The adventures of Bill in Beijing…
Behold, the awesome Forbidden City, famous for being the largest Chinesey looking thing in the world!
In reality it is quite large and spectacular. It’s also mostly red and was built a long time ago by an important Chinese dude. (Seriously, you can Wiki the historical facts.)
Walking up to the front gate is accompanied by the sound of ‘wow’ in several languages. I actually got to brutalize a little of the Spanish language with a few people from Spain. If you really want to see the locals look confused, break into a Spanglish conversation in front of them. Want to see them freak, watch them while Europeans (particularly Spanish and Italians) start hugging and kissing on the cheeks. I’m pretty sure this one older local gentlemen thought me and a woman from Spain were about to get funky right there under Mao’s portrait. (Even married couples don’t hold hands in public here.)
I didn’t do the tour into the inner courtyards and interiors because, well, I made a wrong turn and just went with it. Figured I’m here for at least a year, and the Forbidden City isn’t going anywhere. If for some reason it isn’t here at some point, man I got bigger issues than sight seeing probably.
Any who, it looks like both a palace and a fortress. The outer courtyard is surrounded by a big ass wall with battlements. Outside of that is a giant moat. The moat is frozen solid this time of year and it seems to be a thing to toss a coin onto it. I tossed a coin, and it slipped down into a crack in the ice. A local looked at me and cringed. I tossed another coin, looked at him, and he just shook his head and walked away.
Damn it, I don’t know if this means it’s a bad omen for the year of the monkey because I displeased the gods, or this guy thinks I throw like a pansy.
Oh well. There was a giant archway that looked cool, so let’s go check it out.