Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2011

Caochangemen Campus

Today was a little more relaxed. I got up at 7:00 am to do a little email and internet activities. As I have mentioned the internet is like a dead turtle except early in the morning. I worked on a Power Point for a lecture later in the day and at 10:00 a student named Wanghad came over and he took me to one of the nearby art supply stores to help me bargain with some prices. I bought 5 bamboo brushes, 10 sheets of paper, a ruler, glue, tape, pencil sharpener, 7 paper masks, and a big bottle of black ink all for 170 Yuan or $27.00. That is a pretty good price I thought.

I then met Guelay and one of her friends for lunch. It is helpful to have someone order what you want in the canteen as the cooks do not speak a lick of English. I came back to the room and decorated some of the paper masks. I want to give them to some Chinese friends before I leave. I then took a short nap before heading over to the art auditorium for a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour question and answer session. I mostly showed images of the ceramic work I have completed in the last 36 years. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I will give another talk next Tuesday same time. Next week they want me to talk about art education in America and Art History in America. Should be fun.

I then asked Guelay if I could take her out to dinner, my treat. She has done everything for me often insisting on buying me a drink and I knew that I would be leaving soon and that this would probably be the only free time to do it. She really did not want me to buy her dinner but I insisted that it was my turn to give back to her. So we went to a pizza place she likes and I even insisted on paying all of her bus fares and cookies for dessert. She was very appreciative. She is one unique person and I wish everyone reading this could meet her. From day one she had been our number one friend here in Nanjing. I know Lydia and Amber agree with this statement. They all cried when they had to say goodbye and Guelay even got up at 5:30 am to help take them to the train station. That is the one of kind Guelay. Good night!

Guelay showing me some of Nanjing at night.

Another Photo

A Chinese couple wanted their little child's picture to be taken with the two beautiful Americans.

Another Photo

You see this in every park in China. Birds in cages brought to the park from retired people. This is one of their hobbies.

Another Photo

This is at a reconstruction of a typical rich person's home from the Ming Dynasty. It had over 300 rooms. Left to right, David, Guelay, Lydia, Amber, and Lisa.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Ming Wall

Today was another great day in China. When I got up I worked a little on some art and then decided to take Bus #11 to the biggest lake in Nanjing called Xuanwu Lake Park. It is basically one big park and is very beautiful. A big part of the old Ming city wall is there so I decided to walk it. Here is what I wrote.

12:00 noon, right now I am sitting on the Nanjing Great Wall that was built by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Parts of the wall also date back to the 2nd century AD. A Chinese man in a red shirt just walked up to me and I said, “Knee How”. He replied the same and then offered me a cigarette, that was a little strange. It is a beautiful day out with mostly cloudy skies with a few peaks of sunshine. There is a slight breeze but I am not sure if the clouds are smog or just haze coming from moisture, most likely the latter. There is a huge lake below me called Xuanwu Lake. It has lots of little boats on it somewhat like paddleboats. As I sit on a bench facing the lake I can see Purple Mountain to my right and a large golden metal round building somewhat like the BC dome below it. I have been walking for about an hour and I think I will walk some more.

I ended up walking the entire wall I could walk and then walked down to the lake and spent a little time there. Then I decided to take a bus to the Nanjing Art Museum. I got a little mixed up what road was what so I ended up just walking to the museum. I had a little difficult time finding it and when I finally did I found out they were closed that day but would be open tomorrow. I called Lisa and she said take bus #65 and it would take me back to campus, which it did. When I stepped off the bus I checked my phone for any messages and I had one from Professor Du (she came to BC two years ago). It said, “Are you free now.” I was free so I called her up and she ended up taking me to a tea house for tea and dinner. We talked for about 3 hours and the time flew by. I then got back to campus where I met Lynn to walk to a bamboo flute concert at the Nanjing Art Institute Concert Hall. We had a great time listening to some incredible sounds from a lot of Chinese instruments with the bamboo flute as a soloist. Now I am typing my entry before I go to sleep. I can’t load it tonight as the internet is like a dead turtle.

Oh yea, one more thing I did today was before climbing the Ming wall I went to the Jiming Temple which has a bunch of Buddha statues and a large pagoda but the pagoda was under scaffolding for repair. Shucks! When you entered the complex they handed you three incense candles for when you get to the top. There were lots of people praying to the many, many gods along the way and when I got to the top I lit the three incense sticks and stuck them where everyone else was sticking theirs. I lit up one for Linda, one for Michael, and one for Forrest, sorry mom, I only had three.

View from the top of the Ming Wall build by the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

Another Photo

One of the golden statues at the Jiming Temple. Most were a lot bigger than this one.

Read Full Post »

At Church

This is the first draft of a poem I started yesterday while waiting for church to start.

Peace and love,
Contentment and pain,
Hard work and respect,
KFC and MacDonald’s,
Capitalism and cars,
Traffic and bicycles,
Mopeds and people,
Dynasties and emperors,
Dragons and phoenixes,
Yellow and blue,
Tombs and rivers,
Walls and kites,
Firecrackers and weddings,

Rice and vegetables,
Fish heads and pork,
Bones and spices,
Old and new,
Tea and coke,
Wine and beer,
Green and red,
Noodles and dumplings,
Fried and boiled,
Bamboo and frogs,
Church and Confucius,
Ming and Qing,
Silk and jade,
Tang and Song,
Yuan and Han,
Sat and Deng,
Mao and War
Communism and billions

I went on a long walk yesterday and found this Walmart.

Another Photo

Last night I went on a walk to the local park and this is the Ming Wall at night. The park was crowded with people just relaxing.

Read Full Post »

China Day 18

Today we had a very busy day touring Nanjing. David Olive (our Bluefield College president) is here along with his daughter. We left the campus at 9:00 and took a van to the Lion Mountain Park. There is a large temple there that sits on a hill overlooking the Yangtze River. It is a very scenic climb to the top and the temple is a typical traditional Chinese building. We then went inside the temple and climbed to the top. The entire temple is highly ornate with bright colors of blue and gold and many other colors. This is a Ming temple and inside had the portraits of all the Ming dynasty emperors. When you get to the top you can walk around the entire perimeter with incredible views of the entire city of Nanjing. It was quite beautiful. When we climbed down we walked to a side flat area (still up high) with several smaller ornate buildings.

After this we drove a short distance to a Chinese Tea House. This was my first experience in a tea house and it was quite an experience. We had all kinds of tea, a demonstration of a traditional tea ceremony, a huge lunch, and then tea made from a flower. Mine was called “Love at first sight.”
We spent over 2 hours there and then we drove to a place called Ganxi Residence. This was a reconstructed area of 300 rooms typical of a wealthy Ming dynasty family. It is hard to describe the complexity of it, all wood with incredible glass doors and garden area.

Then we headed to the Confucius temple area which was nearby. This place not only has a Confucius temple but students take their standardized tests here, plus it is a gigantic market area. This is where you get the best bargains in Nanjing. We walked around for 2 hours shopping and then had another huge dinner at Confucius temple. The amount of food we had again was enormous. Vice President Zhou was at both our lunch and dinner as he was hosting our president and daughter. He has been very generous to all of us. It has been a long day and I am a little tired and it is only 8:30 pm. Life in China is wonderful!

This is the Ming temple on top of Lion Mountain.

Another Photo

I took this night photo when we came out after dinner at Confucius Temple.

Read Full Post »

China Day 17

It is 8:45 am and I just got to talk to my mother on the phone. She is in a convalescence home as she broke her leg the same day I left for China. She sounded in good spirits but was complaining about how the therapy sessions were very painful. I am sitting on the front steps of my apartment. There are 4 levels of steps with about 8-10 steps each. One thing you will notice about China is all the steps have a ramp down the middle of them. This baffled me for the longest time until one day I saw a lady walking up the ramp with her bike. I said, “Oh that is what the ramp is for.” Sometimes I would find myself walking up the ramp just for fun, ha!

One thing I have mentioned before is they have a lot of green spaces that are overgrown. In some of the areas they plant some type of garden plant. I have noticed that these are watered daily. One area I am looking now has 3-4 foot tall grass and it has not been cut this summer. That could make a nice garden if groomed a little. That might be determined by squatter’s rights.

There are also a few stray cats around and one of them is meowing me now. Meowwwww… I see them digging in the garbage all the time. Disposing of trash can be strange here. They have this small stainless steel trash receptacle like you would see outside and the residents just throw their trash in small plastic bags beside the can. I can see 3 bags by one right now. I have seen a man pick these up daily and he also sweeps the stairs and ramp. There is a long two-tiered ramp here so motorbikes can be parked at a higher level than the road and closer to the apartments. I think the Chinese when they first built a building they were very concerned about aesthetics. There are some beautiful lamp posts here also, but it seems that gets overlooked later.

Our Calligraphy class teacher showing us the eight strokes of the Chinese language.

Another Photo

This is a picture of me an Daisy on the bus coming back from the Pukou campus. She takes care of me when I teach on that campus.

Read Full Post »

Mochou Lake

This is what I wrote in my journal yesterday. This morning I took a trip by bus to Mochou Lake about 15 minutes from my apartment. It is a large lake in the city with a lot of history. There are lots of people here mostly older people playing games and walking their grandchildren. It is quite beautiful. Everyone seems to be just relaxing and enjoying the day. It is cloudy out with a slight breeze so it is not to hot. I am sitting on a rock about 10 feet from the lake with a couple of small islands in front of me. I am not sure how to judge the distance across the lake, 1 mile or 1/2 mile. The shoreline is lined with buildings, walkways, willow trees and flowers. I hear a distant drum beat of a dragon boat on the lake. There is a festival coming soon on my birthday June 6th, a dragon boat festival on the river. I can hear lots of birds singing their hearts out and a few honks of traffic nearby. The sun is now trying to peak through the clouds. I have on my rain jacket and I am quite hot. Just enjoying my short time in China.

Dragon boat on Mochou Lake

Another photo

Models of the emperor playing a board game. This was in one of the historic buildings at the lake.

Read Full Post »

Xiaohang Campus

Yesterday I gave a lecture at the “Shaw Hong” campus. That I believe is how you would pronounce it, the correct spelling is the title of this blog. There was a good crowd and thankfully they had the stage set up with chairs as I needed to sit down because of my head cold. In the morning I stayed in my apartment working on some art, getting more stamps glued to the colored paper I had done. I made a quick bus run to the pharmacy and a BIG MAC and that wore me out so I was a little concerned about how I would feel during the lecture. I took two Tylenol Cold tablets and they kicked in just in time for the lecture. The lecture was for two hours and then afterwards I went to an English Corner Club where students like to practice their English. I stayed there about an hour and then I was taken to this giant shopping mall called XINJIEKOU for dinner. Amber and Lydia were with me during this trip also.
Two Chinese girls (Lisa and Linda) took care of us getting on the subway, paying for our dinner, and helping Amber find some shoes she had seen on a previous trip. I had a good talk with Linda. She spoke English well and has her student teaching next year. We had a lot of commonalities. This summer she is going to work in deep south China in the country. She said she wants to be independent. That reminded me of when I was 19 and went for the summer in Arkansas. She said her parents said, “stay at home, don’t go so far.” I told her that is exactly what my mom said when I went to Arkansas. She also said she does not like shopping, I said me too. She said she gets teased from her friends; you must be a boy then. By then we were walking in this maze of shops that was about 8 feet wide and seemed to go on for eternity trying to find where Amber had seen these shoes. Lights were flashing everywhere, music everywhere, and it was just a hip place. It reminded me of an Andy Warhol painting. After this I said I needed to get back to rest so they went out of their way and got us back to our campus. They live on the Shawhong campus many miles away. I was very appreciative of their kindness.

Xian Mosque

Another Photo

This is a photo of where our car was parked in downtown Xian. I took this picture because the restaurant manager has all of his employees out telling them what to do for that nights dinner.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »