April 28, 2009

The Good, the Badaling, and the Ugly

My roommate's good friend from Ireland was visiting, so we made our way to the Badaling section of the Great Wall. This is the most accessible and popular portion of the wall. After Jiankou, it was the second part of the Great Wall I visited, but the first segment that had been been fully restored to its original state. Railings, garbage bins, and surveillance cameras had also been added. Heavily crowded with tourists, Badaling still retains its charm as a wonder of the world.

We caught a bus from the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch near Tiananmen Square. Before reaching Badaling we made a brief stop at Minghuang Waxworks Palace, where we were given a thoroughly historical overview of the Ming Dynasty via life size wax representations of various pivotal events.

In China, English songs are often played on the music system of stores and vehicles, although very few people may understand the true meaning of the lyrics. In a particularly cruel twist of fate, the in-bus entertainment included the song Don't Want No Short Dick Man. Among the passengers were dozens of Chinese men and I.