Sunday, November 29, 2009
Today we're in Wuhan, which is big and shiny but not much else. We're taking a night train to Nanjing, we'll be there about a day and a half to see Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. Then on to Shanghai, and in about a week I'll be home!
Ｔｈｉｓ ｍｏｒｎｉｎｇ ｗｅ ｔｏｏｋ ａ ｂｕｓ ｔｏ Ｈｕｂｕｘｉａｎｇ Ｓｎａｃｋ Ｓｔｒｅｅｔ． Ａｍｅｒｉｃａｎｓ ｒｅａｌｌｙ ｎｅｅｄ ｔｏ ｃａｔｃｈ ｏｎ ｔｏ ｔｈｅ ＂ｓｎａｃｋ ｓｔｒｅｅｔ＂ ｔｈｉｎｇ． Ｗｅ ａｔｅ ｒｏａｓｔ ｌａｍｂ ｓｋｅｗｅｒｓ， ｇａｒｌｉｃ ｏｙｓｔｅｒｓ ｏｎ ｔｈｅ ｓｈｅｌｌ， ｆｒｉｅｄ ｐｏｒｋ－ｆｉｌｌｅｄ ｐａｎｃａｋｅｓ， ｄｕｍｐｌｉｎｇｓ， ｓｐｉｃｙ ｐｅａｎｕｔ ｏｉｌ ｎｏｏｄｌｅｓ， ｆｒｅｓｈ ｏｒａｎｇｅ ｊｕｉｃｅ ａｎｄ ｅｇｇ ｔａｒｔｓ． Ｃｈｉｎｅｓｅ ｐｅｏｐｌｅ ｈａｖｅ ｍｕｃｈ ｍｏｒｅ ｌｉｂｅｒａｌ ｉｄｅａｓ ａｂｏｕｔ ｗｈａｔ＇ｓ ａｃｃｅｐｔａｂｌｅ ｂｒｅａｋｆａｓｔ ｆｏｏｄ．Ａｌｌ ｔｈａｔ ｄｅｃａｄｅｎｃｅ ｂｅｆｏｒｅ ｎｏｏｎ ｍａｄｅ ｍｅ ｐｒｅｅｍｐｔｉｖｅｌｙ ｓａｄ ｔｏ ｂｅ ｓｅｐａｒａｔｉｎｇ ｍｙｓｅｌｆ ｆｒｏｍ Ｃｈｉｎｅｓｅ ｆｏｏｄ． Ｏｎ ｔｈｅ ｏｔｈｅｒ ｈａｎｄ， Ｉ＇ｍ ｌｏｏｋｉｎｇ ｆｏｒｗａｒｄ ｔｏ ｐｉｍｅｎｔｏ ｃｈｅｅｓｅ ｓａｎｄｗｉｃｈｅｓ， ｇｕａｃａｍｏｌｅ， ｈｏｍｅｍａｄｅ ｃｏｏｋｉｅｓ ａｎｄ ｂｒｏｗｎｉｅｓ， ｅｔｃ． Ｃａｎ＇ｔ ｗａｉｔ！
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
CKS's war-time capital, then known as Chung King. It is an amazing
city. Maybe my favorite so far.
Tomorrow evening we leave on our three gorges tour. Chinese boat,
first class. Met a nice lady from Iceland who took the same tour,
third class. She said the first night she took pain killers to go to
sleep and the second night passed out drunk topside and had to be
carried below. With that testimonal and our train ordeal behind us, we
paid for the nicer bunks.
Seen and done a lot of great stuff this week. Probably will post about
it from the states with pictures.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We followed Lonely Planet's directions and neither Lenin nor his museum were anywhere to be found. Maybe they were scrapped? Maybe we're just extremely directionally-challenged? Anyways, we didn't find him.
Next stop was the Lama Temple Museum. Tibetan-style Buddhism sure has a lot of monsters. The temple of Mercy was full of hell tapestries and God heads with skull crowns and decapitated human head necklaces. Yikes.
Went back to the expat place we liked for lunch. Last night we went to Strings, which was like a Hard Rock Cafe with a Filipino band doing great covers of American rock. Apparently killer cover bands are one of the Philippines chief exports.
Unfortunately, it was all over by 9 p.m. Five people died of H1N1-related pneumonia here last month, and therefore all restaurants that serve alcohol must close at 9 p.m. until further notice. We see lots of masks all over Ulan Bator. We had to buy them just to go into the movie theater. And a nice souvenir shop lady gently suggested I wear one. Damn my cavalier American ways.
Tomorrow we're back on the train to China. Despite the censorship problem, I've set up my account so that I think I'll be able to blog through email - though I myself wont be able to see the page in a Chinese browser.
Fingers crossed, I'll blog again soon!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thankfully, it warmed up. Yesterday it got down to 0 F/-18 C. Unfortunately, we chose yesterday to go to one of Asia's largest open air markets. It was fun to see the rows and rows of ger-making supplies, but my fingers and toes hurt.
Today we had lunch at an expat. hangout, I had fun eavesdropping. It was mostly businessmen, but interesting nonetheless.
After that we went to the Political Persecution Memorial Museum. The museum is housed in the home of the former Mongolian prime minister who refused to carry out Stalin's purge on his people (so he was taken to Moscow and executed). The curator said about 30,000 Mongolians were murdered between the late 1930s and up until the 1960s, the majority of victims being Buddhist lamas. Mass graves were being discovered as recently as 2003.
There wasn't much English. But there was a case of skulls - each with a bullet hole through the forehead, top or side.
It was a sobering stop. Communism is so evil. I had professors in college who smirked at that kind of rhetoric like it's hyperbole, but it's not.
Tonight we're going to check out a microbrewery which, according to Lonely Planet, serves some of the nation's best beer. Exciting!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
We drank vodka distilled from yak milk and airag, which sort of tastes like a sour cream and feta soda beer. We ate sour rock-hard cheeses and way, way too much mutton.
A few nights we stayed in the gers of nomad families.
In short, it was an amazing trip. I'm even a little sad it's over, but at the same time thrilled to be back in civilization.
The most wonderful thing was seeing all that rugged country - the huge blue sky against red cliffs, our jeep rolling past herds of camels and horses. I wanted to take a picture of everything, but it's hard to capture the vastness of it all with a point-and-click, or really any camera. Mongolia is a beautiful country.
I'll be in Mongolia a few more days, and will blog again. Still trying to figure out how to blog from China.