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Saturday, November 06, 2010
Temple of Heaven today. I did not really know what to expect. I knew there would be some structures that have been there since the Ming dynasty and I'd get all historical up in this shit, but I had no idea I would end up walking through an elderly Chinese hip hop dance party. For realz.by mike 11/06/2010
Before I get to that, I will try to give you an idea of what this place is like. It is basically a big park with buildings, gardens, etc. throughout. It's kind of like Central Park, but there are things on the map like this:
Just so you know, the building is shuttered and they no longer kill animals there. I mean, they're killing animals on a regular basis everywhere else around here, but they are smart enough to not call it the Animal Killing Pavilion.
Anyway, it was a lovely fall day today. The first thing I heard when I walked through the east gate, though, was the most god awful singing I have ever heard in my life. There was a lady with a karaoke machine screeching some awfulness. I can tell you now that she is not getting into heaven if she plans on doing that when she gets there. So I walked on.
I walked through a section (simply called the Long Corridor) of older people playing cards and yelling at each other in Chinese. It was incredibly entertaining to watch, and I would match rather watch this than any World Series of Poker garbage on ESPN.
Then I walked through a much quieter and serene section where this guy was singing, and he had a great voice. He was one of my favorite people of today, because he was singing his heart out, even though no one was watching him (I was behind him and eventually said Ni Hao to him, so I wasn't a total creeper).
So now I am walking and really enjoying the weather, the trees, the history and all that. I walk down this pretty little path.
Then I went through some gigantic gate. And I heard some very loud music. The kind of music you'd expect to hear in Central Park, not in the Temple of Heaven. So I was thinking, Wow, someone here is totally blasting some hip hop music, and I can't imagine that these old Chinese people around here are going to stand for this.
I turn a corner to where the music is playing, and there is a quarter mile stretch of about 100 old Chinese people dancing. It was amazing. They were ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, some were just doing some old school Tai Chi moves. And they were all doing it to Kanye. I repeat. It was AMAZING. I am here for two more weeks and I am pretty sure this will be the highlight of my trip.
This lady was my favorite.
I walked around for about three hours after this, and before I left, I came back to see if this was still going on. And while there were less people there, it was still going. And that lady was still going strong. Check out the dude in the background. That's how everyone was dancing. It was serious. I might go back tomorrow.
I feel like recreational dancing on TV has really had a void ever since Club MTV went off the air. Might I suggest Club Eldery Chinese Hip Hop Dance Party. Or Dancing With the Old Chinese Ladies.
Anyway, the rest of the temple was cool, but no Ming Dynasty relics could hold a candle to the 20 minutes I spent watching those people dance. Yes, 20 minutes. I kept starting to leave, but it was so difficult. It was too much fun. If heaven is actually like this, then sign me up.
Tomorrow I will blog about how I am a white person in China. A very white person.
Here are a few more photos from today (you can click on them for a better view).
This dude was conducting a band and a choir at the same time. He was also pretty awesome.