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An Awesome Fuzhou Catchup With Ting Ting

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Hello, is there a bus that goes to Linchuan city? No, no bus goes to Linchuan from here nor the other station. Bugger, then it’s going to be rather difficult to get to see Ting Ting. I then turned around and noticed a large map on the wall with big red dots on all the towns and cities the buses go to from the tiny and seemingly always empty Dexing Long Distance bus station. I found Dexing, then Shangrao and from memory where I thought Linchuan city was located.

What is this city? That is Fuzhou city Fuzhou city, yes that’s where I want to go. But Fuzhou is not Linchuan city and there isn’t a bus to Linchuan. Why would you buy a ticket to Fuzhou when you want to go to Linchuan? I understand but Fuzhou and Linchuan are now one city separated by a river. Oh, but there isn’t a bus to Linchuan city and you want to go to Linchuan city.

Um...ok...how about I stop this getting any more confusing and just buy a ticket to Fuzhou city and then use a bridge to cross the river to Linchuan city..............DONE!

After a nearing five hour ride my 7:30am bus finally arrived at the Fuzhou bus station and within seconds Ting Ting and I were jumping around hugging each other making a right spectacle of ourselves. For those who don’t or haven’t read much of my blogs, I met Ting Ting at the end of 2006 when I moved to Shaowu city in Fujian Province and we’ve been like two peas in a pod ever since. She’s moved around a bit over the past year so we haven’t seen each other since she came to stay with me in Shangrao city about a year ago.

This visit in between catching up we somehow managed to squeeze in a temple, a church, a lake park, the latest Disney 'Wizard of Oz’ in 3D, Jack the Giant Slayer in 3D, KFC, Northeast China dumplings, a porridge eatery and around midnight each night we’d scamper down to the night market and feast on a huge hand full of meat sticks, grilled fish and oysters and wash it all down with a heap of cold beer.

Sadly as it does every week, Sunday arrived and all the fun came to an end. Well, mine actually begins again each Monday morning when I arrive at class.

<u>So, What Did I Find Out This Visit & a Short Brief History and Culture?</u>

Fuzhou city is surrounded by mountains in the east, south and west and has hills, rivers, valleys and basins spaced in the central region. Hill and mountain make up the main components of the city's landform and the terrain generally slopes downward from the south to the north. During the Spring-and-Autumn Period, the Baiyue Tribes lived in this region and during the Warring States Period, the territory belonged to Jiujiang Shire. It was in AD257 during the Three Kingdom Period, Linchuan Shire was set up in the region and its capital was established in Linru County.

Fuzhou got its current name in AD589 during the Sui Dynasty.

But as Ting Ting and I found out through talking to people on both sides of the river, the locals still separate both by the river as the new city is Fuzhou and the small and poor is Linchuan. Fuzhou is the origin place of &#8216;Linchuan Culture’, which was born during the Qin Dynasty and the Han Dynasty and flourished during the Song Dynasties. It is still prevailing in Fuzhou and surrounding regions and the area is also the birthplace of many great literary figures, such as Wang Anshi, a great poet and politician in Song Dynasty.

<u>A Bit on Fuzhou Women</u>

In early times in Fuzhou City married women and unmarried women could be distinguished from each other according to their hairstyle. In the period after the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911) and at the beginning of the Republic of China (1912-1949), married women arranged their hair in a bun while unmarried women arranged their hair in a plait. In the 1920s and 1930s, married women's hairstyle changed gradually from the bun to the modish perm. On the wedding day, the girl would go to the hair dressers to have her hair permed, accompanied by her female friend or relative.

After the perming, when she walked down the street every one would know that she would soon become a bride.

In that same period, the boundary between Yisao (married) and Yimei (unmarried) was still extremely clear, so a mistake could not be made if you judged a women according to her hairstyle. Later on though unmarried teenage girls began having their hair permed, and some Yisao who had become mothers began reverting back to a simple plait so the distinction between those with a bun &#8216;Yisao’ and those with a plait &#8216;Yimei’ began to merge.

<u>What Did I Find To See In Fuzhou/Linchuan This Visit?</u> <u>(That Ting Ting hadn’t found in three months because she always sleeps)</u>

Supposedly Fuzhou has many temples, such as Baima Temple (White Horse Temple) first built during the Song Dynasty, the Linchuan Jinshan Temple (which I believe to be the temple Ting Ting and I visited as it is in the little Linchuan district) along with the Baofang Temple complex, built in AD1761.

We were planning on a temple day as Ting found out two bus numbers that take you out into the mountains and I believe run between the two Temple Mountains, but it rained in the morning so there went that plan. As for what I think was the Jinshan Temple we only found it because when I got off a bus in a new city with a river running through it, to me it just seems the appropriate place to head first. When we arrived across the river in the Linchuan District I spotted a large pagoda in the distance and a small local temple on the river bank.

Perfect choice and off we went.

After visiting the local temple we headed towards the pagoda and found the Gothic Catholic Cathedral which was first built in 1908 and with a floor space covering an area of well over two thousand square meters it is the third largest Catholic Church in China but as churches always are, it was closed to the public so we continued on our way towards the pagoda.

If it was the Jinshan Temple then there was no mountain (shan) so maybe it was actually the Baima Temple but as I can’t find any information on the Fuzhou/Linchuan Baima temple I can’t actually be sure. Obviously I forgot to ask the name of the temple but what I did remember to ask is how old it was and found out that the first temple built on the site was around a thousand years ago.

As for local food, I got to try the Congren Ma Ji (a kind of braised chicken) and the Nanfeng Preserved Vegetables and I’m sure Ting Ting will introduce me to many more during my next visit.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Chemical Brothers The album was &#8216;Live At The Social’ ____________________________________________________________

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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