Tuesday, August 5, 2008
China Part 2
China: Second Edition
We went to the Temple of Heaven, The Summer Palace, and The Great Wall. If anyone wants to know about these places, you might want to look them up in someone else’s travel story. With that in mind, here are three things we learned on day two.
If one wants a beer they should say “Pee-Jo.” That is probably not how it is spelled but if you say it, you’ll get beer. The beer in China is sort of like the beer in Oklahoma. It is about three percent alcohol and one will get full of liquid long before one will get tipsy.
When one wants to say “thank you,” one should say, “she she.” This is also not the way it is spelled, but it works. Often times the Chinese are so thankful, they will say, “she she she she she.”
“Chin tu fat” does not mean, “You need a face lift.” OK, I made this last part up. We really didn’t learn it.
We got on our bus and honked and drove to the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace on day two. Apparently there is no driving without honking in the large cities of China. We just got used to it after a while.
On the way to the Temple de Jour we went to the best park EVER. This is a place where old retired people meet everyday to dance, sing, (both choir and Karaoke) do Tai Chi, kick a feathered hackey-sac around, play strange instruments, do long ribbon dancing, and just socialize. It was just the cutest thing, although the singing was a new level of horrid.
Our tour guide Lillian said, “Yes, it pitty chill.” When she meant it was “pretty cool.”
The Temple of Heaven was built when America was full of teepees and buffalo. It was built without nails, cement or steel rods, for those of you who are impressed by these details. It was fixed by wooden mortise and good feng shui.
Later that day we learned that when a traffic accident occurs, the police will come and stand around smoking cigarettes while the people involved in the accident argue and negotiate. No one gets to leave until everything is settled between the participants. The police have no say in the discussion. They are just there to…well, it is unclear why they are there, but they don’t leave until everything is worked out. Apparently the concept of car insurance is unknown. It is assumed that if a participant has a major bone sticking out of his skin the negotiations will be postponed until the bone is set to right. If a participant is unconscious, he obviously loses the negotiation since he’ll never know what happened anyway.
The next day we went to the Great Wall.
Yes, it is.
Does it seem funny to anyone else that something built to keep people out is now the thing that draws people in?
It is about four thousand miles long but we visited only a few blocks worth before it began to rain. Not that the rain made any difference in the humidity.
Shanghai was next on our agenda and we hopped a plane to get there. But not before we visited a few more dead people and had some shoportunities at a jade factory and a cloisonné making shop and visited a kung fu school. Whew!
Shanghai is a thoroughly modern city. My favorite memories of it were The Acrobat Show where a little girl balanced chandeliers on the bottom of her feet while she rolled around contorting her body in inhuman ways and the condom machine on the wall outside of the Jade Buddha Temple. I took a photo of it.
Oh, and some of our travel mates sent some clothing out to be laundered, and when they asked why they didn’t get them back, the laundry people told them, “Crows Bloken”