The Great Wall

We had a tour cab picking us up really early in the morning to take us to, in my opinion, the most visited and magical place in Beijing — the Great Wall.
I mean, China is the oldest empire that ever existed, and just being around such an old and historical place like this, gave me the goose bumps. It feels like my mind is able to go back and re-live history, although I can’t physically do that.

Stepping on something the dynasties built (including the Ming) in order to protect the Chinese Empire against intruders, gave me the desire to learn and understand more about this amazing and complex culture the Chinese have. Come on, this wall has , and it was built around 2,000 years ago! How exciting can this be?

It took us around 4 hours to hike one of the sides of the wall (since there is so many,we picked one). It was filled of — adults, young, babies, old — all types of people walking with the same look filled with curiosity.
We jumped on the bandwagon and wore panda hats like many of the tourists. I don’t care, I can’t hike the Great Wall everyday wearing the cutest panda hat, can I?

It was cold and we were getting really tired; however, the view was so breathtaking we kept going. Touching the wall was like touching a piece a gold. We reached the top, and sat for awhile.

I like to alienate my mind sometimes, even when I can’t physically alienate myself. The more my mind was getting lost within the horizon, I tried to suck it in where I was on that exact moment. For some reason I could not digest the fact I was not just in China, but on top of the Great Wall. I know I can sound so “frudy” sometimes, but it’s true. I always have moments like these, when everything feels like a dream. This whole trip has being a dream.

I could not miss the opportunity to dance Zumba on the top with my best dancer friend Nate, or take all those fun pictures, and meet some interesting locals, although our communication is limited.

As if touching history wasn’t enough, we took off to the Emperor’s tomb, where 13 of the Ming emperor’s where buried. Not to mention the architecture of this place was amazing. The nature surrounding it brought to me a sense of peace and made me reflect a lot on many aspects of the Chinese philosophy.

After gaining so much knowledge, we ate some delicious Chinese food, and headed to the main street at night where all that food was being served. Later that night, we went to a bar called “TREE”, where we ate even more, and tasted some local beet.

Erica and I left the boys there, and went back to the hotel. When we paid our cab driver with a 100 yuan bill we took from the ATM earlier that day, the cab driver started to yell at us. We had no idea what he was talking about. They say moments like these we need to keep calm, especially when you are in a country that is not yours. Yeah..but when I had a cab driver yelling at my face, and I could not understand what he was saying, made me really frustrated; I was paying! He made us get out of the car, without even paying for it.

We went to sleep imagining the moment he would show up at the hotel, break our door with a gun and ask for all our money. I know this is a bit dramatic, but we were thinking the worst. I knew I shouldn’t have talked back to him…although he probably did not understand a word I was saying. What could have possibly happened?

A Grande Muralha

Um guía turístico nos buscou bem cedo naquela manha e nos levou, na minha opiniao, para o lugar mais visitado e mais magico em Beijing – A Grande Muralha.
A China contem os impérios mais velhos que ja existiu, e so de estar ao redor de um lugar historico como esse, me arrepiou. E como se a minha mente pudesse voltar e reviver a historia, mesmo que eu fisicamente nao possa fazer isso.

Pisar em um lugar em que as dinastias construíram (incluindo a Ming), para proteger o imperio Chines contra intrusos, me passou um certo desejo que aprender e entender mais sobre essa cultura maravilhosa e complexa que a China tem. Falando serio ne, essa muralha tem 8,851.8 km e foi construida a 2,000 anos atras! Como isso pode ser mais emocionante?

A gente subiu um dos lados da muralha em 4 horas (ja que ela tem tantos lados, escolhemos um). Ela estava repleta de – adultos, jovens, criancas, velhos – todo tido de gente caminhando com o mesmo olhar de curiosidade.
Nos fizemos o cliche de todos os turistas, de usar um chapeu de panda. Nao interessa, eu nao posso subir a muralha da China todo dia usando um chapeu de panda, posso?

Estava frio e estavamos cansando; contudo, a vista era de tirar o folego e nos deu forcas para continuar subindo. Tocar a parede da muralha era como se eu estivesse tocando em um ouro. Quando finalmente chegamos no top, sentamos por um tempo.

Eu tenho mania de alienar a minha mente as vezes, mesmo quando nao posso literalmente me alienar fisicamente. Enquanto mais a minha mente se perdia naquele horizonte, eu tentava digerir aonde eu estava naquele momento. Por alguma razao, eu nao conseguia digerir o fato que eu nao estava somenta na China, mas no topo da sua muralha. Eu sei que eu posso ser muito “Frufru” falando essas coisas, mas e a mais pura verdade. Eu sempre tenho esses momentos em que os momentos parecem sonhos. Essa viagem por inteiro parece um sonho.

Eu nao perdi a oportunidade de dancar Zumba no topo com meu melhor amigo dancarino Nate, ou tirar as fotos mais divertidas, e conhecer locais interessantes, embora a nossa comunicacao seja limitada.

Como se tocar historia ja nao fosse o bastante, fomos para a Tumba do Imperador, aonde 13 imperadores da Ming foram enterrados. Sem mencionar a arquitetura que era muito bem feita e maravilhosa. A natureza ao redor me trouxe um senso de paz e me fez refletir sobre muitos aspectos sobre a filosofia Chinesa.

Depois de ter adquirido tanto conhecimento, comemos deliciosa comida Chinesa, e partimos para a rua principal para comer mais besteira. Naquela noite, fomos para um bar chamado “TREE”, onde comemos mais, e provamos cervejas locais.

Eu e Erica cansadas, deixamos os meninos e voltamos para o hotel. Quando fomos pagar o taxista com a nossa de 100 yuan que tinhamos sacado naquele mesmo dia em um caixa eletronico, ele comecou a nos grita. Nao tinhamos nem ideia do que ele estava falando. Dizem que nesses momentos temos que manter a calma, especialmente quando nao esta em seu pais. Sim…mas tente ter um taxista gritando na sua cara, e voce sem entender nada; eu me senti muito frustrada e chatiada…afinal, estava pagando! Ele nos fez sair do carro, e sem pagar.

Fomos dormir imaginando o momento em que ele iria chegar no hotel, quebrar a nossa porta com uma arma e pedir nosso dinheiro. Eu sei, meio dramatico, mas pensamos o pior. Sabia que nao era para eu ter discutido com ele, apesar que ele provavelmente nao entendeu nada do que eu falei. O que sera que aconteceu?

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One thought on “The Great Wall

  1. I hope the weird ending with the cab driver did not spoil your memories of your amazing day on the Great Wall! I’ve always wanted to go, but I’m nervous about all the cultural and language differences, not to mention my terrible attitude toward unfamiliar food. I love your adventurous spirit, Suse! You don’t miss anything out of fear or shyness. So brave! Can’t wait to see you!

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