Saturday, December 29, 2012

June 10; tea with the godfather

Day 126
I downloaded a new app on my phone called Pudding Cam. Most of the pictures in this post are from my phone's camera. The following picture is taken from my Sunday school classroom.
The tall building is the teacher's residence.  The  short one beside it is the athletic centre.
The buildings on the right are for the middle and high school. 
The Canadian girls were treated to a wonderful afternoon courtesy of our Godfather Cam today. We start the afternoon by meeting Cam under the giant portrait of Mao.

North side of the forbidden city
We have been told that Jingshan Park is the place to go for the best view of The Forbidden City. After approximately half an hour of climbing to the peak, I can confirm it is the best view (although there hasn't been many) I have seen of the Forbidden City and its surrounding area.
let the climbing commence!
Photo Cred: Cat
We were told that an emperor hung himself on that tree.
The tea house we are taken to is hidden deep within Jingshan Park.  As we enter the store, the lady greets Cam fondly – he has been here a few times. We sit at the table and the tea ceremony teacher walks us through the proper steps for tea tasting and the traditional way to hold the tea cups. Tea tasting is kind of like wine tasting. The smell, the temperature, the process of getting it from the container to the cup… all so…precise.

the tea house.
the equipment
the teas.
Step one: prepare your tea. For jasmine tea, all you need to do is add water and the bulbs will open.
Jasmine tea
Step 2: Pour the tea into the tall cup. Place the wide cup over the tall cup. Flip the cups so the wide cup is at the bottom. Once the tea has transferred, you can now smell the fragrance of the tea left in the tall cup. 
Step 3: Drink the tea. Ladies hold the cup with their thumb and index figure. The other fingers fan out like a phoenix. Men hold their cups less elegantly and more firmly with all fingers touching the cup (I think it's supposed to symbolize a dragon?)
After drinking (Cam was right, you can get high off this stuff), the tea teacher turns into a saleswoman and tries to sell us these cool cups. The cups change designs depending on the temperature of the liquid. 
transitioning from calligraphy to panda.
We all feel fresh and energized after an afternoon of drinking tea. We see there is another park nearby and venture on in. Apparently, there is another fee for Beihai Park. Funny story, the admission fee for students are usually cut in half in most places. Cam, who has been out of school for quite a while, shows his driver's license. The ticket sales lady gives him student discount too. haha
you can rent boats that are shaped as lotus. Unfortunately, we got there too late.
the path was too flat so we looked for our own adventure

Things I will miss about Beijing: scenic parks

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