Tuesday, April 03, 2001

China 2001 - Tiananmen Square

After the flag raising we went home, ate breakfast and picked up the people that had slept in. When we arrived back at Tiananmen Square it seemed like a totally different place from what I had experienced just a few hours before. Just to cater to the more morbid side of myself and since it was such a low tourist time that the line was non- existent, we saw Mao’s Mausoleum. It was really weird seeing the man responsible for Communism in China preserved under the crystal coffin. Very eerie, I had chills go down my spine thinking that here was the man responsible for so much death. It was also interesting looking at the other people as we went through. Everyone seemed solemn but there didn’t seem to be the respect that I was expecting. It seemed like more people were interested in getting to see his body as if it were a famous painting. There was an area to buy flowers, but for the number of people buying flowers and the number of flowers in the stack in front of his picture I really think that they were recycling them every few hours. I’m sure we looked strange being the only foreigners in the line being shuffled through.
The square itself is 99 acres so it is quite large, at one end is Tiananmen Gate or the Gate of Heaven and at the other end is the worlds largest Kentucky Fried Chicken among other shops. I think the analogy is pretty good with Imperialism at one end, Capitalism at the other and all the communist stuff jammed in the middle.

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