and I were bombarded by cab drivers who all wanted to take us in their cab.  

     After about 24 hours of traveling, we arrived in Beijing.  I could barely contain myself; too many things to do, too much to see. The first couple of days were amazing, I wanted to do everything NOW! When you first arrive somewhere new it's difficult to look past all the facade   and really see where you are.  After a couple of days I really opened my eyes to Beijing, and its people.

     Walking along the backstreets to our youth hostel, we saw the older generation dancing and singing songs of a revolution long past. Seemingly celebrating what was and what could have been. It was a beautiful moment, one that I will always remember.  When we went to the Temple of Heaven we were disappointed because we got there too late to actually get into the temple.  However, we were pleasantly surprised as we were walking along the grounds to find a group of elderly women and men dancing, singing, eating, drinking, and generally just having a good ol' time.  I speculated to myself as to what they were celebrating; something religious perhaps, or maybe its just a beautiful place to get together and have fun. 

The people are just one of the many amazing parts of China. I could write for pages and pages, but I won't. So I will leave with this:

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith


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