"Photo? 50 yuan only.."
I couldn't resist. Cold as it was, I decided to go for the photo shot at the Great Wall. We had to take off our warm jackets to put on the thin costumes and smile at the camera for a few minutes. Shiver.. shiver.. brrrr...!! My tour members laughed merrily as we posed about, me in my purple Empress costume (hey, it was a chance of a lifetime, LOL) and my husband chose a general's costume (he got to hold a long sword). It was crazy because we riskedcatching a cold but we had fun, hahahaa..and syukur, I was able to keep my aurat covered properly because the gown was long and loose. Don't miss this if you go to China.
Our tour guide, Azmi, said that in China, the Chinese said that the word "ren" or 'human' is the most difficult word to write. Lots of people were killed building China's two main monuments, which are the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canal. Both are shaped like the word "ren", with the Great Wall stretching from East to West and the Grand Canal from North to South. Both monuments are important for the survival of the Chinese people but at a great cost - the lives of those who were killed building it. And as we walked on that Great Wall, we looked in awe at how strong it still is, and how much the people of that time had sacrificed, how creative they were, and how hard they worked to build this building, the only visible one seen from outer space.
And in that cold weather, we found a delicious local diet. The roasted sweet potato, hehehe. It's quite expensive but deliciously sweet and helped to keep us warm and full till the next meal. Halal too. I had them for three days (might explained the weight gained :P). They're sold outside the main tourist spots by local Chinese. These Chinese locals are very enterprising; they seem to know what tourists need - warm food, warm drinks and cheap souvenirs. And yes, they are willing to withstand the cold weather to make a few bucks. Bargaining is a part of life there.
Roasted sweet potatoes for sale..yummy!
Syukur, despite our health conditions, we had managed to cope. I was quite worried about being stuck on the Great Wall and unable to descend as Husband was still limping. Perhaps the cold had helped to numb the pain. Whatever it is, I'm grateful. Allah swt is merciful and had allowed us to have a smooth and safe journey in Beijing. And in winter, there was no rain, so we were able to visit all the places, shivering as we were, huhuhu.