China 2006 Report

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Wednesday April 26, 2006

Chapter 2

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....

Onward to lunch. There is a restaurant attached to the pearl culture sales complex. I think they are not related but they might be. Anyway lunch was rather ummm.... bad. The only real good things to eat was the chicken and a bit of pork. In these type of meals, it is pretty much eat more rice than anything else. It is the energy that is important for now. I can eat the better foods when I get to Shenyang.

Chicken : Shards of chicken with onion and green peppers. Tasty but annoying to eat because the meat was cut into such small pieces.
Potato : long strips stir fried with green peppers. Kinda tasteless and I know they wanted to keep the potato crisp but I am not use to it being that crispy.
Cabbage : A real basic stir fry of cabbage and a little bit of the hot peppers to spice it up. Waste of a vegatable dish. It is so plain. It is just another lame excuse of food to put the hot pepper on it.
Fish Soup : Now here is just a bad combination. Fish which has foul scaley skin, and a meat which is pretty tasteless by itself, now thrown into water and boiled to crap, You get a soup that tastes "fishy' and you get a fish that tastes soup water "tainted".

Pickled Beans (peas) : Known as Jiang Dou, is sour like pickles. I am sure it is good for adding to plain things such as rice and breads making it really good as a side dish like kimchi.
Tofu Soup : Ok, two words that should not belong together. Tofu tastes like sand and you put it in a watery soya sauce, what do you expect it tastes like? MUD.
Dong Gua : this looked like cubes of pork but it had the limpness of mushrooms. Tasted pretty bad too. Reminds me of stomach or something like that.
Chicken in cucumber : bigger chunks of chicken and strips of cucumber in a stir fry. Not bad, but pretty salty, probably too much MSG. What else is new?

Now, I will make a good point of note for traffic advances in this area of Nanjing city. In Vancouver, we have traffic lights which time the pedestrians as we walk across the street. It gives us walkers a good idea how much time we have to walk across the intersection. In China, since the drivers patience span is shorter than the attention span of an American, Nanjing traffic division have now added the counter on the traffic lights for cars. Now, I will also note that I have seen the two digit counter as high a 60 seconds, and 99 seconds. On one spot, it started at B9 (99, A1, A2, ... , A9, B1, B2, ..., B9) so yea, you can be stuck waiting at a light a long time. But at least pedestrians will have a sign to stare at for 90+ seconds, rather than getting bored after 10 seconds and then try to walk across causing more problems.

After lunch, we had another two hour drive to Zhongshan Lin. This is the Mausoleum Of the revolutionary Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, who is respected as the Father of Modern China. The Kuomintang government buried his remains here June 1, 1929. It is located on the reclining mountian where the vault is over 700m away from the Paifang Square below where the entrance is located.

Me at the Paifang Square at the entrance to the mausoleum. Note the pink flowers, chrysanthemums.
Me at the official tourism marker. Another place in the world that I can mark off! I WAS HERE!
Me at the Zhongshan Lin gate entrance.
The walkway to the vault is lined with Pine, Cypress and Gingko trees.

Me at the Marble gate 16m high, 27 wide. It has a 4 character inscription from Dr. Sun which means "the nation is a people's nation and everyone shall serve the nation selflessly."
Me starting the stairs leading the vault. It is 480m long, 50m wide, and 392 steps up to the top.
Me at the halfway point, sort of... who in the hell is counting?
This is what it looks like when you are at the top of the stairs looking down.

So what is that the top of all those steps? A rock with writing on it.
We are at the Filial Scriptures Tripod. I am not much into religion so I won't bother going over what the Filial philosophy.

Now, here is the start of an interesting story. Pictured here is me in front of a very well done and very nice smelling flower garden. Now slightly behind me where the people are in this picture are 3 vintage vehicles. Now, there are a few old men there trying to charge money for the opporunity to take pictures of their lame cars.
As shown in this picture taken at 90 degrees, there is another flower bed. When we tried to take picture from that flower bed, they started to yell at us and to stop taking a picture without paying. Ok, just because he said that, it just makes me want to take a picture of it just to spite them. So here is one shot where we were pretending to pose for it. Note the shit head is sitting down on the left.
And thus walking by it on our way out, I covertly took these pictures by spraying a rapid photo spread as I slowly walked by on the way out. This of course would have been much easier if I had an SLR with a zoom lens. But I had taken well enough pictures to be able to grab this one which shows all 3 cars they had on display. THERE, teachs you to yell at the KOS '95!