Monday, September 24, 2012
Xie Dao (Crab Island) is this really weird place that we would never have found out about had we not had the A-Z Kids debacle that we posted about last week.
Our friends did some quick work to pick up the pieces after we were met with closed doors at A-Z Kids, asking the locals in that way out part of Shunyi what fun things there are in the vicinity.
And so it was on to this place called Xie Dao, apparently a very large outdoor fun place that somehow we had managed to miss in all of these years of living in Beijing.
Of course it would take us two cabs to get there (too many people to squeeze into one car), and of course our respective drivers took different routes, leaving us off in separate areas of a place none of us had ever been to. Time to work the cell phones!
Walking over to where our friends were waiting, we observed the following assortment of outdoor activities...
Men fishing in small ponds stocked with fish. This is actually a pretty common phenomenon, especially out in the countryside, which is kind of where we were, such a far way from Beijing proper.
All kinds of wobbly bridges to walk across. There were varying degree of difficulty, but all paths led over a lotus pond out to a little island.
A swimming pool. Now there's a rare card in China, an outdoor swimming pool. And it was actually packed with kids and adults alike, many with inflatable plastic tubes. Where are we? Silver Spring?
A driving range. Yes, a driving range!
A horse stable. Yes, a horse stable!
A zoo. Yes, a zoo! We did not have the nerve to go inside and see what kinds of animals and conditions might greet us.
By the way, every one of these attractions costs a non-trivial amount of a money. So this is by no means a cheap day out for the ordinary Chinese family.
The education of the Balla family continues...