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2011 Ports of Call (most recent on top - only listed once)

  • Astoria, Queens
  • Red Hook, Brooklyn
  • Hoboken, NJ
  • Long Branch, NJ
  • Red Bank, NJ
  • New York, New York
  • Point Pleasant, NJ
  • STL, Missouri
  • OMA, Nebraska
  • Omaha, NE (NEBRASKA!!!)
  • Council Bluffs, IA
  • St Louis, MO
  • Fair Haven, NJ
  • EWR, New Jersey
  • AMS, Netherlands
  • Musannah, Oman
  • Nizwa, Oman
  • Al A’Thawara hot springs, Oman
  • Nakhl Fort, Oman
  • Jabal Shams, Oman
  • Seeb, Oman
  • Barca, Oman
  • SIN, Singapore
  • Seminyak, Bali
  • Legian, Bali
  • Tanah Lot, Bali
  • Kuta, Bali
  • Sanur, Bali
  • Ubud, Bali
  • Nusa Dua, Bali
  • Denpasar, Bali
  • CGK, Java Indonesia
  • Vigan, Philippines
  • Boracay, Philippines
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Rus Al Jinz, Oman
  • Salalah, Oman
  • Muscat, Oman

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a day to forget my camera

The day of the 18th started like any other - going to meet JAK for lunch and then I had plans of going to Tian'anmen Square, and the surrounding area of Beijing (it is an area of the city I had not yet gone to). At lunch I discovered I had left the camera at home but rather than going back to get it, JAK lent me her phone to take photos.

As I write this, she has her phone and I do not, so I will have to post the eh-quality photos (official terminology) later on.

So, I decided to walk quite a ways along the big road that then crosses along the southern entrance to the square...and what a walk it was. Since I have not yet really hung out in the ultra-touristy areas I had no idea how many people would be offering me cds or Beijing 2008 merchandise or wanting to speak English.

I had four different people come up to me and say they wanted to practice their English, which of course is fine by me - but it cracks me up to think of someone walking up to a random asian person in the U.S. and say in Chinese: "I want to practice my Chinese"

Random white-person-in-china stereotypes aside, it was pretty entertaining. I also went into a pretty fancy mall (where one of the USA Basketball team members graciously posed with several people in front of the USA Basketball display mannequins).

In this mall there was also a set up (by Nike) of various uniforms for different teams and different time periods and as part of it they had this giant half-track with near-life-sized mannequins - the thing was with these mannequins that in every event they had them posed for, China was inching out over the USA every time. So of course there are some photos of that :) I think my favorite is the hurdles where China is winning by about a half-foot in mid-leap.

As I kept wandering I also went to one of the BIGGEST book stores I have ever been in. It was 6 floors of all kinds of books. They even had pianos and violins for sale on the top floor (and some books too...otherwise the 6 floors might be negotiable...).

Items of note (that I didn't want to take photos of because certain times they don't like you taking photos and I didn't feel like irking security): an entire aisle shelf - both sides - dedicated to the works and teachings of Marx, Lenin, Stalin (and someone else I can't remember); a large wall shelf with the writings of Mao; and an entire floor of middle-school, high-school, and higher learning workbooks (I don't know if they have to buy their own here or if these were supplemental).

By the time I got to Tian'anmen Square it was CLOSED because they take time to clean it after the flag-down ceremony (I got there at 5ish) until about 7:30 at night. Sigh. So I will have to return to fully experience the LARGEST PUBLIC SQUARE IN THE WORLD. (that's for you KLW).

Speaking of world's largest, I have made it to the WORLD'S LARGEST ADIDAS STORE. And I even made it out without buying anything!

long shutter exposure + no tri-pod = blurry

The rest of the evening seemed to be low key (I needed to sit and relax after all that walking) until we got last minute tickets to Athletics!! So I got to see the USA men win the hurdles 1-2-3 from row 19 of the Bird's Nest!!! That structure is incredible (I just wonder how it moves in an earthquake? ...but I always wonder that about buildings in Seattle too...). In a way even a photo cannot do justice to it or the water cube (which we were outside because they are right next to each other...the entire area around both venues is accessible only to ticket holders and those with credentials).

The water cube looks like a giant version of those packing bubbles you loved to pop as a kid, but it constantly changes color, and each bubble can change colors individually. Along some of the bottom glass areas they have cascading water on the windows and part of it has the big tubes with lights that make it look like big blue bubbles are constantly rising.

Like I said, a big day to forget a camera! Don't worry, I have it with me today!



Kelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelli said...

hiii (ex)coworker! thanks for the shout out! my collection of worlds largest and i wish we were there. but will for now, live vicariously while reading your blog on company time. miss you!

Kelli said...

Sorry, I was trying to leave an "anonymous" post but damnit google and my lack of patience, you get three from me. un-anonymously. i challenge you to say that 10 times fast. go.