China 2006 Report

Please click on the thumbnails to enlargen the larger pictures.

Wednesday April 26, 2006

Chapter 1

Nanjing city is one of the six major captial cities of anicent China. During the Wu conquest a walled city was built at Changgar Zhonghua Gate. Ming Dynasty named it his capital in 1368. I was inaugurated a National government by Kai-shek in 1949 after Mao Zedong issuing orders. It is currently the capital for the province of Jiansu. It has a population of 6.3 million people in 2 million households. The official tree of the city is Cedar and the official flower is Plum Blossom; both able to handle the freezing wind, snow, and hot summers. The Canadian sister city of Nanjing is London, Ontario established May 7, 1997.

We started early in morning we woke early 7:20am to the Marine College's cafeteria. It was a plain breakfast, mostly consisting of rice in water, boil egg, plain bun, and a vegatable bun. Of course, there was not much to that kinda food to really eat, so it is mostly the rice. Sigh..

Water and Rice, not boiled enough to make good congee; Boring boiled egg; very plain bun; and a lame vegatable only bun.
Meat paste bun : Now this one was good, A meat bun but had the consistancy of a jerky or a thick jam and was a salty pork yet sweet taste to it.
Our shoes were not quite dry from last night so I used the shoe laces to string up my runners. Ami used a bra strap to string her boots up.
The heater did a good and quick job of drying off the shoes, Other people in our group were wondering how every of ours was dry, We did not say.

The first destinatation was the Fuzi Maio (Confucian Temple) shopping district in Nanjing City. It is by a famous Qinhuai River and Confucian Temple on the north bank. It is also the same place we went to during our rainy night but of course it looks much different in the daytime than it did at night. We now see all the restaurants that actually did serve that duck that we were looking for yesterday. It basically goes to show you again that the local shops can be a horrible place ask for directions. Well, unless you buy something from them.

Entrance to the Fuzi Maio (Confucian Temple) shopping district, known in ancient times as a red light district.
Famous bridge over the Qinhuai River in the district.
In front of the river's edge across from the Two dragons.
Screen wall, the largest in China, 10m high, 110m long.

Ami found a shop that sells a famous fast food. It is item 3 on the menu.
It basically is a bun like the BBQ pork bun, but the inside is sticky rice that you would normally have wrapped in green leaves.
Ami bought another special food, spicy fried tofu. A plain piece tastes like something from Chinese New Years. The tofu part is just as crappy tasting as tofu usually is. And the red hot sauce is like the stuff you get at Vietnamese Pho places.
Mingyuan Tower which is used for examinations for the schools.

Me on the streets!
Back to the bus!

We had an hour and a half to ourselves till 11:45am to run around the district. Of course, the only thing on my mind was the 3 CD/DVD/VCD shops we passed on our way here and during the walk around yesterday night for food. There are also a lot more street venders setting up shop and setting up their carts.

I was able to buy a fad thing which is a bead like thing with a Chinese symbol written on it. I suppose it is like those Italian wrist charm things, but instead it is like a bead which can be made into necklace or bracelets. This is a good item for my other co-worker, Christina, who asked me for beads to make her jewelery with.

Our next destination was the Nanjing Metro (train) Station. It is located right next to Xuanwu Lake Park (Sangpo, Moling, Hou, or Kunming in ancient times). The place not like a subway station but more like the CN Rail or Amtrak stations. It is very modern looking and feels like any modern airport. There are Army soldiers everywhere. You have to have a train ticket to be let into the waiting area. All the luggage is scanned through an xray machine at the entrance of the building. Obviously, we could not get in, so we just walked around the park.

Nanjing City Metro Station
Right in front of the metro station is Xuanwu Lake. It has a long planked sea walk with small paths and gardens along it. This reminds me of how Stanley Park beach area or the Granville Island area of False Creek is laid out.

We met up in bus to make our way to our next destination. It was one of the dreaded info-mmercials that always comes with these cheap tours. This time it is a place in Nanjing City that is used for manufacturing artificial pearls. They use some kind of particle into the oysters in order to make them have multiple pearls, coloured pearls and also make pearl flour. They gave us each a fresh sample of one pearl from an oyster. Although it was a bit small and premature, it still was a free pearl to suck you into buying something. The tour guide gets their commission kick back for the sale. That is how they make some real money on these tour things. It was interesting enough, even when I didn't know what the salesman was talking about. Needless to say people like me are really bad since I am totally clueless about what they are trying to pitch, the pitch itself, and thus the product too; thus no commission from me. Well, unlikely....