By: Lucy Dabbs, Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, participant of the 2017 Beijing International Education Exchange (BIEE) Summer Camp.
After we are nourished and briefly rested on the bus ride, it’s time to walk around a massive shopping centre for 4 hours! I was prepared to go shopping, and am very glad to hear we were aloud to go off independently if we met back for dinner.
The first store I go into is a clothing store, and my first hour is spent trying on clothes and getting used to the different sizes, which I find to be much smaller than Western sizing. I do like the styles of clothing though, they seem a lot more colorful than our boring gray clothes back home.
I pull myself from the enticing fashions and explore the rest of the mall with a friend from BC, and we find some very interesting shops. We like to go in the random ones, of an assortment of toys and gadgets and antique objects. In one of the thrifty stores there are some cheaper things, and I get some good deals. The big name brand stores are a lot more expensive, the prices the same if not more than in Canada.
I buy two knockoff Newton’s cradles, twelve rubber bouncing eggs, an adorable color changing kitty desk lamp, a light bulb lamp, an anime travel mug, and some handmade candies.
At 6:00 we meet up with our groups we were paired up with, 3 BC people to a Chinese student, who were acting as our guides. They take us to a restaurant on the third floor that is unlike any I've been to. At the back of the wide open room is a kitchen where a team of chefs prepare food constantly, so that the food will always be ready within minutes of ordering.
When we sit down at the table we fill out a piece of paper, checking off items on the menu with the number of how many we want. This eliminates the need for waiters, and really speeds up the process.
I enjoy some fresh milk tea, and drink regular water heated up in a bowl. It’s like tea, without the tea. My friend and I both get fried dumplings and chicken curry, two items that I really like back home. It is more similar to the food we have in Canada than I've ever had in China. Our curry and dumplings are actually better than any I’ve had before.
On our way home from the mall we take a long route back to the school, a bus ride tour of downtown Beijing. Ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the massive and interestingly shaped architecture, fantastically lit up in the night. A great way to end a great day at the Great Wall.