Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Have just came back from New Delhi a week ago. It is the dirtiest city/country I have ever been to. I remember last year when I first went there, the air was so polluted. Within the short distance from the airport to hotel, when I reached my room, I blown my nose and found all black! It was such a horrible thought of revisiting it…

This time, it is the only business trip I did not bring back any expressed breastmilk (EBM) after giving birth to Ian. I was so skeptical on the hygiene and water quality, decided not to risk it.

Before my first trip to Delhi, all my colleagues advised me to drink only bottled water. Some even to the extent of asking me to brush my teeth and wash my face with bottled water, which I eventually followed last year (when I was pregnant).

Four years ago, my ex-colleague went there for holiday. When it was time she was supposed to report back to work, she didn’t show up. Later we found out she had terrible food poisoning due to dirty water, and was hospitalized in India, unable to make her way home!

Well, looks like I have to make another trip there in August… such thought really spoil my mood… :(

Sight Seeing in Beijing 3 – Temple of Heaven (天坛) and太极柔力球 (Taiji Soft-Strength Ball)

On the last day of my last stay in Beijing, my flight was ‘unfortunately’ very late, at 4pm. I did some short sight seeing, just like what I did on my first trip. This time, in between the 3 places that I wish to see: 雍和宫, 颐和园and 天坛 (Temple of Heaven), I chose Temple of Heaven.
Temple of Heaven is actually surrounded by a large garden, where it is also a leisure place for a lot of local folks, just like our Lake Garden or FRIM but with a lot more people. Hundreds of people doing different activities in groups, such as Tai Ji, Badminton, Social Dance, etc. What attracted me most is what is called 太极柔力球 (Taiji Soft-Strength Ball).
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When I was searching for 七星石 (Seven Star Stone), I stumbled into a group of hundreds of people playing this Taiji Ball. The balls look like sticking to the rackets, won’t drop even the rackets turned 360 degree. I found it quite fun, trying to take some photos. But photos cannot bring out the fun of the sport, so I tried to take some short movies of a lady (with her permission). She then invited me to try out the sport – I found it so fun and finally bought a set to bring home (2 rackets, 2 balls, and a bag, cost CNY 65). It is a sport that you can play alone, in 2 persons, or even in a group of a few people made into a circle! I don’t know how to show a short movie on this site, otherwise I can show it here. Can anyone tell my how to do this? :)

When I played this back at home, everyone at the part looked at us in interest. It is a really fun sport. If I go back again, I will buy a few more sets.
Anyway, for the Temple of Heaven, it is just a few structures where the emperor prayed. Nothing much except nice architecture.