Dead Ayi road to the Flower Market, Temple of Heaven, Beijing Bikinis and Halal food

Saturday, July 23, 2016

How would you feel taking a road that has been “affectionately” named “Dead Ayi Road”? It is a road that has no lights and is pretty narrow, and unfortunately it is the cause of deaths for the local Ayi population.  Not sure if our Ayi takes the road or not, but the other day while riding the shuttle to downtown I did see a dead dog on the side of the road.

Until we receive our car, we have been borrowing the neighbor’s tuk tuk (and getting our own on Thursday).  I’m always looking for something new to do, so we decided to venture out on Dead Ayi Road to go to the Flower Market. Don’t let the name fool you.  There’s more than flowers at the market.

Upon entering the market, we saw right before our eyes our grill.  Now, if you’ve been to our house in Beaverton, you no doubt saw or tasted something from our grill, the Kamado. Well, here at the market, they are selling a small, more compact version for about $500.  We were tempted for sure since our Kamado is in storage, but we ended up being the recipients of the neighbor’s grill when they left.  No need to buy yet another one.

And then Linnea spied something she wanted, hanging leaves.  She wanted to decorate her room and make it special, but the woman was asking a lot of money and didn’t seem interested in bargaining. I told Linnea to wait to see what else we could find.

You could buy tea sets, furniture, terracotta warriors, outdoor furniture,  or even carpets. Check out this hard working employee…20160723_142936-01

We meandered around the area looking for all that could be bought and saw koi fish, massive fish tanks, plants and flowers.  You could even buy single crickets. Or massive wood furniture…


We left the building in search of food. We were the only non-Chinese people at the dive where we shared two meals for the four of us which included three plates of rice for 70 RMB.

After lunch, I discovered an impressionistic painter, He was working on a landscape painting of the Summer Palace from a photograph.  I loved the texture of his paintings and the way he used color. I asked if he could take one of our photographs and make it into a painting.  He is going to paint the picture of the rickshaws from my blog’s banner but adding lots of color (which I took out when playing with the photo).  It’ll be ready this weekend to pick up.


So we did go back and negotiated with fake hanging leaves seller and bought some for Linnea. She ended up getting lights from the Pearl Market (on Sunday) and voila…

Linnea's room

The lights can change color too.

Linnea decided to take pics of herself with the camera.

linnea photographing


Sunday, July 24, 2016

On Sunday, we decided to venture out to the Temple of Heaven.  Linnea wanted to go to the Pearl market, but I told her we would have to do something touristy first.  Aidan didn’t sleep well the night before so we decided to allow all complaining to stay at home.

While waiting in line for tickets, a man approached us asking if we wanted a guide.  He said he would charge us 70 RMB (about $10) for two hours.  I had heard that The Temple of Heaven is quite large, so we decided to hire the guide.  His English was fantastic and in a former life he was an Engineer.  I found him to be charming and informative, and truthfully with as much ground there was to cover, it was nice to have someone take us right where we needed to go to see things.

If we had arrived early in the morning, we would have seen people doing Tai Chi or exercising in the park  There were lots of people just enjoying the park setting, either playing games with friends or eating food.  All the tourists (Chinese and otherwise) were looking at all the buildings.


I love the colors of all the buildings.


They were doing a photo shoot, and it was amazing to see no sweat showing on the models. Poor Charlie was drenched.


Love the old doorways etc.




In China, this place is considered to be the center of the Universe.


Our guide Attilla took us out of the heat to see a gallery with paintings from an art school. I know that’s often what guides do, but we did find we liked some of the art and ended up buying some things.


Linnea wanted the one on the left for her room (which is why we purchased it), but we found it looked better downstairs.  It is good feng shui to have the one on the right facing a door or window so the evil spirits can leave. We also bought a long one with a fall scene but haven’t hung it up yet.

We would definitely use Attilla again if we have guests who wants a tour, so I got his contact info.

After the Temple of Heaven, we made our way over to the Pearl Market, of course stopping by Brown Door for a bite to eat.

Linnea scored a pair of converse sneakers that she’s excited about. Her shirt says: Love me, love my cat.



So what is a Beijing bikini?

When we arrived in Beijing, Zoe (our neighbor) told us about the Beijing bikini.  Men don’t necessarily take off their shirts, they just lift them up and walk around.  It is quite funny to see.



Don’t be surprised if you see this when coming to Beijing in the summer.

A few weeks ago…

Harvey suggested we go out for dinner. I asked if he could find the Middle Eastern restaurant (Chinese Muslims) that we were told about that morning.  I knew the general direction, so Harvey agreed to try something new.  We learned that restaurants that have a green awning have Arabic writing and therefore serve halal meat. We ended up having a super cheap, delicious meal.


After dinner we saw this woman biking this old man around. Love the scene…




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