Thursday, May 19, 2011

Whoo-Wee! (Jie)

May 1st was China's May Day Holiday, otherwise known as Wu Yi Jie (which sounds like "Whoo-Wee!" if you say it really quickly).  I'm not really sure of the origins of Wu Yi Jie, but I believe it's something akin to America's Labor Day.  It began as a one-week holiday, but I guess that was just too much fun for a country like China, so they shortened it to a measly 24-hours.  My students usually go shopping that day because there are a ton of good deals.  A ton of people brave the crowds and travel.

We were lucky this year because our buddy Lance came to visit us while he was in China on a month-long business trip in Shanghai.  Beijing is just a quick two-hour plane ride or so, and it was such a blessing to see a familiar face and share our lives in China with him.

When tourists attack...
Given that it was an official holiday, we fully expected there to be a ton of crowds at all the major tourist sites, so we decided to give Lance a more local walking tour of Beijing.  We walked through the hutongs and down Nanluoguxiang-- a really neat "bohemian" street with a ton of little shops, bars and restaurants, and snack stalls.  We walked through Houhai Lake and past the Drum and Bell Tower.  Basically, we walked a lot.

We took public transportation a LOT.

And we didn't just take pictures of the backs of each others' heads.

Of course, we ate a lot of really tasty grub.  Lance is a fellow yogurt enthusiast (Jason isn't so much into yogurt), and his wife, Amy, had told him about famous Beijing yogurt.  Plus, eating yogurt is one of the best ways to fight indigestion or traveler's diarrhea-- two things that are almost guaranteed to visit you while you visit China.  Suffice it to say that a good deal of yogurt was consumed in our three days together.

Iced fruit tea at Bellagio 
Mango Coconut Milk shaved ice at Bellagio

Lance and his first cup of Beijing yogurt

Beijing Yogurt comes in a tiny clay jug that you can keep for an extra 1 kuai.
Each cup is covered by a little piece of printed wax paper, secured by a rubber band.

Lance and me with some friends having hot pot for dinner.
Even though we wished his trip could have lasted longer, we were so glad to have our very first visitor to our home.  We miss you, Lance!  Hurry back, and bring Amy with you next time!

Lance in his favorite chair at our apartment


  1. Sounds like you had a great time with Lance on May holiday. I even liked the photos of the back of your heads - LOL. Is that Ben Tabakman in your hotpot photo? (I thought I recognised him but wasn't sure.) Take care you guys!