being tourists.

even though i’m chinese, i still feel like i stand out a lot in china. it seems that everybody can spot us from far away as foreigners and people rarely believe that we’re from the states. people keep telling us that “what? you’re from america?? but you don’t look american…” i guess their perception is that all people from the states are blonde haired and blue eyed. oh how they are misguided…

since it was the weekend again, we got to go exploring! on saturday we went to yuntai mountain. it was sunny so a really good day to go mountain climbing. but it was SO CROWDED. everybody was squished on to this small path and i literally saw more people’s heads than scenery. okay, that’s not true but there were TONS OF PEOPLE. the scenery was gorgeous though! there were waterfalls and moutains and the water felt really good. it was so nice!

on sunday, we went to the longmen grottoes. i’ve never heard of the word “grotto” before but it means a type of cave that has historic artifacts. most of the longmen grottoes are from the tang dynasty. they’re basically these HUGE carvings of religious figures into tons and tons of caves. there were SO MANY! i can’t even imagine how long it took to carve all of those figures. i think there were over 2000 figures, some were small and others were REALLY BIG. luckily, this park was a lot emptier and a much more peaceful experience.

after all this tourism, i’ve realized that the number rule of being a tourist in china is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES! everywhere we went, people were breaking the rules. on the mountain, there were designated smoking areas but there were lots of people who smoked wherever they felt like it, even in the big crowds. i saw people taking pictures next to a sign that clearly stated “no photography.” there were even people climbing on places where there was a sign that said “danger! NO CLIMBING.”

my favorite sign though said “please cherish your life! no crossing!!” at least people followed that one…

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