On Wednesday we had meetings with the Microsoft China team in the morning and met with CNITSEC in the afternoon. CNITSEC is the government agency in China that provides network services to the other Chinese government agencies. They were very interested in our presentation and had many questions. It is quite a challenge to communicate information and answer questions with the Chinese/English language barrier. Although many of the Chinese we have talked with understand English to some degree, it can often be hard for them to express their exact meaning in English.
At the end of the day, we went to dinner at a local Beijing restaurant to try the local specialty, Peking Duck. Peking Duck is a special meal that actually includes 3 courses of duck and includes a soup, the actual roast duck and another dish made of the duck. The best part is the roasted duck which is served with thin flat won-ton type wrappers. You then add to this wrapper some spring onion, cucumber, a special brown sauce and pieces of the roasted duck including crispy skin. It is very juicy and delicious and reminds me much of a smoked pork shoulder. We had many other dishes as well, one of my favorites being a sautéed spinach with Chinese mustard, chili oil and peanuts.
After dinner, I came back to hotel and talked to Mom for a while on the web cam. It really is cool that we can talk to and see each other from 7000 miles away and its like we are in the next room.
This morning, we went to speak with the faculty and graduate students of Tsinghua University. The students and faculty there do a lot of research into different computer and networking areas. They were very interested in our presentations on tools and standards, as well as the information we shared on Windows 7.
After the presentations and discussions were over, Professor Linchuang and his associates hosted us for lunch at a local restaurant where we again had roast duck and many other dishes. So far I have been pretty brave and tried every dish. However, after viewing David’s face, I had to pass on the jellyfish. After lunch, one of the students gave us a tour of the Tsinghua campus. Parts of the campus date back to the early 1900’s and they have some beautiful gardens as well.
After our campus tour was over, we headed back to our hotel to change clothes and turn tourist once more. We headed to the Summer Palace where the Chinese Emperors would go live during the summer. The architecture and buildings were very similar to what was seen earlier this week at the Forbidden City. Many of the buildings date from around 1886 as apparently many of the older buildings were burned during an Anglo-French invasion in 1860. (Not sure why the English and French were working together) The day was very warm but you could see why the Summer Palace was an attractive place to be in the summer due to the cooler breezes and shade from the trees. There were some truly spectacular views of Beijing.
At the end of our visit to the Summer Palace, we took one of the dragon boats across the lake.
Tired but happy from a long but rewarding day, we headed back to the hotel patio to relax with a cold beverage.