Chinese word of the day: 漂亮 piao liang. Paio liang means beautiful!
When I left Iowa, I thought I was saying goodbye to blue skies and green grass for the next eleven months. I had heard that Beijing was so smoggy that some people use headlights at midday. (I believe it.)
However, I have been blessed to discover that there are many beautiful, natural areas around here. Yesterday was free so we went to Badachu, a park outside Beijing with a small mountain, a chairlift, eight holy Buddhist sites, and, yes, an alpine slide. Today after class I went with a few friends to a park just three bus stops away. I didn't realize such a pleasant oasis was less than a mile from the bustle of the neighborhood we're staying in.
The best part was clear blue skies and sunshine for two days in a row. It wasn't even humid today -- so nice. The Internet is not letting me post pictures at the moment, so let me give you a picture of the things I saw at the park today:
Weeping willows -- dozens of them!
The skyline reflected in still water.
Families drifting by in paddleboats.
White birds circling from trees across the pond.
-doing tai chi
-peeing (only the under two crowd)
-playing an awesome Asian instrument
-posing for pictures
-talking on the phone
It was a relaxing couple days and refreshing to my soul. Aw, Beijing, why you so beautiful?
A few of the girls at Badachu. Notice that Sara has already adopted the Asian sunbrella.
Chairlift up the hill
Detail of one of the Buddhist shrines
Heading toward a bridge on the alpine slide downhill. So fun!
Doing some homework at my new-found neighborhood park. Blue sky and all!
Love the willows at this park.