Thomas Barnard

Photography Thomas Barnard Sharon Herene Peter Tupa Cover: Black Bamboo Park, Beijing


3 Chronology 4 Beijing 20 Details 22 Great Wall 24 Sacred Way & Ming Tombs 26 Xi’an 35 Parks 36 Inner Mongolia, Hohhot 42 Inner Mongolia, Grasslands 44 Friends 46 Dining 48 Transportation 50 Shopping 52 Beijing Foreign Studies University and Miscellany 54 Dispatches


MAY 23 Arrive in Beijing May 24 Summer Palace MAY 25 TB tries 1,000 year egg. Shopping for sinus medicine at department store pharmacy, Forbidden City MAY 26 First bus ride, subway trip to Friendship Store. Temple of Heaven, Pearl Market. Buy Emily’s working girl ceramic. MAY 27 Yonghe Gong Lamasery, Confucius House, Korean dinner, more 1,000 year eggs, whole squid, canal walk at night MAY 28 Shopping Liulicheng antique market. Tea house, SH plays Go, walk to pizza place through “real” Beijing MAY 29 Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Sacred Way, adults-only dinner MAY 30 Beijing Zoo, Dumplings at Mr. Jiang’s apartment, Beijing Opera MAY 31 Train to Xi’an (soft sleeper) JUNE 1 Children’s Day Xi’an tour, Banpo neolithic village, baths, terracotta warriors, pulled noodles for lunch JUNE 2 Xi’an city wall, Big Goose Pagoda, jade factory, drive through Muslim quarter, train (hard sleeper) to Beijing

JUNE 3 Shopping: Liulicheng, Dazhalan Jie, Observatory, long march to Schlotzky’s, dust storm JUNE 4 TB plays a little volleyball, tour of Hutongs, Prince Gong’s House JUNE 5 Canal boat ride to Summer Palace, more shopping at the Friendship store, Silk Market, TB gets a haircut JUNE 6 Minorities University, SH shopping, TB Black Bamboo Park Train to Hohhot (soft sleeper) JUNE 7 Breakfast: TB eats lamb’s stomach stew and milk tea. Hohhot tour, lamasery, lunch: Mongolian hot pot, elementary school, dinner: Sorghum “wine” with “bull penis” JUNE 8 Breakfast TB tries chicken feet, bus ride to Grasslands, horse ride, overnight in cement yurt JUNE 9 Old road to Hohhot, Hohhot history museum, train to Beijing (soft sleeper) JUNE 10 Shopping at Sporting goods market for suitcase. Beihai Park, White Pagoda, last taxi ride JUNE 11 Depart for Cleveland

Summer Palace, Beijing



Forbidden City, Beijing



Temple of Heaven, Beijing



Yonghe Gong Buddhist Temple, Beijing



Confucius House, Beijing


Beijing Zoo


Beihai Park, Beijing



Black Bamboo Park, Beijing


Beijing Observatory


Beijing Hutongs


Prince Gong’s House, Beijing





Great Wall



Sacred Way & Ming Tombs



Xi’an Warriors



Xi’an Warrior Museum



Xi’an Hot Spring Baths



Xi’an Big Goose Pagoda



Xi’an City Wall and Warrior Reproduction Center




Inner Mongolia, Hohhot Museum


Hohhot’s Oldest Mosque


Hohhot Lamasery



Hohhot School


Old Road to Hohhot (from Grasslands)


Grasslands, Inner Mongolia















Beijing Foreign Studies University and miscellany



From: Tom Barnard Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 5:18 AM Subject: Ni hao! from the Chinese tourists Hello everybody. We have arrived after several long but unadventurous flights. Today it’s very hot but the breeze is refreshing. Left the university where we are staying and traveled 1/2 hour to the Summer Palace on the edge of the city where the emperors would retreat during the summer months. Perfectly situated on the principles of ‘feng shui’ for harmony and beauty. A large lake is surrounded by lovely old buildings and bridges that have wonderful views. A canal wends it way from the palace to the Forbidden city. The entourage would take the annual pilgrimage with much fanfare, except nobody was actually allowed to look at the emperor. Canal is still there. We joined a group of Australian birding tourists as they sought an Indian cuckoos across the canal where Chinese lazily fished nearby. The buildings offered nice places to rest and take in the architectural details. Already had exciting bus rides and long walks through our end of town. New buildings going up that reminds us of Arlington VA 10 years ago—a bustling spreading metropolis including one right next to our room. They work noisily until midnight and then continue arc welding through the night—it’s like a lightning storm without thunder. Sharon and Tom From: Tom Barnard Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2002 10:08 AM Subject: May 26 China update Hello! Cheap! Hello! Cheap! Buy? you want to buy?


That’s how we are greeted on most of our field trips. Went to the department store and Forbidden City yesterday. Today we took a jammed bus and a pleasant subway ride to the Friendship store, Pearl Market, and the Temple of Heaven. As with any tourist destination their are Japanese tourists everywhere taking pictures. We’ve been bartering for a few things while here. I learned the numbers 0-99 pretty well and when the negotiating gets tough, I surprise the stalwarts by bidding in Chinese. The meals are fabulously cheap. Dinner last night, hot pot, was $1.25 each. Tonight we spent a fortune, $9 for both of us. As for experimentation, I’ve been pretty adventurous: thousand year egg soup for breakfast—egg is soaked in (you don’t want to know) so that it turns black. It was mostly rice soup with a goopy base. Tonight we had a whole fish that was fantastic and calamari soup with whole, tiny squid; and I mean whole! We declined on frog, and found out afterwards that they also served shark’s fin. Mostly we’ve had rice and noodle dishes, which are quite good. Only a couple times have dishes showed up laden with red peppers which we pick off. Coffee is nonexistent except at the Forbidden City which has a *$. Sometimes you see espresso on the menu, but its vending machine style, no thanks. Chrysanthemum tea was served with our pricey dinner. Otherwise we get run-of the mill green tea. We’ll attend a serious tea ceremony and taste real top notch teas on Tuesday night. Weather has been in the high 80s everyday, sunny and dusty. Lots of sunscreen. Today our toilet failed. Tank refused to fill and drained all over the floor. Not to worry, there’s a drain in the center of the bathroom. The hot water was shut down Saturday night, so the bathroom always seems to be the center of our attention. You can’t drink tap water here, so every room and everyone has a large thermos. There’s a boiled water machine next door. We fill up and dump it in the sink to cover for us until the running water is returns. The plumber did show up and fix the toilet promptly. Walking is taking its toll. Sharon has a tender foot (sort of like a bruise she says). I have yet to get on a bicycle—they are everywhere in every possible configuration carry all kinds of loads. Problem here is that there is no established right of way. Cars, trucks, bikes, peds, and busses are all exactly equal (the only socialist doctrine we have seen in practice) so everyone crosses the intersection or turns at exactly the same time whether you are in the way or not. Lots of horn tooting to scare peds back on the curb and get bikes out of the way. Our cabbie even straddled the painted line on the road because cars encroached on him from both sides. No fender benders yet. A new adventure waits tomorrow. Tom (and Sharon, who’s back in our room elevating her foot)


From: Tom Barnard Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:47 AM Subject: May 29 - Beijing “Now that’s a Great Wall” -Richard Nixon Its not only a great wall, but a steep wall. The most aggressive souvenir hawkers to date corner and strong arm you at every opportunity. Last night the leaders wimped out and we went for pizza. Corn and hot peppers with practically no tomato sauce. This week we are having classroom presentations by professors at the school. Yesterday’s professor spoke on the single child policy. He spent time in the states and lived in Mt. Vernon, Washington (about 20 minutes from where my grandfather lived, well north of Seattle). The previous evening we had dinner with another prof. from LaConner, Washington. The exact same town where grandpa resided. The other presentation was about high school and college entrance examinations in China’s school systems. Its 80+ every day. Heat is wearing everybody down, not to mention the 24-hour hi-rise construction immediately outside our window. Toilets now working and getting plenty of it, but we are holding up OK. Hot water has been restored too. Tom and Sharon

From: Tom Barnard Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 1:18 AM Subject: China May 31 About to leave for Xi’an where the 7,000+ life-size, terracotta warriors are being unearthed. We’ll have a chance to see the countryside on our 14 hour train trip southwest. Still very hot here—95 degrees yesterday and nearly as warm today. The Beijing Zoo was nicely shaded and we saw extremely large tigers, non-African lion cubs, gorilla, chimps, alligators, and snakes. Tom made a special impression on the Malayan tapir—4 feet tall, with white and black panda spots. It ‘sprayed’ Tom on the knees while marking it’s territory. We also watched the pandas. One lazily rolled from front scratching positions to its back—doing a wonderful impression of a panda rug. The other reminded us of Momcat with its strong interest in possible food behind the door. Tom washed his knees and in the evening we saw scenes of the Beijing Opera. While the singing and face paint are very stylized, the acrobatics and costumes are amazing. It’s easy to see where Circque du Soliel picked up the idea for some of their acts, costumes and make-up. Tom practiced his dumpling-making skills with the Hiram students at the home of our Chinese tour director. The students are quick studies but Tom needs more practice. Sharon and Tom PS. Attached is a photo of a few members of our group at the Great Wall courtesy of Peter Tupa


From: Tom Barnard Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 11:44 PM Subject: China Travels June 4 We have returned from Xi’an (the original capitol of China for centuries), and now famously home of 6,000 life size terracotta soldiers and 6,000 shopping opportunities. We had a hired tour guide who spoke English very well and with great confidence. He would lead us to a technology center before the site visit so that we would learn how soldiers were made or how jade was carved and then gave us unlimited time to buy, buy, buy. This would be followed by a short visit to the main attraction followed by more free time in the shopping venue. The soldiers and their building were impressive. The first few ranks are complete and in formation. The rear guard are still being unearthed. There are archers, generals, footmen, horses, etc. all defending the emperor’s tomb. Each sculpture has unique facial features, individually carved to represent an actual person. The site was discovered by a farmer digging a well in the 1970s. The farm was shut down by the state, and became a huge dig. The farmer was given a job as a celebrity. He now signs books for tourists in the gift shop. He signed our copy We travelled by train which rivaled Amtrak (except the food was too spicy).

From: Tom Barnard Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 5:34 AM Subject: June 6 Beijing June 6 Beijing Our trip is slowly winding down. No more huge tourist attractions on the itinerary. We traipsed through the hutongs on Tuesday (a block of homes surrounding courtyards—part of old Beijing that is quickly being destroyed to build hi-rise apartments). We had tea at Prince Gong’s residence (father of last emperor) which was surreal. The walls were painted to look like bamboo. The ornately decorated period room boomed with the techno-beat and the servers were wearing tube tops. All four were actually sleeping when we first walked in. By the time we left, soft pop was on the PA and the servers slipped into traditional garb. Yesterday, We took a boat ride down the emperor’s canal to the Summer Palace and enjoyed a picnic on the shores of an immense manmade lake. At the palace we visited the largest ancient theater in China (anything before the founding of the Republic in 1911 is ancient). We were able to review spectacular opera costumes up close (no photos allowed). We spent the late afternoon in the silk market haggling for the best possible price on “Gortex/NorthFace” rain gear. After a lot of grimacing and walking away, we got the price of the parka down from ¥450 to ¥150 ($19 USD). After dinner, we were looking for something to do when Sharon spotted a barber’s pole. “Tom you need a haircut!” To our party’s delight I agreed to have a ¥10 cut ($1.25). The barber was quite confident and did a good job. He was very tentative on how short to cut the top, but we kept encouraging him. A couple of his staff sat behind me and watched, others—with customers—kept stealing glances. At the end, the barber (college age, blonde highlights, tight shirt, and tight pants) gave everyone the OK sign. Tonight we take the train to Inner Mongolia, we’ll be there all weekend. So we won’t have access to the internet café at the school until we return Monday. Tom and Sharon Beijing Foreign Studies University

Tom and Sharon


From: Tom Barnard Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 3:37 PM Subject: June 14 | Cleveland We are home. The contractor has started work on our bathroom (stripped down to the studs), our street is under repair, our water is connected by hose to the fire hydrant. This morning we had no water. Just like Beijing. Here are some early returns from the digital camera collection. Tom and Sharon Cleveland OH

From: Tom Barnard Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 10:44 AM Subject: June 17 | Final dispatch Our China photos are in. We’ve been showing them off over the weekend and have answered many questions. It seems that everyone enjoyed the story of the Tapir, so by popular demand, a retelling (with photo attached!) “...Tom made a special impression on the Malayan tapir—4 feet tall, with white and black panda spots. It ‘sprayed’ Tom on the knees while marking it’s territory...” From Tapir.org Although tapirs are often mistaken for pigs and anteaters, they’re in the odd-toed hooved animal family (perissodactyls), as are the horse and rhinoceros. All four species of tapir are endangered. The Malay tapir is native to Asia, where its natural enemies are the tiger and man. The largest tapir, the Malay tapir weighs up to 800 pounds. It also has the most dramatic coloration, with black shoulders, head, and legs and a white band around the body. If you see a tapir lounging on a hot day, you might think it is slothful. However, in motion, tapirs are fast and agile, and they also swim well. Tapirs in captivity sometimes have violent tantrums... http://www.tapir.org/about_tapir.html Tom and Sharon Cleveland OH




Thomas Barnard

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