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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tiananmen, Tongginator Style

The day we visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Hutong District felt completely different to our first touring experience there in 2005. Because last time it was snowing, y’all. Which means very few people. Plus, it was just the Husband and I responsible for our own sorry selves.

Total! Chaos!

Tonggu Grammy picked up an intestinal issue the night before, so she could not join us. Which means the Husband and I were on Tongginator Duty all day, while also trying to help other group members keep track of their children.  All total, there were six children ranging from ages six to ten in Beijing with us. Y’all it might as well have been an entire classroom.  I haven’t felt so stressed since the time I took 30 kids to the National Zoo in April.

The crowds pressed in around us from all angles.  Later in the day, the Tongginator asked me, “Momma, how come so many Chinese people bump into me, but they don’t say they are sorry?” I explained that there are so very many people in China, they are used to bumping into one another, and don’t even think about it anymore, so they don’t need to apologize for bumping into people to still have good manners. She accepted my explanation, but she didn’t seem too happy with it.

During our just-over-a-mile-walk through the crowds, the Tongginator strove to behave, but she struggled to stay by my side, since there was always that one! good! shot! she wished to take with the camera. My heart constantly jumped trying to keep track of her, keep track of our guide – who meandered through the sea of people like Moses -- help others keep track of their own children, and try to snap the occasional photo myself.

In fact, I really, really wanted to take a photograph of the Tongginator standing in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace at the entrance of the Forbidden City because the Tongginator took one look at the Chinese characters surrounding the portrait of Chairman Mao, spotted one of her name characters amid the dozen or so, and shouted, “Mom! I’m famous!” Heh.

But I didn’t get to take the photo. Because I was too busy keeping track of said famous Tongginator. So y’all now get to see Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Hutong District through the eyes of the Tongginator. Enjoy!


Snapshot said...

She did an AWESOME job with those photos! Love seeing those touristy stops through the eyes of a child.

I hope all is going well in Guangzhou!!

Sarah said...

I love that she just now realized that she's famous. My guess is she has no idea about the blog?

Johnny said...

Snow, much preferable to heat!

Cedar said...

I'm am stressed just reading about it! Definitely an argument in favor of leaving my two younger children home when we go.

Wonderful pictures and terrific memories for the always famous Tongginator.

Lindy D. said...

Love the pictures from her perspective. What a great idea to give her a camera! Hope your mother is feeling better. (P.S. How many more days?)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

She did an AWESOME JOB!!! I have been thinking about y'all nonstop!! By now, I know you have sweet baby girl with you and you are officially a family of four!! MANY CONGRATS TO YOU!!! I could not be happier. You have certainly waited long enough. Enjoy every minute of this special time in China. Tell the Tongginator she is doing a fabulous job...... I LOVE following along:)



Laurie said...

Pushy crowds...not my thing either. :( LOVE how you let her take over the camera.. her perspective was really fun to see! Can't wait to check in tomorrow. Praying things go as smoothly as possible!!

Kathy said...

Glad you made it there and am enjoying your blog. Great pictures too. Hope your mom feels better soon, no fun being sick. Looking forward to hearing about Family Day. Sure wish I would have seen the musical instruments while we were there, never saw them when we were there in 2007. enjoy the rest of your time there and as a family of 4 plus grandma.

Sharie said...

Little T did an awesome job with photos! Love the one of the flute player.
I know the BIG day is here. Hope the first night went well!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I have been so bad... bad blogger too... not keeping up and so busy with my life that I never realized you were in China... will have to come back and catch up for sure... I have 'known' you for so long and finally your turn is here.... hugs

Aus said...

WOW - you may really be onto something with the pics - a view of China through the eyes of a child is an incredible idea for a perspective on something like this - please have T keep shooting and preserve them all!! It's BRILLIANT!!

Sorry for the stress - I too don't like crowds like that too much. On the other hand - the mass of people and the general quality of the air were the only two things I didn't love about China - so I'm guessing I love most all of it then eh? ;)

hugs - home TG is back on track!

aus and co.

bbmomof2boys said...

T did a great job - I've been around, stalking, etc not leaving comments...sorry.

I totally understand the stress - too many people stresses me out big time then trying to keep track of T, the guide, other kids? wow! Its 8:30 at night there...I believe you have your little sweetie now - how's it going??


Jaggerfan1 said...

Aww, she sounds like a cute lil angel. And I love those pics. Did she take them? Because if so, wow, she's really good. Maybe she should take up photography, those are some good pictures, and she sounds so adorable. I bet she's a handful, but a lovely lil handful

Wendy said...

Photos are always better when taken from the perspective of a child. Love them!

Beyond Normal Limits said...

it makes me smile to see her photos :)

LaLa said...

She did great with the photos!! I can see your frustration too though as in your mind you have the perfect shot planned and it doesn't work...ok, between this and sleeping on the Wall you guys will definitely need a return trip soon : )

Cavatica said...

Great pics! Much better having her as your photographer while you track the people, I think.

Aunt LoLo said...

Love it! I can't imagine what I would have done...probably strapped her to my back and told her not to squirm while she took pictures. HAHAHAA.