Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beijing in Grey

We arrived at Beijing International Airport as early as 6.30 am and were notified by the flight captain of the local temperature being 1 degree Centigrade.
Having our luggage claimed, we got ourselves prepared with the winter outfit to embrace the out of airport coldness.
As we exit the airport, cold wind came gushing to greet us.
The moment we opened our mouth to say “Wah....sejuk”, fog was formed by our face.

Definitely, a ‘jakun’ like me whom is living in a tropical country got all excited about it and told my daughter – “Come Nada, let’s play dragon”.

We blew at each others face and I explained to her.
“It happens because our body temperature is hotter than the outside. So, when warm, moist air that we breathe out from our lungs meets the cold, dry environment, a fog forms”
My three about to be four year old (sobs) daughter looked at me in full fascination, but I know deep inside her she was saying “What on earth is Mommy talking about?”

It’s ok girl, you’ll ‘get there’ one day… all Mommy hope is for you to remember the moment that ‘we play dragon’.

Not 5 minutes loading luggage into the bus body, all of us just can’t wait to get into the bus and hid from the wind. I guess, the temperature is not that bad to bear.. but the wind is too ‘cruel’.

We had Chinese Fried Rice, Toast Bread with Butter & Sugar and hot Chinese Tea at a local Muslim restaurant for breakfast. Bliss.

Itinerary for Day 1 was to visit Summer Palace and shopping stop, however it was changed to visit Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City also followed by a shopping stop.
We made way on foot to Tian An Men Square approximately 200m from the location that our bus stopped. I could smell the stinky smell of urine along our walk. Errgh!

By then, Nada was already not happy with almost everything on the planet.
She hates for her neck to be surrounded with the muffler.
She hates to wear the gloves.
She hates for her head to be covered with jacket hood, that the furs and feathers of the hood annoyed her.
She blames the jacket makes her fat and she no longer fit into stroller.
She blames Mommy that the stroller is too small for her now.
She blames her high cut boots that when she sits, they cut into back of her knee.
She was angry to the wind blowing fiercely to her face.

The person I am, I came to a point of “Ok, let’s take off whatever you don’t like.. and see how you could survive..”

With no hesitation I took off her jacket, muffler and gloves, let her sit on the stroller and Harris pushed her. She was shivering, her hands turned pink subsequently red and icy cold but still one stubborn baby, not wanting to give in.

Of all the things, why la you get this stubbornness gene from Mommy, Nada! Haishh.

However, she’s lucky that she has her dad to save her… save the day… or it almost-almost-almost became the next day news headline “Malaysian architect tourist let baby frozen in the middle of Tian An Men Square, and 2000 passers by did nothing..

Harris told me : “Put them back, pity her…..”
Harris is such a soft spoken person, I dare not argue. Could he had shouted to me, may be I got Nada naked there and then.
Look at her face.. saying "I love Daddy"

Tian An Men Square is what we have here as Dataran Merdeka. Of course it has it’s own history and all the important historical events that had taken place which you could just google to know more about it. In my eyes, it is just a super-huge open space, cordoned by Beijing landmarks such as Forbidden City and The Great Hall of People.

We then proceeded to the Forbidden City (FC).

She complaint that her gloves is inappropriate, Daddy had to sacrifice his and let her had them.

Now, FC is a real something of an eye opening. It is a complex almost in square if I’m not mistaken of about 900+m in length x 750+m in width that is fenced with high brick wall. Don’t trust my figures here, ok… I am not a North Korean. Exact numbers, please google.

We may have the idea of FC here and there from the many Chinese soaps or movies we watch on TV. Where it has own spaces for everything. Space for the Emperor, Queen, Prince, Princess, Relatives, Concubine, Ministers, Sida-sida (what is sida-sida in English?), armies, servants, slaves.. and so much more. Those living inside the FC were forbid to go out and those living outside were forbid to go in unless the Emperor said so. Hence, the name Forbidden City.

I remembered watching documentary about Forbidden City on National Geography, and having the opportunity to visit the place, all is so cleared.

This place is an Emperor’s place.

Thousands of years ago, who could actually make the place happened if he’s not someone with extreme power. He must be an Emperor! Money or gold is one thing but power is more important in this case because FC is of slaves’ sweat. *Sedih, ek… Mek is just emo, like that*

We walked and past the many gates, halls, rooms, inside FC, until I lost count. It was also because we had to tend to Nada whom needed so much encouragement and coaxing during our this trip. Like I said, she was not happy with everything.
She doesn't want to walk.. unlike usual.

In National Geography documentary, it mentioned how the slaves mobilized the pieces of marble from the quarry to FC. Sure it was a tough job... it's huge, a piece!

The only downside of FC is the public toilet! I shall not elaborate further, I’d just shout “Aaaaaarrrgghhh…. Do better ones!!!!!!!” and blabber … “Dah kutip duit juta-juta… buat toilet baik sikit tak boleh ke??????”

Last activity for the day was shopping stop at Wang Fu Jing Street, We knew it would just be see-look on that very first day, however of what had happened earlier, an objective was set. BUY NADA ANOTHER PAIR OF GLOVES.

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