Beijing was my first taste of China and ironically the city I know the least (of all the ones I’ve visited there). It might be because I went to Beijing in 1988 and 1991, but traveled to other Chinese cities in later years. Or perhaps it’s because my photos from that first trip went missing decades ago and I only recently had a chance to see my friend Megan’s prints.
In any case, I’m fascinated by what I did remember and what has only resurfaced after recently viewing these old photos and talking to Megan and our tour leader and friend Mary.
The Great Wall:
I remembered the camel.
But not how our bus was stopped by police on our way to the Wall.
The Summer Palace:
The stone boat, yes.
This dragon boat, no.
Of course I remember Tiananmen. I saw it on TV the following year, really less than a year after I first walked across the world’s third largest public square. I’ll always remember Tiananmen.
But I didn’t recall these Beijing street scenes.
One day we visited a gymnasium where girls trained to be world-ranked gymnasts.
I didn’t remember the Beijing acrobats, though.
I’m so grateful to Megan for taking such candid shots of Beijing and for holding on to them all these years. Now I feel like I know Beijing much better, at least from a 1988 point of view.