Friday, February 17, 2012

the most amazing country in the world

Yesterday, as the plane began to leave the ground, the sun was just coming up over the horizon. Now that we're here, I must say that I can't think of very many times I've been this exhausted...jet lag is not pleasant. Yet, though I've only been here for a day, this country has already captivated my heart. It is beyond amazing. It's quite an experience to breathe in the things around you. People everywhere are speaking a different language, everything smells strange, and there are so many things to look at. Things are so different here...the lights, the traffic, the food--everything!

 It was busy today, we walked so many places, and never have I been so cold! Bundled in coats, gloves, and hats, we ventured to a silk factory, tiananmen square, the forbidden city, and a hutong village. I found myself watching, completely in awe, at this city. The wind was wiping through my hair and my hands were numb but I couldn't help myself from smiling as I witnessed all these things and did things I never have done before.

It's so loud here, cars honk their horns at anything and everything-- and the people just walk around in the middle of the roads, as if they were completely oblivious to the face that they're about to be in an accident at any given moment. There are people whistling Chinese songs, others are standing on the sidewalks trying to sell all sorts of things. I found it rather humorous when people would try to talk to you just so that they could practice their English. And communicating with people who don't speak the same language is an adventure all by itself.

The food here is...interesting. I think it would be safe to say that I haven't eaten very much today. I prefer to stay away from things that have legs and eyeballs. I am, however, proud to say that I tasted a starfish and a scorpion, and that alone was quite an experience! 

I felt as if I could stand in one place on the sidewalk here, and just look at things forever. There is so much going on in this city. The history here is so rich, and I cannot even explain how blessed I feel to have this opportunity! Every time I look out the window of our tour buss, I am reminded again and again that I have been given so much. There are people here that have to beg on the streets just so they have enough money for their next meal. 

The magnitude of this city is something I think it would take forever to get used to. Tonight as we went to a night market, the lights and the smells were completely astonishing. Everything is so loud and large! It is nothing compared to Colorado, nor any other place I've ever been to. This country is beyond comprehension, it is so many things at one time. It's dirty in some parts, yet beautiful in others. The buildings are so detailed and so beautiful. It's nothing like home, but I love it.