Still behind- last day in Harbin

7 02 2010

Hi kids,

We just arrived in Xi’an in ‘real’ time but in ‘blog’ time we’re still in Harbin. Here’s the quick and dirty version.

After the day of Snow Sculptures, Tigers and Russian food (oh my!) we woke the next morning and headed out to the Area 731 museum. This was the code name for the Japanese department that did the human experiments on the Chinese during WWII. It was a quite a trek out of town but a really well done museum with lots of english signs. I can’t really explain the extent of how awful the Japanese were but a quick wiki search will reveal war atrocities that bring a tear to the eye (frostbite experiments, live dissections, releasing the plague into a nearby village, etc. etc.) Most of the site was blown up as they were defeated but it was covered up by the US government in exchange for sharing the results of the experiments. The whole thing was pretty awful but very well done by Chinese museum standards.

After the museum we went across the street and stumbled into a cafeteria. To say our presence was a surprise to the many lunch patrons would be an understatement. Of course, as always, the food was more delicious off the beaten path. We bussed it back to town and took in the museum housed in the restored Synagogue. It was built in the 1930s by Harbin’s enormous Jewish population. I guess many prominent Jews of today can trace family back to Harbin. The current mayor of Jerusalem for one. It was another well done exhibit. That’s 3 for 3 in Harbin (if we could the great picture exhibit in St. Sophia’s cathedral.) Way to go!

Jeremiah wanted to go to a nice restaurant for dinner before going to the Ice Festival that evening (if you’ve been following the blog, you might know why- I didn’t at the time.) I was more concerned with squeezing as much time out of the festival as possible so we got weird fast food pizza next door to our hostel. My veggie came with peppers, corn, pineapple and broccoli. This was not my first Chinese pizza with corn, I was prepared.

Onto the Ice Festival!! I could try and do it justice in words. It won’t do. I could try to do it justice in pictures. Impossible. Let me just say that if you ever want to have an adventure that is exceptional, bizarre and beautiful, GO TO THE HARBIN ICE FESTIVAL. It is wild. Unimaginable sculptures and replicate buildings, taller than you can take in, everywhere you look. Off the top of my head we saw the Sphinx, the Coliseum, Ruins of some famous church (sorry!), the Empire State Building, the World Cup Trophy, the Temple of Heaven, 200m slides… you’ll see for yourself in a week or so.

Of course, you should already know the most exciting part of the evening. Everyone’s clamoring for details so I’ll divulge a few. I took a photo of Jeremiah in an enormous empty courtyard by the Empire State Building sculpture. Afterward he came up to me and said, "Since we’re alone for a moment, I have something I want to ask you." This is when I started to cry. We’d discussed marriage and he told me firmly that it wouldn’t be happening on the trip and I believed him. I won’t share everything because the moment belonged to us and not the internet but, yes, he knelt down and asked me to marry him. Later I couldn’t remember what I said. He says I said, "Of course." Jeremiah gave me a beautiful gold ring with a jade stone which is perfectly perfect. A marvelous reminder of our time in China and diamonds are off limits to me (especially now having a gorgeous African sister!)

Anyway, that’s the dirt. No other details at this point. Beijing is Jeremiah’s territory!

love, Missy

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One response

10 02 2010
Libby

Missy! I love love LOVE you!!! Congratulations!!! I’m pretty sure I will *love* your man when I meet him… in that I-love-my-dear-friend’s-fiance kinda way, of course. Please don’t cut me.

Miles of kisses, MRS!!!

Libs

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