Thursday, June 14 – Sichuan Province – Dave

We left our small hotel and rode through a rural China that looked the same as it must have looked hundreds of years ago…men and women laboring in the fields with simple tools…

…water buffalo (favored, in areas like this despite their legendary stubbornness, because they can work in swampy land)…

…and workers still shifting heavy loads in yoked buckets.

It was a journey back in time and, after the hard riding of recent days, a gentle one.

Paul seldom tells us what he has in store for the day ahead, so we were surprised when this temple suddenly came into view and we stopped to look around.  (I am embarrassed to confess that I have mislaid the name of it, but will edit this entry in due course so I don’t look too stupid).

It comprised a spectacularly beautiful series of buildings, courtyards and gardens and is dedicated to a local physician of such kindness and skill that he was venerated in his lifetime and has been worshipped since his death.  And who wouldn’t want a doctor who looked like this?

I have to confess to huge and mounting confusion regarding Chinese religions – ancestor worship such as this, Confucianism , Buddhism etc. etc.   I gamely persist in asking questions intended to help me untangle the threads, but the answers just confuse me more.  In this regard I could use the help of this scary-looking god dude whose role, we were told, is to help scholars with their studies.

For 20 Yuan I purchased 10  inches of red ribbon with a Chinese inscription on it expressing hope for the health of a loved one and with small brass bells at each end.  I wrote the name of my loved on on it (in this case my daughter-in-law, Kristen) and, as instructed, hurled it into a tree festooned with similar ribbons where it now hangs, doing its bit to aid Kristen’s recovery.

We left the temple and rode on along the ridge of beautiful mountains where the locals have found it hard to reconcile their love of trees with traffic safety…

…and paused by the side of the road…

…before finally arriving in Guangyuang, where traffic was stopped every few hundred yards to give priority to police-escorted, fast-moving buses transporting proud workers to FACTORY 821 – China’s largest plutonium-processessing facility.  Unfortunately curtains in the expensive new buses prevented me from seeing how badly mutated the passengers were.  It was a hell of a contrast with the pastoral and spiritual lands we had passed through this morning – but then that’s today’s China.

 

2 thoughts on “Thursday, June 14 – Sichuan Province – Dave

  1. Tell Simon,

    fat bellies in China is an expression of wealth, think Buddha, the real Buddha was skinny,

    like the birds of paradise
    the Chinese men are trying to lure a new mate in to their throng, for either a quick how’s your father,
    or a new concubine to share many how’s your fathers with him, or share his house full time.

    A bit like the big truck driver beer bellies of old in the UK, but they were not after women, just praise from fellow beer guts.

    Giuliano

  2. Tell Simon,

    fat bellies in China is an expression of wealth, think Buddha, the real Buddha was skinny,

    like the birds of paradise
    the Chinese men are trying to lure a new mate in to their throng, for either a quick how’s your father,
    or a new concubine to share many how’s your fathers with him, or share his house full time.

    G

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