I am becoming a little self-conscious about my size. I am a little taller than the average U.S. male and weigh more than I should, but here people look at me. I started to notice this yesterday.
It started during our visit to the Forbidden City. They asked us to wear these strange hats so that the tour guides could keep track of us in the crowds. I started to notice that the hats brought a great deal of attention to our group and people were taking pictures. Chinese tourists with their personal cameras, people with nice video equipment and some professionals who seemed to be there to film what we guessed was an ad spot started pointing their cameras at us. Actually, I soon realized that I was generating more than my fair share of photo opportunities. The hat does look pretty funny on me and I started to feel like I was the leader of visitors from another galaxy. I now have a collection of pictures of people taking pictures of me. I started walking over to those with expensive digital cameras and asking if I could have a look to see what their pictures looked like. We compared cameras – it was great fun.
My second “size” experience came later last evening. We were shopping for bargains in a place called the Silk Market. The sales persons are extremely aggressive in presenting their goods to tourists. I am not a great shopper under any circumstances, but having salespersons grab me to make me stop walking was pretty extreme.
The one line that did get my attention – Big Buddha – We got size fit you too!
I have decided to pursue my diet which much greater vigor once I get home.
Today was really the last day of our trip and the only day the entire group spent as tourists. The destination was the Great Wall.
Even though the site has become terribly commercialized, the Great Wall is still very impressive.
Walking the Great Wall is strenuous, but we did very well. Check out the following photo.
We took this picture on the way down as a way to show just how steep the incline is. There is also something else impressive about this picture. Moving up and down the wall is a great physical feat – the steepness quickly leaves you winded. The steps, when there are steps, are sometimes twice the height you might be used to in walking the steps in your home. This said – notice what Cindy is carrying. The vendors are everywhere and somehow manage to haul their wares up the path. Despite the struggle to get up and down Cindy had to shop.
You buy it, you carry it was my policy.
We get up at 4 in the morning for the long journey home. I will probably put together one more post on this trip and then it is back to technology and teaching.