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Confucius Says....Go To Qufu City My Son

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Confucius once said: Is it not a joy to have friends come from afar? Am I not a friendly chap and am I not from afar? I say Yeah to that olchap! Here I sit in the Qufu Youth Hostel with my 3 in 1 coffee and have been staring out the hostels large window that offers a perfect view of the street outside. For the past hour my views have been of what was once a main street but is now something that easily resembles the river Ganges with its colour and speed. Huge claps of thunder intermittedly overpower the blues that is softly coming from the roof speaks and lightening allows the hour to return to daylight in large flashes that last several seconds after which we are plummeted back into something that sits between afternoon and evening yet the hour is half past four. I left Xian city midday yesterday (Sunday) and had a very relaxing journey that took me from Shaanxi Province into Shandong Province. I spent most of my time sprawled out on my bunk reading and the rest of the time I spent chatting to a very charming monk that was heading home to Qingdao city to visit his parents. His English was as crazy as my Chinese and somewhere in between my phrase book got us through. While I was reading and sometimes even during our conversations he would fall into deep meditation. Where Superman required but a phone booth to change to save the world Mr Monk simply needed a few seconds of silence and he was gone leaving only his robed shell for us to quietly contemplate. I never really thought that the Chinese people would find this so interesting but I believe I could have sold tickets to witness his meditations. People would stop and others would gather around and stare at him (at not me for once) and when he snapped back into reality they would all go about their day as if nothing had happened. Nothing to see here! Nothing to see here! As usual trying to get anything that resembled sleep was out of the question, this time it wasn’t due to selfish people on the phone or listening to their MP3’s without headphones, this time it was the cute little four year olds fault. She was with her grandmother and they were travelling from Xian to Jinan and were sharing bunk below me. As she slept most of the day she was awake most of the night and as hard as her grandmother tried, she could not stop her from singing. She never once cried or complained she simply sang from ten in the evening when the lights went out until four in the morning when I departed the train. I know you are all saying, ohhh, isn’t that sweet and yes, it was sweet FOR THE FIRST HOUR but for six hours she sang the same goddamn song over and over and over again. Somehow today I gained around three hours. I was told by train staff and passengers that we would arrive at Yanzhou City around seven in the morning yet somehow I found myself leaving the train at four in the morning. Yeah, don’t you just love arriving in a new city at four in the morning…NOT! For those that need to know, you actually catch the train to Yangzhou city and not to Qufu town. When you arrive at Yanzhou head across the huge parking place/square thing and you’ll find the bus station. It should cost around 3 or 4 Yuan and take fifteen minutes to Qufu. As I arrived at four in the morning I grabbed a cab which cost me thirty Yuan. The driver wanted sixty Yuan as there was only one of me but I was happy to camp in the bus station until the buses started two hours later, in the end me flashing thirty Yuan before his face had me in his cab faster than a speeding bullet. When I arrived not a single thing was open, not even the hotels I walked past on my first little walk around the streets. Usually they have someone sleeping on a couch with the doors wide open. Around fiveish I found a guy asleep on a banana lounge outside a door with a light on which also had two cabbies sleeping in their front seats so I guessed correctly that it was a hotel and I guessed correctly that the hotel guy would be pretty pissed at me for waking him to give him money so as he grumpily hissed at me like a cut snake I went from room to room humming and haring just to piss him off more. It didn’t work at the longer he was awake the happier he became and soon we were sharing a cup of green tea outside the hotel a the cabbies silently slept the early hours away. After paying for a night I did some hand washing, showered and fell asleep until mid afternoon. When I woke I felt refreshed and so happy that I didn’t have a dark haired Shirley Temple singing me sleepy lullabies the entire time. Instead I had several mosquitoes but not even they managed to raise me from my sleepy slumber. Of course as I write this their feasting is driving me insane and my legs will soon look like I’ve been fighting with a poodle sized devil but hey, I’m in Qufu town and Confucius once said: Is it not a joy to have friends come from afar? Meaning; Luo Wei has just purchased a ticket from Kaifeng to Qufu for tomorrow! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen The album was his most awesome 'Blues’ ____________________________________________________________ From the Lonely Planet In today’s China of dilled-up attractions and hyped-up fads, the decidedly northern province of Shandong (meaning east of the mountains) manages to maintain an alluring authenticity, despite being one4 of the nations most visited regions. Shandong’s glittering CV makes for an impressive roll call. Native son Confucius, philosopher/social theorist extraordinaire, lived here as did that iconic champion of Confucian thought, Mencius. Wang Xizhi, China’s most famous calligrapher, and Zhige Liang, the supreme military strategist of the Three Kingdoms period, hail from these part, and film icon Gong Li, who set new benchmarks for Chinese beauty, grew up in Ji’nan. The Yellow River (Huang He), the massive and muddy waterway that enjoys an almost mythical status among Chinese, reaches the sea in Shandong after its serpentine journey from Tibet-Qinghai plateau. Tai-Shan, the holiest of Chinas five sacred peaks, is by far China’s most climbed mountain. Qingdao is a breath of fresh air on the Shandong peninsula, with it’s remarkable German heritage intact. It’s eastern seaboard location also guarantees that Shandong is one of Chin’s most wealthiest provinces. Yet neither fame or fortune has gone to its head. Shandong folk are celebrated China wide for their honesty and forthrightness. No-nonsense Shandong food is to the point, wholesome, salty and devoid of fancy trimmings. The peculiarities of the local Putonghua (Mandarin) are not enough to confound most speakers of Mandarin, and for those anxious to eke out the provinces bucolic side, the earthy textures of the ancient village of Zhujiayu are ideal

A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian


A Short Vist To Xian

A Short Vist To Xian

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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