Cafeteria food is cafeteria food. Even in a country known for exotic cuisines, four meals of cafeteria food kind of gets to you. The adults made an executive decision to tweak our itinerary a little and we ended up breaking from the main group to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City (and eat cool food!).
Conveniently enough, the gloom and the smog from the previous days had cleared up, so the sky was beautiful and blue for our excursion. It almost seemed like it was meant to be. The clear skies were, however, accompanied by sweltering heat. Well, it was just above 75, but when you’re walking outside for a couple of hours, even that became hard to bear. Nevertheless, the amazing opportunity to visit these historical sites made it all worth it.
Oddly enough, there were fewer Western tourists in the Forbidden City than we expected. Our translators explained that it was just around the time of a Chinese traditional holiday, so a lot of people from beyond Beijing liked to come and tour.
Call me a glutton, but the food we had after our little trip might just have been the most memorable part. The translators recommended a little noodle shop just beyond the Forbidden City. Located on a bustling street corner, it had a modest enough store front, but the inside was spacious and relatively modern. Alec, Emily, Anne Blythe, and I weren’t incredibly hungry, so we ended up splitting two large bowls of noodles. It was funny because the noodles seemed endlessly long, each one spanning a good two and a half feet. Accustomed to eating pasta and noodles that were no longer than my forearm, it was kind of a struggle to get it all in our systems without making a mess. But I suppose I fared marginally better than the others, just because I was more used to chopsticks.