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China

2005

Roger and Amy have been spending a jam-packed spring semester teaching in Temple University's LL.M. program in Beijing at Tsinghua University. Though we have taught in Temple's Tokyo program before (and Rome and Athens), this is a first for us! We have both been to China before, and the comparison of the "new" China to the old is remarkable!

 
These ruins . . . they look like they should be in Rome! Wrong! These are the ruins of Yuanminyuan, the Perfection and Brightness Garden, known to foreigners as the Old Summer Palace, built by Emperor Qianong in the Qing dynasty (18th Century). We went there on Amy's birthday with LingLing, Tony, Susan and Laura Browne. Click here for more pictures of Yuanminyuan.
The trip to Yuanminyuan followed a fantastic Gansu gastronomical lunch put on by Lingling for Amy's birthday. Click here for more birthday pictures.
   
Of course, coming to China has been a great excuse for us to be reunited with our dear friend, LingLing Liu. Many of you may remember LingLing; she stayed with us in 2001-2002 while she was studying English at Temple. In fact, the room she used on the second floor is still affectionately known as "LingLing's room." LingLing and her cadre of students have been entertaining us royally! We even got to see her appear on television. More
           
An additonal plus: our old friends Susan and Tony Browne from New Zealand recently arrived in Beijing as well. Tony is the new New Zealand Ambassador to China, and we have decided that we have a better relationship with the NZ Embassy than the US Embassy! Amy and Susan have been spending spring Tuesdays exploring the Hutongs and back streets of Beijing (as well as doing a little shopping). And weekends the five of us (Tony, Susan, their daughter Laura, Roger and Amy) can be found exploring together. Click here for our pictures of Beijing.
           
A very recent find on the BossBrowneClark expeditions: the Beijing Underground City, a labyrinth of tunnels and disused rooms built by Chairman Mao between 1969 and 1979 in preparation for nuclear war. It contains a hotel, hospitals, a cinema, an arsenal, and even a factory! [Our tour included the "obligatory" stop at the silk factory store!] Finding the Underground was not easy: we tried to find it for days, and all the Chinese we spoke with denied its existence. But we perservered, and it paid off! Check these links for verification that these tunnels do exist: Beijing City Weekend and The China Page
           
Like this sign? Have any idea what it means? (Click on the image to see what we think it means!) If you want to see some more intriguing signs, check out our collection by clicking here.
           
We used to think that the haunting mountains rising from the mist that appear on so many Chinese scrolls and drawings were imaginary. Until we visited Yangshuo and Guilin, that is.The scenery was spectacular and unlike anything we had seen before. See more here.
           
Tsinghua University, where we have been teaching, is considered to be the "MIT" of Beijing. Although in a large city, its campus is very attractive. The original of this gate, considered by many to be the symbol of Tsinghua, was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and replaced with a statue of Chairman Mao. Click here for more pictures.
           
 

Tianjin. On the weekends, Roger and Amy have tried to see the country. One weekend, they went along with a colleague at China University of Politics and Law, Professor Zhang Chu, to visit Tianjin, a city of 10 million, about seventy miles from Beijing. For the pictures of Tianjin, click here.

           
 

Souzhou. On another trip, Amy and Roger took an overnight train (soft seat sleeper, please) to the town of Souzhou. The trip was indeed an experience, but far better than the train Amy, Roger, Ted and Ashley took from Shanghai to Beijing in 1994. On arrival in Souzhou, Amy and Roger explored the historical town and its beautiful gardens. For the pictures of Souzhou, click here.

           
  A night boat took us by the canal from Souzhou (the Garden City) to Hangzhou (the home of West Lake), where we joined our friends the Brownes for a two day excursion including strolling along the West Lake (which we shared with ballroom dancers and Tai Chi afficienados out for their morning exercises as well as sidewalk caligraphers), checking out the silk markets, and eating fantastic Hangzhou cuisine. We even got to celebrate Tony's birthday! See our Hangzhou pictures.
           
 

One of our favorite side trips was to Xi'an, the home of the Terracota Warriors.

           
           

 

 

 

 

 

 

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