Hey Hey and a Big G’Day toya,
Bread, I forgot all about the bread! In these little northern places it is all about bread and noodles.
After loud and freezing cold journey without sleep from Xianyang to Hancheng I arrived at 6:45 yesterday morning to discover that the first two hotels I looked at didn't have any kind of working internet, nor could I say much for their air conditioning and sure I believed them totally when they told me that it would be working later'.
The third Hotels Lan Line rooms didn't work but their two Wi-Fi floors worked a treat. Go figure that one out!
It was then time for breakfast and after a big dinner with Luo Wei and family followed by a four hour snack and nap stop in KFC waiting for the 2am train I am surprised that my stomach can actually gurgle any kind of breakfast sound. Once out on the streets I was greeted by an early morning sight that I had totally forgotten about since my three years living in northern China. It's like 'The Walking Dead' but instead of people walking around with bloody limbs, it was big slabs of thick bread.
I see it as bread of all kinds being the main course. Another other foods that are ordered are simply side dishes.
After walking around for ten or so minutes dodging noodle eateries and zombies with bread I found a little sidewalk guy who was serving small dishes of bean curd with peanuts and corianderand I thought hey, what a great way to trick my stomach into thinking its been feed which would then allow my digestive system to kick in and reack havic on the last nights feasts. And then it came, Here is your side dish of bean curd sir and here is your main course of bread. Honestly, I am happy with just the side dish Sir. Then I was slapped in the face by another memory of northern Chinese rural towns. There is NO no, when it comes to bread of all shapes and sizes.They take pride in their bread, it is the main course after all!So, where in the world or Shanxi am I now?
I'm now in Hancheng city which is best known for being the home town of Sima Qian (145 – 90BC). He is China's legendary historian and author of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian). Sima Qian chronicled different aspects of life in the Han Dynasty and then went about about arranging the country's already distant past into its proper Confucian order. A lot of good it did him as he was eventually castrated and imprisoned by Emperor Wudi after having defended an unsuccessful general.
Putting poor old Sima Qian aside,I actually came here for the architecture.
Hancheng is regarded as a natural ancient architecture museum and in addition to the Siheyuan (Courtyards) of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it has more than one hundred and forty ancient buildings of the Tang, Song, Ming, Yuan and Qing Dynasties (618-1911) along with more than twenty ancient buildings from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
Believe it or not, that is more than any other place in all of Shaanxi.
I spent most of yesterday walking around the new city (well I wouldn't call it that) which is set upon a hill and today I tumbled down the hill and spent the afternoon mazing my way around the old town so all photos for this entry are from the old town, the Confucius and Chenghuang Temples. As for when my next blog will be, that I can not answer unless you want photos and descriptions of my very infected foot. Prior to heading off on the 2014 Summer 'Ancient City Walls & Temples' Beers N Noodles Adventure I HAD to buy new shoes but of course no one had decent and strong sandals so I made do with an actual pair of shoes.
A very stupid mistake on my behalf and I DO know better. Next time I will simply buy a cheap pair of sandals until I find better ones.
THE INFECTED FOOT INCIDENT
After walking my usual five to seven Beers N Noodles hours each day my right foot got blisters upon blisters and then blisters upon those blisters. Then came to 'bloody' blisters, but of course me being me always thinks, She'll berightMate, airemtomora....But I never did, and now it's come to waking with bloody sheets in the foot area and tonight it looks all kind of infected. Now do you see the hazards of having the hazardous job of showing the world 'The Real China'. All the worry about what if my plane goes missing (not that I ever fly), what to eat when there is so much to choose from, which BBQ to eat from, which beer to drink and now an infected and bloody foot. I think the fact that I had to catch a taxi home and that things are looking kind of red and yellowish in the foot area;
It maybe time to visit the doctor for another reason other than my usual yearly Visa Medical. It has been many years, but from memory I did have to visit the doctor for an ear infection many years ago. That was back in Shaowu when I had an ear ache and woke with blood on my pillow. Then I had Ling Ping (Joyce) to help take care of me and it took a week of sitting in the hospital for several hours each evening with a Medical Vitamin drip in my arm and a hell of a lot of natural Chinese medicine. I think though that in ten years, that being the only time I've had to visit the doctor/hospital is pretty remarkable, especially when you look/think about all of the places I visit each year.
Yes, when your bubbles pop and its not liquid clearish water, But red with yellowish colours, it is time to stop being a typical male.
The guy lugging all of that cardboard, we kept meeting up at different parts of the old town. He continually added more and more boxes to his load and he/they are what are known as human donkey's and honestly it is so sad that he must do this to survive. I tried to offer some money, enough to maybe give him a few weeks off as the load that he is pulling will actually not pay much at all. He must do this continually each and every day to survive. I for one can say that just standing there and drinking a bottle of water with him and those like him are some of THE most memorable moments of my time in China. A simple bottle of water and he was so happy. He was too proud to accept money but I do believe the people of the old town respect him as store owners would come out as he sloooooooowly passed by and offered him water as did I. He'd drink some and store others, I'm thinking for his family but the one thing he would accept was help from the children.
They'd race out and gather in groups and push like mad demons. After a block he'd stop and thank them and off he'd go again. I see 'Him' in each place I live and visit. It is always heartbreaking.
HANCHENG CONFUCIUS TEMPLE
Confucius, a great thinker and educator in ancient China, was respected by monarchs of many dynasties since Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). The name of the temple changed with Confucius' honorary names again and again. It has been called Wen Miao, Fuzi Miao, Xianshi Miao and was finally named Confucius Temple in the Ming and Qing Periods (1368-1911).
It was specially built for offering sacrifices to Confucius.It is the third largest Confucius Temple in China.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane
The soundtrack to this entry was by Tex Don and Charlie The album was 'Sad But True' ____________________________________________________________