During a day of exploration I walked around Beijing for the first time alone, armed with my camera. In America people tend to laugh at me as I take photos of simple things at weird angles, you can imagine that a Chinese person watching a Waiguoren (foreign person) would have a similar reaction. It is interesting to realize that a few years ago I would have been punished for something like this and considered a spy, and still could be in other parts of the world. Instead of being labeled a spy, an older Chinese woman came up to me when I was taking pictures of a bike and started asking me all these questions about my camera and other things in very difficult Chinese. She had both a strong Beijing accent AND was using words that I have never learned, like bicycle. (At least I am assuming.. she was pointing at it?) It was an interesting conversation; one person babbling on in one language while the other repeats words to herself, then speaks in English to herself saying “Wait I am confused.. What’s this mean?” I would then ask her in Chinese what is the meaning of “____” only to get more words I didn’t understand. Even though I had no idea what this older Chinese woman was saying to me as she watched and talked to me for about ten minutes, it was a highlight of my trip. I did, however, look up one word and figured out she was telling me that these plants were "hot chili pepper" plants. Here are a few photos I liked from today.
The photo that got the woman talking.
Another photo that someone stared when I took.