Ni Hao from Beijing! Our flight from Dulles to Beijing was good. Good service and pretty smooth. On the landing into the airport David and my ears hurt a bit. But overall a good flight. Meigan was a good as gold. She kept marveling at the fact we were flying. Saying over and over how much she liked the plane. Buying those economy plus seats was so very worth it! It made the flight so much nicer.
This morning at breakfast we met Laura and Scott with their daughter Brinna. They are from Tulsa, OK. We ate breakfast with them and then went to the Beijing Zoo with them. Meigan and Brinna became friends fast. Brinna is 7 years old (almost 8). They held hands much of the time while at the zoo today. It was very sweet!
Our first order of business today was finding the grocery store. Another couple had told us about it. We found it in the basement of a big building that when we walked in on the ground floor looked like a high end deparment store like Neiman-Marcus. In the grocery store basement we walked around and just marveled at all the weird looking things to buy. We did come across some recognizable American brands. But most were different flavors than what we get in the USA. As I type this, I'm eating tomato flavored Pringles. Pretty good. We almost bought the shrimp flavored Pringles potato chips, maybe later. The even had steak flavored Cheetos. Many drinks, even brands like Minute Maid had aloe as one of the top ingredients. The white grape aloe Minute maid was very good.
We went to the Beijing Zoo with Laura, Scott and Brinna. Getting a taxi was easy. Taxis are waiting outside our hotel all the time. We had to get separate taxis because the taxis are so little here in China. Not too hair-raising of a ride with no seatbelts. Laura and Scott were in a separate taxi and they had several incidences that worried them. Most traffic laws in China are just a suggestion. Lane lines don't mean but so much here. We had a great time at the zoo. We saw the giant pandas. They were very cute. They had all the usual animals that many zoos have. Except they had a big building with different kinds of big cats. They were all in separate cages and they were not very happy. They paced and we could just see the look of "if I could get out of here, you would be my lunch".
Getting a taxi to the zoo was a breeze, hailing one back was not so easy. We were in competition with many other Chinese that were apparently better at it than we were. At one point, David and I stood several feet away from each other trying to hail a taxi. A guy in a car by himself (not a taxi) stopped by me and motioned for me to get in. Very creepy feeling. I shook my head "no" and he went on. After that David stood by me. Not long after that a group of girl Chinese teenagers hailed a cab near us and gave us their cab. They even consulted with us and the driver on where we wanted to go. They were so sweet to help us! They seemed to really enjoy what they were doing for us.
We learned very quickly at the zoo to watch out for puddles along the pathway. I'm not talking rain puddles. The Chinese children do their business (pee and poo) where ever they happen to be when they feel the urge to go. It seemed apparent that the poo gets picked up by the parent, but the pee stays (somewhat harder to clean up). We saw several children do their business with their split pants on. It was eye opening to say the least. We didn't see this happen anywhere near as much on our last China trip. The whole thing made me want to at the least Lysol the soles of my shoes or better yet just throw the shoes away. Maybe that's why shoe stores here have many more styles of shoes to choose from. Maybe people throw out their shoes more often or much sooner than we do.
By the time we got back to the hotel, Meigan was asleep. It was 6:00 pm China time. Missing eating her supper again. She did this at 6 the first night we were here. She woke up very late and wanted a snack the first time, my guess is she will do that again tonight. We are still not quite on China time, but we are working on it.
Tomorrow we go to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong tour and maybe an acrobatics show. The Hutong tour is a ride in a rickshaw and visiting an old section of the city and seeing some houses, maybe go inside one. Not sure. For now, good night from China.