Posted by: asianshock | July 9, 2011

July 9th, Day 15

Lets see where to begin…First, I received an email late last night from my research mentor Jane. She told me that Dr. Lu wants me to work with Byron another graduate student on a different project. So now the new project I am working on is micro RNA -9-1 and its role in epithelial mesenchymal transition and liver cancer. This sounds like a really interesting project especially since I just took a class on mechanisms of human diseases where we discussed about this. Byron will send me an outline of his plan later this week so I’ll have updates when I know myself.

Now on to the tour today

So we all woke up around 7 am to get ready and to meet our tour guide downstairs at 8 am. The tour guide was a cool guy named Chen who spoke English fluently so that was a relief. We piled into a small sized bus and were quickly whisked away to the Forbidden City.
There were soooo many people at the Forbidden city, both tourists and natives. What especially sucked was that many of them had umbrellas and they went up to my eye level so I constantly had to watch out for fear of getting blinded. The interior of the city was a spectacle to see. Chen studied History in college so he gave us a full rundown of the site. The fact that I remember the most was at one time, there were 7000 concubines that belonged to one emperor. Now that is a lot of companionship.

We saw one of the thrones where the emperor would reside.

I took a lot more pictures but I will post them later since there is an upload limit.

After the city, we went to eat at a pretty fancy restaurant. It was on the second floor of a building. The first floor was a jade manufacturing site and store. A little strange but ok. When we ascended to the second floor, it started making sense. All I saw were foreigners, most likely part of different tour groups. The tour companies had made a deal with the restaurant and the jade store to bring in rich foreigners. In any case, the food was pretty good, although you can tell it was catered toward foreigners. After lunch, we were given a tour of how they make the jade jewelery and ornaments.

The precision required to carve some of the more intricate ornaments is incredible. The green ball on your right was made out of a single block of jade. There is a ball within a ball within a ball, but it was made out of just 1 block. Pretty insane.

Of course, we are all college students and we couldn’t afford to buy anything in the store so after a awkward tour, we gave our thanks and quickly scurried back to the bus, Off to the Great Wall!

Now I didn’t realize it until now, but my camera was running out of battery. I was only able to take 1 picture and a short video before it died but luckily I got my friends to take the pictures for me, so I will upload them when I get them.
There is a Chinese saying that says, “those who climb to the top of the Great Wall will be called Heroes”
I can say from personal experience that we definately felt like heroes by the time we reached the top. The steepness of some of the portions of the wall made the Bruin Walk hill look like a joke. The highlight of was when we reached the top and performed an 8 clap. Now thats Bruin pride.
Here is the video I took of the initial step up the great wall.

I’m pretty tired right now, so imma call it for now. More picture and videos to come, including our awesome 8 clap at the top

-V

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