I really wanted to go see the Niu Jie mosque in Beijing, mostly because I was curious what Chinese-Muslim architecture would look like. It was on my list of cool places places to see when I went to Beijing with Fresca and Jeff, and with Stick, but we ended up not making it either time because Beijing just has so much stuff to see and do. But this time, Bethie and I stayed in a hotel that looked like it was pretty close to the mosque and we decided to stop by. Besides, I wanted to try out my newfound ability to ask “Niu jie zai nali?” (Where is Cow Street?).
It’s an active mosque, so we weren’t allowed to go inside the prayer hall. It was pretty cool to hear the prayers and peek inside the main hall. Unfortunately, like most of Beijing, it was under construction, so I climbed up this tower. Bethie’s at the bottom here because she didn’t want to climb it. I think if there’s nothing blocking the stairs, it must be safe, right?
We soon learned the reason it’s called Cow Street. Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, and, as my adventures with Dave have shown me, pork is a major part of most Chinese meals. And next to the mosque, was an entire street of butcher shops, presumably to serve beef to the local Muslims.