These all picture posts are pretty simple so I thought I would post another.

This is from back in the middle of March when Jasmine was in town. We decided to head up to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. These are pictures from Tiananmen.

Here are the guards guarding (what else would you expect them to be doing) the bridge that the honor guard crosses in the morning and evening to raise and lower the flag in the background.

As near as I can tell the honor guard and the guard guarding the bridge are the only ones to ever walk on it.

The large picture of Mao. Also know as the most popular thing to get a picture taking in front of in Beijing. What you cannot see in this picture are all the people posing their ass off in front of Mao.

More of the large flag and the smaller flags that are sometimes raised and sometimes not. The big one however is always there. Unless it is night and then it is down.

One of the government buildings on Tiananmen with many, many flags. I think this is where the government has the equivalent of Congress meetings but different people have told me different things. I think they just don't want me to know what goes on in there. It is pretty heavily guarded so everytime I wander over to see I quickly get turned away by guards with guns (which are somewhat of a rarity in China, where do you think I am Michigan?).

This is the history museum which for a long time I thought was the art museum. Probably because this is where the art students bring you when they are peddling their wares.

A broader shot of the heavenly gate (although I don't think this is the actually tianmen so I am probably wrong). Notice the empty bridge on the right.

A large police vehicle that everyone was taking pictures of so I joined right in. It looked kind of swat team-ish.

The flag all by itself.

Many flags in front of the memorial to the party heroes and behind that obselisk, Mao's tomb. The Maosaoleum. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Another picture of the history museum except this time you can see the Olympic clock.

The fore-mentioned Olympic clock. There are a ton of these all over in truly random spots. The most random I have seen is off one of the ring roads on a piece of grass that is only visible from one exit ramp.

The memorial again.

The final resting place of Mao, maybe. The have his body encased in plastic here supposedly but there is much disagreement if it actually is there. To see it you arrive at 5:00 AM and start standing in the line that usually fills up half of the largest open city square in the world. After waiting for between 3 - 5 hours you see the plastic encased body for 30 seconds.

The old Beijing railway station or at least a building that looks a lot like it. It is on the opposite side of the square from the real old Beijing railway station and looks exactly the same. Seriously, if you make it to Beijing, look at this picture go to Tiananmen Square, point at the building you recognize and tell the people you are with it is the old Beijing railway station. They will be mighty impressed with your grasp of Beijing geography.

The gate in the city wall that was torn down. It is being renovated like every other tourist attraction in the city for the Olympics. My favorite is the green tarp that surrounds all renovation like it hides the work from site or something. Or maybe they are just going for the dramatic unveiling. I wonder if they pull it all down at once.


So I am changing the MO for posting a little bit. I am going to use the date I actually publish posts as opposed to the day that I post it to Blogger. You may have no idea what I am talking about and that is fine. Basically it will not look like such large gaps in between the days I am posting which has led to some "are you still alive mails?"

Here is the Summer Palace where Yachi and I went on a beautiful Saturday. The Summer Palace is not really a palace but a 700 acre park built / reserved? during the Qing dynasty. I am going to be kind of lazy and let the pictures mostly speak.

Here is the entrance with tons of tourist groups and their really cool hats. One day i am going to get one of these hats. Every time I see a group like this I try to get a hat from someone in the group but no one understands what I am asking or is willing to give up their hat.

Can't have the railings going to shit.

Many boats that later in the afternoon were all being used out on the lake. They were paddle boats which brought back fond memories of my wee years.

People catching up on their rest. I imagine that it would be hard to get all the homeless people out of this park due to the size, if they even wanted to.

Yachi imitating the woman we saw earlier. I could not understand why you would turn sideways and bend slightly forward to take a picture. It seems close to the worst position possible.

I really liked this flowery tree. Liked it so much I took about 30 pictures of it. Ask me when I get back for the slide show.

This guys were not very happy with me cause i walked right in front of their wheelbarrow. So I took a picture of them just to make them even happier.

This was the way most of the bridges were here. You can see the normal bridge in the background aka the one that is not 10m high.

An island that I really wanted to get on to.

Me enjoying the beautiful flowers.

You can never escape the city.

i am amazed they could not move these boats in time to avoid beaching them.

A half naked man. If you will notice in any other picture of people they are wearing coats because it was pretty cold still.

I used Yachi as a front to allay the man's suspicions.

Yachi in front of CiXi's marble boat. CiXi was the mother of an emperor and parlayed that into a 74 year reign as the power behind the curtain which is longer than anyone else in the Qing dynasty except for maybe KangXi. She was not very well liked as she had a tendency to push people down wells and such. She also drank human breast milk to stay young.

She convinced her nephew (I believe) to build the boat in the background instead of a navy. The boat is marble which does not float, doesn't even come close to floating. The navy would have been useful in the next decade as China was taken over by everyone including France (which has to be humiliating). This boat marks the beginning of the end for the imperial system in China.

Our lunch which was 5 dollars. I love China and i love those dumplings. One bag was a dollar and was awesome.