Happy Birthday in China! Yesterday I celebrated my 55th birthday in China. I would never have dreamed I would celebrate it here. I have been gone the last two days on a trip to Shanghai. Sunday I took the 8:00 am fast train taking about 1 ½ hours and Lynn said it used to take 5 hours. I went to see one of my former art majors from Bluefield College, Aya Ichikawa. She met me at the train station and we had a great time seeing each other again. She took me around town showing me a bunch of sites. We went to People’s Park, an art museum, the river that splits the city in half, an art district, an old Ming dynasty garden, and a new “rodeo drive” area. I never knew so many white people could be in China. You don’t see that many in Nanjing. Most of them were from Europe, I heard many speaking German.
On Monday I took the 7:13 am train to Wuxi with Lynn where we then got on a bus and went to Yixing, a town known as the ceramics capitol of China. There specialty are purple clay teapots. They come in all sizes, shapes, decoration, and colors. We went to the museum first and then shopping. Lynn bought eight teapots and I bought 3. Then we took a quasi taxi back to Wuxi and a train back to Nanjing arriving back at my apartment around 7:00 pm. Two students came over to cook noodles for my birthday (it is supposed to bring good luck in China), they sang happy birthday in English to me, we ate a rice birthday cake, and then went for a nice leisurely walk in the Stone City park. I got to bed about 10:45 pm. It was a wonderful two days in China.