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Beijing – Part 2 September 16, 2009

Posted by jorkat in Beijing.

Instead of writing a 5,000 word essay covering all of our adventures in Beijing, Katie and I decided to sit down and conduct a more formal interview. Katie prepared a series of questions which I did my best to answer. Here is a transcript of the interview.

Click here if you missed Part 1.

Katie: What was the first tourist attraction we visited?

Jordan: The Temple of Heaven. Or in layman’s terms, the Emperor’s church. The Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.


The Temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century.


The Temple grounds covers 2.73 km² of parkland, and comprises three main groups of constructions, all built according to strict philosophical requirements.

Katie: Wow. I can’t believe that you can remember all that information off the top of your head. Sometimes I forget how brilliant you are.

Jordan: I’m just getting started. Fasten your seat belts. For more information on this impressive architectural masterpiece, click play on the video below:

Katie: Next question. What would you have done if Federer and Brady both lost on the same day?

Jordan: Excellent question. This past Monday was almost a complete disaster. Fortunately, the Pats made a miraculous 4th quarter comeback that made me feel slightly less guilty for taking these pictures and preparing to do a post about Tiger, Brady and Federer all winning on the same weekend. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but Federer’s loss was the most unexpected and crushing.

IMG_7042IMG_7031Jordan: So good to have the Golden Boy back in my life on a weekly basis. My students had no idea what American Football was, but they do now.

Katie: You’re a loser. What would say was the most relaxing part of our time in Beijing?

Jordan: That’s easy. The $5 foot massage. We found this place by accident in one of the markets we were visiting after a very long day of touring which included our trek to the Great Wall. We were navigating our way through the market trying to avoid making eye contact with shopkeepers who would do anything short of waterboarding you into buying a fake $10 Polo shirt. We were getting tired when we found a nail salon that offered a variety of services including 1/2 hour foot massages for $5. Sold!

It was one of the best half hour experiences I’ve ever had and my feet have never felt better. Although I will concede that the first few minutes were a bit awkward as I came to grips with the fact that my masseuse wasn’t female. Fortunately, it never moved (Seinfeld reference) and we never made eye contact. In my mind, he looked exactly like Carmen Electra. Katie managed to get some video of the incident but I burned the memory card once we got back to Seoul.

Katie: You burned the wrong memory card.

Jordan: This interview is over. I promised Lee (fake name I just made up) I would never post that on the internet as long as he used extra oil.

Katie: Quit being a baby. You loved every second of it. We even went back the next day and you were disappointed when you didn’t have Lee.

Jordan: It’s all true. I also made the mistake of accepting the new girl’s offer to have my feet exfoliated. I didn’t even know what this meant but it was only an extra $5 and it seems like such a nice word that you hear in face wash commercials all the time. Guys – if you’re ever in China and asked if you want your feet exfoliated for $5 – say no. This poor girl took a chisel to my feet for over 30 minutes and carved off enough skin to feed a cannibal convention. Sure my feet has never been smoother but she’s going to be having nightmares for the rest of her life. At least she made a cool $5.

Katie: My pedicure was fantastic. Thank you for pretending that we didn’t know each other after the exfoliation incident. That entire salon was traumatized. Was this the most painful experience of our trip?

Jordan: No. That would have been the frequent (at least 4) trips I took to the bathroom between 6am and 6:45am on the first morning in our hotel. Our driver for the Great Wall tour was arriving at the hotel at 7am and there were a few moment when I didn’t think I was going to make it. We had only eaten two meals in Beijing since our arrival the previous day and they were both in hotel restaurants. Needless to say, we ate out for the rest of our stay. It’s weird because I usually love the MSG in Toronto.

Katie: Dead skin from your feet and now MSG diarrhea. Stop it, you’re making me hot. Can you answer a question without potentially inducing vomit from our readers?

Jordan: I’ll do my best. One more question for this post.

Katie: What was the biggest disappointment of the trip?

Jordan: Are you sure you want to bring this up again?…I can’t remember how the conversation started, probably because I’ve tried to suppress the entire ordeal into the far reaches of my subconscious, but I started talking about baseball. We were sitting in a western-style restaurant called Grandma’s Kitchen that was recommended in our Lonely Planet tourist guide. I had just ordered a BLT and fries, while Katie had ordered a club sandwich and a milkshake. The restaurant had Wi-Fi so we were both checking the internet while we had the opportunity. I stumbled upon an article about Albert Pujols’ pursuit of the triple crown and asked her if she knew what this meant. Not only did she not know what the triple crown is, she hadn’t even heard of Albert Pujols.

Katie: I’m going to read. Take out the garbage before you come to bed.

Jordan: Maybe it’s because he plays in a small market in St. Louis. Maybe it’s because we’re bombarded on TV by the media’s east coast bias which focuses so much on Red Sox vs Yankees. Maybe I’m just a bad husband who never took the time to expose her to his greatness. Regardless of the excuses, I was shocked and appalled at her for not knowing who he was, and at myself for allowing this to happen.  Let’s just say that few words were exchanged for the rest of the meal.

I won’t make the same mistake twice.

PujolsAlbert Pujols is a professional baseball player who has played his entire career in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. Currently a first baseman, Pujols is well-known for his ability to hit for both average and power. His consistency over his nine years in the Major Leagues has earned him the reputation as one of the best players in the game today and the most feared hitter in baseball, according to a poll of all 30 MLB managers in 2008. Since debuting in MLB in 2001, Pujols has been selected as an All-Star eight times, has won the National League Most Valuable Player Award twice, and won a World Series title in 2006.

Check out his career starts here.

Here’s his most famous home run from the 2005 NLCS. Sorry for the crappy background music, it’s the only clip I could find.

Jordan: Stay tuned for Part 3. Hopefully I can convince Katie to join us…


1. danner - September 17, 2009

I love reading this! Definitely like the conversation format…. hahha dead skin and MSG barf, sounds like a regular saturday night at Rolsan after the bar! miss you guys xoxoxo danner

2. Jenny - September 19, 2009

The crappy background music was the best part of this….. *jokes*

3. Brigitte - September 19, 2009

LMAO when I saw your face in the massage video!

4. Beijing – Part 3 « 2009: An Asian Odyssey - September 29, 2009

[…] here if you missed Part […]

5. Beijing – Part 4 « 2009: An Asian Odyssey - October 8, 2009

[…] Click here if you missed Part 2. […]

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