April 16, 2010
China Trip Day 6 – Part 1
One dollar, three dollar, Rolex Watch
By Maria Vandervert
“Three for 10 dollar! Rolex watch, Gucci bag for 5 dollar, Chairman Mao watch – only one dollar!” Today in Beijing on the way to the Temple of Heaven, we walked through a busy park with lots of locals getting together to share good times and learn “how best to be happy.” Vendors were scattered all over the place selling scarves, bags, and other souvenir items. The local folk meet in the park every day to play hacky-sack, practice ballroom dancing, and to sing. The park is free for those 65 years and older (they retire younger here – 50?) and everyone else pays a 200 Yuan ticket for the year. Be sure to check back for videos and photos, once I’m able to get them loaded.
We stopped at the Temple of Heaven where the emperors would pray for a good harvest and sacrifice an ox on the alter. The Temple of Heaven is round and blue (gold is for the emperor, green is for the princess, and gray or black color is for the commoner), which represents the heavens. No one was allowed to touch the emperor’s wife, and not even the doctor (or off with his head) if the wife was sick. The Dr. would need to check the wife’s pulse by tying a string around her wrist to take her pulse.