Our Saturday in Beijing began with a walk to the market. The streets are really little alleys for the most part. On either side people have stuff laid out to sell. Food, trinkets, clothes, you name it. The market was an immense roof over innumerable little stands.
There were sections selling everything one could of think of. Wares were stacked on tables and on the ground. Sarah negotiated a purchase of some slippers despite her own dread of haggling.
Sarah and Eileen helped me buy a hat and a grapefruit. Of course we over paid for all of this due to our own ignorance of the language and money. But still we were quite proud of ourselves.
Sarah and I wandered around together later while Eileen stayed with Alex and Elizabeth and Jeremy was off gallivanting on his scooter.
We walked entirely around a nearby little lake (Houhai Lake) which butts up against a drum and bell tower. We had a nice talk about family systems and generally caught up with each other. This conversation alone was worth the plane ride for me. It was great fun. There were many people out walking and doing just what we were doing: chatting and enjoying the scenery. Some were fishing, a few swimming. There were boats shaped like ducks presumably in honor of the little duck preserve in the lake.
I was unsurprisingly exhausted after this three mile walk. Jeremy and Elizabeth went out that evening and once again purchased an excellent feast of take away of the local cuisine. Our meals are turning into another highlight of this trip for me.
And of course Alex the new grand daughter is the star of the event.