Friday, January 17, 2014

Made in China

Ni Hao Ma? That is one of the first Chinese words that I carried with me upon going to Beijing, China. Who would have thought that I will be stepping on one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the only man made structure visible on the moon....
Also, I never expected that climbing it could prove so difficult.  I envy the old Chinese people walking as if it's just a walk in the park and here I am, young, robust and healthy trying to catch my breath and aiming for just one step at a time... 

The vastness and awe-inspiring structure of Tiananmen Square held me spellbound. It's story captured the bookworm in me. The beauty of the place, hides stories that can be hard to fathom -  no wonder it is commonly called the "Forbidden City". The blood spilled among its floors, the hundreds and even more concubines hidden behind its doors, is indeed eclipsed by the beauty of the structure. 
Strolling in Tiananmen Square on a rainy day with a 10 degrees Celsius temperature is no easy task. But you don't think about the cold as we stand mesmerized by the beauty of it all. 

The Empress' Banquet was served....We were given this special gift of Cheongsam/Changshan specially made for us in the silk factory where actual silkworms were used to craft these artwork. It couldn't be called simply a blouse or a costume because of the craftsmanship and skills involved in making this masterpiece is really inspiring.  
I was rattled when we were offered this gift and asked to wear it during our Empress' banquet dinner since I didn't bring anything to pair it with, thankfully, being a girl scout deep inside, I wore my column dress inside with the Cheongsam on top. Nobody knew that was another whole new outfit underneath... 

Feeling so excited as to what awaits this royal banquet, we were quite taken by surprise with the feast that was served at our table. There were duck and chicken tongue, camel, abalone, and a whole lot of food we can't even pronounce... Thank God for our friends from HongKong who asked the servers about the food... Although there were a few that were familiar and appetizing to our palates, it was still a banquet that deserves total respect.  But, if this is what is served at an Empress' Banquet, thank God I am just a simple Filipino and a Cebuana which means Lechon and Puso (Hanging Rice) served at our table is a feast in itself already. 
But all in all, the fun we had that night was really grand. We get to borrow some traditional Chinese costumes and have our pictures taken.  We get to see performers that are really entertaining that the food served at the table was just a very minor setback as compared to the time spent among colleagues who have now become friends.  

Who says that stuff labeled "MADE IN CHINA" doesn't last long? I beg to differ. The memories I had that were Made in China, certainly has a lifetime guarantee.  It was an experience worth repeating but my best advice would be spend it with a loved one or friends and find the nearest KFC. :-)

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