Well, it's 4:45 AM in Beijing and we can't sleep anymore ... that's what happens when you go to sleep at 8 PM :-)
To add to what Kate posted last night, during our tour of the Hutongs (Alleys) we were invited into one family's home to see what a typical Beijing family's home is like. It was fascinating to sit with this man and have him describe his home. He was very friendly and very hospitable. It does make one realize how "much" we have in the states. This was a typical middle-class family and they don't have their own bathrooms! Here is a picture of the owner and their place:
Last night we went out for dinner to McDonald's. It was located in the middle of a huge downtown streetfest ... it reminded us of Times Square but much longer. It's a very famous street (Wangfujing - also the name of our hotel) known all over China. Their were little carts up and down the road selling every possible food item on a stick ... but not the kind you find at the Minnesota State Fair! We're talking frozen kiwi and grapes, squid, eel, and many things we couldn't identify :-) The McDonald's was actually very similar to the states, except that we ordered an iced coffee with our hamburger meal. Very tasty. Also, their apple pies looked kind of disgusting. In the picture it looked like pea pies.
The other item we failed to mention yesterday was the bathrooms. Any of you who have traveled to the middle- or far-east know what I'm talking about. Probably not a big deal for a guy, but when you're a woman used to using a toilet that is about 2 feet off the ground and you have to become accustomed to a toilet that is pretty much a hole in the ground that looks like the inside of a toilet, you become a little nervous. Kate has avoided using toilets outside of our hotel as much as possible. But, at lunch yesterday had to follow the calling of her bladder. The good news is that she didn't fall or slip into the hole. Mind you, there is NOTHING for you to hold on to when using these things. At some point she'll take a picture of one so everyone will know what she's talking about.
Oh well ... today is Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall ... very exciting! Have a great night!