A morning flight from Tokyo to Beijing
when we landed, security was tough.. especially on me!
remember when I said that my passport picture got washed out from the juice drink in japan! I was able during my stay in Tokyo to speak to the embassy and had all forms of governmental identifications with me, that had my name and face on it! AND my Chinese visa too.
I was detained for four hours, after an extremely long investigation, recording my voice, taking pictures (without my head scarf, multiple times), recording me, asking me to tell the story over and over and over again to a million person, I felt really humiliated. I was told to sit outside the office (where passengers can stare as they want at me, same as the walk of shame, but sitting.. for hours) I was not going to be let in; they had to use the “Red Phone” for me (to speak with the white house/or federal bureau of investigation!) and, to be honest, all I just wanted to do that time is to go home after all I went through. (Also, they took my luggage, took forever to get them back, after literally running around the airport from one office to another)
Long story short. When I finally got out I was surprised that my tour guide and travel mates actually waited for me. I was so upset, tried as much as I can not cry (I am really good at that in hard situations) but this time, I cried when one of the other travelers hugged me. (It was hard. really tough on me, even as a Palestinian who had gone through hell before as well..)
I wore my sunglasses in the bus and spoke to no one, I was secretly crying and shivering the whole ride to the restaurant. Since my tour guide and others had to wait for me to get out, they lost the time to get some rest in the hotel before exploring Beijing.
We had a Rickshaw ride through the narrow streets and alleys of Beijing—the best way to see the city to a local family’s house for a traditional dinner together.
We had Peking Duck, Beijing famous ducks dish. right after that ride, I was able to forget that sadness or left it on pause to enjoy the rest of my day.
I laughed, had a great time and pretended like nothing had ever happened.
We enjoyed some beautiful music, oh I wish I can upload the video here.
I spoke to the locals, I showed interest in the area, so I was offered a little tour of nearby of the restaurant by one of the girls in that family before dinner gets served.
I was given a little extra tour by her, also in search of a restroom because weirdly enough they use public restrooms in that area (the whole town uses two main public restrooms.)
The food was delicious.. for real! I swear the best food ever.
We later got a bigger tour of the city with the whole group.. to our way to the river, where shops colorful bars, vendors were. It was basically like the romantic Paris, or Florence.
We passed by a flower shop, where the tour guide told us that they bring flowers to a random person who passes by their shop. All the girls were happy and wished that they’ll get one, or someone buys one for them.
Later we went to a bar for some drinks (a rooftop bar right next to the river) then it got dark.. Click here
A clown came out of nowhere.. and started giving every girl a flower.
I got one too, but I also got more than one; I got 5 more! from the travel agency, from my tour director and from some of the guys that were on the trip too. (they were the sweets people ever, I was so happy)
We went off a sightseeing tour around Beijing (on a bigger scale)
we had a local guide who introduced us to China’s capital. We saw Tiananmen Square, the biggest public square in the world and the infamous spot where a student rebellion was put down in 1989.
We also visited the amazing Forbidden City, surrounded by a moat and a protective wall. Inside the walls, check out the golden-roofed Imperial Palace, first built during the Ming Dynasty.
Next: The Great Wall of China,
we headed to Badaling, we walked on the iconic Great Wall. The Chinese started building the Wall in the 5th century B.C., as a defense against the Mongols. Today the Wall extends across mountains and valleys for more than 3,000 miles.
I died. Not really, but that wall is so freaking steep and when you reach a hill; the steps get smaller and you feel like you’re going to fall back.
That is basically me telling the person who’s taking a picture of me. take a picture already before I die and fall back. I can not breathe!!
Gift shops are expensive.. but beautiful!
I lost my favorite umbrella here (got it from Tokyo) 🙁
I wanted to buy everything from here. it looked like my dream antique house.
The next day we went to Temple of Heaven Park; a huge outdoor park is full of historical relics and locals doing their morning Tai Chi exercises.
Visited this imperial retreat centered around Kunming Lake. The Palace grounds bring in huge numbers of visitors each year, drawn by the Qing-style pavilions, bridges, walkways, and gardens.
Bought myself some pearls from the dragon lady’s lake (highly recommended.. expensive! but china offered 50% off sale for students tourists :D) and I also got myself the best silk bed sets the highest quality in the world.. from Beijing <3