Starting off in high spirits, thanks to one of our interns singing to the entire bus, we arrived at the summer palace early to avoid the heat but not early enough to avoid the crowd! The interns were soon in awe of the palace and the very tranquil surroundings, stopping every few steps to take hundreds of photographs! Walking around the beautiful lake provided a perfect backdrop for a moment of reflection away from the classroom. The interns were only too happy to gaze out at the wonderful scenery and take in all that they had accomplished so far.
After the stroll around the Summer Palace it was back on the bus to go for a spicy Chinese lunch, which we were assured by our tour guides would help with the humidity! Then we were off to our next destination… The Birds Nest Stadium. The huge, perplexing structure of inter-connecting, gravity defying steel struts is famous from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2008 the world’s eyes turned to Beijing as the capital city was the host of the Olympics and with the Olympic anthem “běijīng huān jíng nǐ” (Beijing welcomes you) still fresh in the interns minds from KTV they felt the famous Chinese hospitality.
Back on the bus for a very brief lesson on how to haggle and barter we were soon at the Yashao market. For almost 2 hours the interns got to try their hand at some vigorous haggling! No sooner had they bought something were the interns comparing prices with each other to see who had got the best deal and soon a competition was underway as to who could get the best bargain!! After a hearty meal, including Beijing Duck, it was off to our final destination…
…The famous Choayang Theatre for a Chinese acrobat show. Some of the interns had seen a similar show in their own countries but nothing could prepare them for the REAL acrobat show! As soon as the curtain came up the interns’ jaws dropped at the amazing feats of strength, skill and grace, every few minutes there were gasps of amazement and cheers of applause! The acrobats put on a stunning show that was a perfect way to end such a packed day.
Now the interns get ready for their next big step… Teaching practice!