Thursday, July 16, 2009

BING ma yong. the warriors.

this has been on my list of things to see before i die since i was like.. 10. seriously. as soon as i get home and find my diary with the christmas kitty on it, i will prove it to you.

in three 'pits' stand over 6000 terracotta soldiers. built for the first emperor (who is buried nearby) over 2200 years ago, they were only discovered in 1974, by some farmers digging a well!

each one is different and they represent the 50 - some odd people-groups of this country. The emperor was known for unifying the country, so building an army where all of the minorities are represented is a testament to his power. (ps. it was really interesting to see this at this time because the violence in the west started right after i saw these 'unified' warriors)

so the bodies, which all meet the requirements to be in the army, were made first. Next, came the arms and head. Beards and ears (which apparently are the predominant characteristics) came last.

also, each soldier's attire and hair-style tell what his rank is. in the front of the formation are all of the low-ranking soldiers. they wear pants, short jackets, and don't have any armor. my guide book says, "armor was unnecessary since ferocity and bravery were considered sufficient protection for infantrymen." the highest ranking officers have long coats, armor, and their hair is in a high bun. none of the soldiers wear helmets.

can you imagine, you're just digging a well one day, and you come across an ear and some other clay pieces. then, you dig a little more, and you find a body and a horse.. and then you find an entire army of soldiers... crazyyy.

doesn't this guy look intense:

anyway, they have some soldiers that are part of a traveling tour. apparently they are in Houston right now at the museum of natural science.. they will be there until the end of september.. anyone want to go with me and my momma in september??

Monday, July 13, 2009

some extras.

you can buy sunflower seeds STILL in the sunflower!

starbucks actually has pretty cool architecture...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

name stamp

i finally got my name carved in stone. hah that sounds funny

anyway, its a traditional name stamp thing.. they used to use these in the old days because a lot of people couldn't write, so this was used as their signature. Now, artists use them on their paintings and old people use them to sign bank info. i think they are pretty cool

my name is 韩吉娜, han ji na.

anyway, guess who is leaving the country again? me!

tomorrow, we are heading out to central asia.. sooner than expected because of a lot of visa issues. so i am running around trying to get things done.. actually i am sitting around thinking of all of the things i need to do.. anyway. i'll be out for about 4 weeks and back in east asia on august 15, that is, if i can get a visa to come back... oh visas. I will have very limited internet access while i'm gone.. but send me emails anyway!

see you all in 4 weeks!

ps. i'm scheduling some posts from our travels.. so yeah... they will post while i am gone. enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

a big nest.

also while we were up north, we were able to visit this place that might look familiar....

designed and built by Herzog and de Meuron the same guys that built the deYoung museum in SF! even though i think the deYoung functions horribly as a museum, i think this nest makes a very good... nest.

i spent a lot of time in arch 160 (construction) studying this building so it was really awesome to see it in person..

and it also looks good at night:

and the cube.. this was a team project by a bunch of guys i don't remember.. Oh and the PTW architects.

all the bubbles on the outside (and inside) are made of this plastic that comes in sheets and can be stretched.. it is double layered, stretched on a steel frame.. so, when air is blown in between the sheets, it makes a bubble! this plastic stuff is awesome.. it is lighter and more energy efficient than glass, and its recyclable! it was also used in the Eden Project.


look what i found.....

yes! vanilla coke has come to east asia!! well.. not to my city yet, but at least its in the same area.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the wall.

while we were exploring the north, we were able to jump on a bus full of laowai and drive out to see this awesome wall! which may look familiar...

so this section of the wall was built over 2200 years ago, and was restored in 1984, so that's why it looks all new. stretching over 4000 miles long it is also known as the longest cemetery in the world. because a lot of men traveled way outside the city to build the wall, and many of them died in the process, instead of hauling them back to the city, they just buried them under/in the wall. isn't that awesome?!?

and then we climbed this crazy steep part:

view from the top.. so worth the climb!

and our feets from the top!

what?! a staple-free stapler?!

have you ever seen anything in all your days?

instead of staples, it cuts a tab into the paper, and slides it through a slice in the paper. and it's eco-friendly too! isn't it amazing?

and cute too.

i wants.

via fredflare

the sky!

during our travel to the north, we were pleasantly surprised by the the presence of blue, yes, BLUE and CLOUDS in the sky.. can you believe?!?!?

this is a nice transition from what we are accustomed to.. which looks something like this:

yes, that's the sun at about 5 pm.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

adventures in old cities.

laura bo baura came over to this side of the globe last week and met up with me and steph to travel to some of the most awesome cities in the north! woot. we had a great time running around trying to see everything we could in a short amount of time. we hit a couple snags in our plan having to do with housing and transportation.. but that's behind us. train adventures are always... adventures. anyway, here are a few snapshots from our trip:

look at that SKY!
drainage details: i love them!
dragons everywhere

check out this FOUR STAR RATED toilet. too bad i didn't have a chance to use it.

my new friend: the "beast"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

welcome to the neighborhood part II

meet my new best friends.

there is a restaurant around the corner that serves great la mian and the owners have these two adorable little boys!

i like them because they don't ignore us like our downstairs restaurant owners' daughter.

so they spend most of their time running around the restaurant and shooting each other with guns made out of cardboard. sometimes the chef guy (who i think is somehow related to all of them, and wears home-made spongebob shorts) plays with them outside. anyway, i gave them some little toy cars the other week because every little boy should have toy cars to play with! so now we are like best friends.


last week, we went bowling for family time! and our school IDs that MaLaoshi scored for us got us in for ... wait for it... FREE. awesome!

it was all-in-all a great time. and even though i've been bowling for a long time, and have been to more than my share of rock-n-bowls, i still can't get it right. i probably averaged something like a 70.
i will blame it on the fact that the lanes appear to not have been waxed in the last 2 decades, the machine kept ignoring my spares, and we had to switch lanes at some point because the pin-monster kept trying to eat my upright pins.

anyway, you would think that bowling in another country would translate well. and for the most part it does. but then, you go to enter your name into the keyboard and it looks like this:

Monday, July 6, 2009

pretty prints

i found these amazing prints by yellena on etsy the other day.

aren't they gorgeous?

and only $20!

we're back.

we're back from a short jaunt in two cities.. it was great to get out and see some more of this mysterious land.. and we got to go to some of the oldest cities in the country!

my feets are scrubbed clean, freshly painted, with an awesome sandals tan and so so swollen due to the 18 hour train ride i spent sitting on a wooden bench. oh poor toes.
more about our adventures to come shortly..

in other news, in the last couple of weeks i realized i have been dreaming of this foreign land called america. every time i think about going back to the states i realize i am totally romaticizing america... i feel like all the mouses on fievel singing, "there are no cats in america and the streets are paved in cheeeseee." someone get this out of my head!