I forgot to mention that on Boxing Day we had Tai Ji. Our instructor didn’t speak English so one of the students translated for us, and also laughed at us when we failed to copy his moves. After about half an hour of attempting tai ji he decided that we should try kung fu as the instructor thought it would be easier. It wasn’t really. We weren’t dressed for it either – long, snow boots are not ideal for tai ji/kung fu as well as coats because it was still cold outside despite all the running/warming up we did.
After our uneventful Thursday lessons, my friend said he wanted to visit the Niujie Mosque which we had failed to find earlier. We took a taxi this time which was a bad and good idea as we actually got the Mosque but there was insane traffic on the way.
The Mosque seems quite easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it, as it’s tucked away slightly from the main road and I didn’t notice until my friend pointed it out. It is very pretty though, you have to pay to enter unless you’re Muslim but that shouldn’t stop you, unless you’re wearing inappropriate clothing…The ‘guard’ (for lack of better word) gave us a leaflet about the Mosque too for us to read whilst some of our friends were taking a bit longer to look around.
Afterwards we went to the infamous ‘Lakers’ that our group of Study China participants had grown to love. It was a log-cabin restaurant serving pizza (which is pretty big…19 inches for a large!) but it’s not cheap, almost as expensive as Western prices but it was worth one visit. They had some…interesting books that you can read too – all in English but some very strange ones…