She's Big in Beijing

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Our first day in Beijing was mostly lost to travel and catching up on the sleep we lost as a result of our early flight out of Tokyo.

Today we got up, visited the local Starbucks out of curiosity and the crying need for really big cups of coffee, and then walked to the Forbidden City, about a mile away.

Everywhere, we were greeted by smiles and cries of "piaoliang" (pretty). Jane stuns them all when she says "xie xie ni" (thank you) and addresses people using (mostly) the right honorifics. People ask how does she know Chinese. This is our secret: Chinese for Children. Naturally, MJ and I have been watching it as well, and as a result we can say things like "Hello, Grandma" and "That is my doll" in flawless kiddie Chinese. So useful, especially for communicating things like "I have a disease that does not permit me to eat fried food, eggs or red meat, I hope your chef can accommodate me." Or even, "Ah, forget it, I'll just have the soup."

In the Forbidden City, a group of girls were so smitten they asked to be photographed with Jane. We took a picture of them, too.

New kanji we've learned: airport, airline, China, Beijing.