Volleyball team in China: Day 4May 24, 2013
After a few days of hanging out on the campus we got to take a trip to the other side of Beijing where we went to Imperial’s Heaven, which was a park that had the buildings where the Emperor would pray. As soon as we walked into the park we saw some people playing a game like hacky sack except it was a Chinese version with feathers and metal and plastic disks to weigh down the bottom of it. Locals were taking videos and pictures of all of us because they thought it was hilarious how terrible and uncoordinated we were, but by the end of it we were in love with the game and bought at least one each to bring back with us to keep playing.
It’s quite the workout so we are trying to talk Bing into letting us play it for part of our warm up because it helps us move our feet, improve our coordination and involves a lot of communication… not to mention it’s a blast (fingers crossed!).
The architecture at the park was AMAZING! Each building was hand carved and painted with very intricate details. How someone has the patience or skill to do what they did is just unbelievable. After checking out all the architecture and taking hundreds of pictures some of the girls learned a Chinese dance in the middle of the park. All the locals loved that we were getting involved and really trying to learn their dance. Then everyone took a traditional picture dressed in hats and a Royal Dress in one of their booths, which came out to be a really cool souvenir and not to mention hilarious.
Lunch today was the most American meal we’ve had, Pizza Hut! We ate KFC before but it was still a little different but this pizza we had was just as good if not better. The second the pizzas were put on the table they were attacked like vultures and were gone in minutes (no joke)…. We love our pizza that’s for sure.
With a happy stomach we went to the Beijing Muxyuan Sports Technology School to play one of professional teams. These girls were all around the age of 18 and monsters! We played four games with them and all of them were very competitive. One thing I’ve noticed is that all the teams over here play at a much faster pace than we’re used to. By the end of this trip were hopefully going to be at their pace so that when we come back to America those wonderful MIAA teams won’t be able to keep up anymore.
After the games some of the girls from the professional team ran over and wanted to chat and exchange emails and phone numbers to keep in touch. We sat around for at least 30 minutes talking to them and playing with our new feather “hacky sacks”.
For the evening we went to Old City Beijing where there was a couple mile long alley way full of shops and bars and people with stations set up all along the way. One of the stations had bugs on a stick and as tempting as that was we all decided to pass. At the end of our walk we had a very festive meal at McDonald’s. We were definitely spoiled today with our American meals but we’ll see what new things we can get into tomorrow!
Did you miss earlier installments of the team's travelogue? Click below for specific days: