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Conversation 19: Fei introduces Jerry to her favorite place in all of Beijing

Jerry: What a beautiful summer's day! There's not a cloud in the sky.

Fei: Hey, I have an idea. Let's go somewhere special. I can introduce you to my favorite place in Beijing.

Jerry: Sure, I'd like to see that, but what is it exactly?

Fei: You'll see when we get there. Come on, we can catch the 107 bus across the street...

(10 minutes later, Fei and Jerry arrive. They go for a walk.)

Fei: Can you see all those people across the street?

Jerry: Yes, they're all dancing. I like the Chinese style music, but they're doing Western style dancing. It seems a bit odd to me. Are we going to dance today?

Fei: Not today - maybe when we get older! Look beyond the dancers. What do you see?

Jerry: Hey, there's a little pond over there. It looks very pleasant in the middle of a big city. Let's go take a closer look. I never knew there was a pond in the middle of Beijing.

Fei: Actually, there are SIX! They're all man-made. There are two ponds to the west of the Forbidden City called Nan Hai, which could be called South Pond and Zhong Hai, or Middle Pond. The government offices surround those Ponds, so they're not open to the public. To the north of those ponds is...

Jerry: Let me guess. It must be North Pond!

Fei: Good guess! You're right, it's Bei Hai or I suppose we could say North Pond. We could see Bei Hai if we went through that gate over there, but we would have to pay. We can walk around the other three for free. This one is called Qian Hai or Front Pond, then there's Hou Hai or Back Pond. Finally, beyond Hou Hai is...

Jerry: Let me guess again. Is it Beyond Pond?

Fei: Another good guess. But this time you're wrong! The sixth one is a bit to the west, so it's called Xi Hai or West Pond.

Jerry: Those people on the water seem to be having fun. Can we rent a boat too?

Fei: Sure, but I don't feel like it today. Let's do it another time.

Jerry: Okay. What are those traditional style buildings on the other side of Qian Hai?

Fei: Those are restaurants and coffee shops. We can go over there for a rest later if you want.

Jerry: You know, I think this would be a good place to have a drink, especially on a Friday night after a long week at work. Too bad there aren't any bars here. Maybe we could open a bar here. Isn't that a great idea?

Fei: Ha ha ha. Somebody beat you to that idea, Jerry. There are over 40 bars around Hou Hai! We'll go there some evening when you want to unwind, okay?

Jerry: Okay, it's a deal!


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