135 / country towns

After Xian, on this trip to China, we passed through many 
small towns of the kind where traffic is a matter
of interest

Being in a big bus gave us a surreal vantage point
to start with, though it was difficult to catch

bedcovers & meat seemed an odd combination

of course it could reflect my state of mind.
In Australia they would be covered in flies, but not there

I think the casket makers were close by,
though they were very small towns..
In many ways a tour like this is like a science fiction story 
I read once, where time travel would translate the future
people directly into an incomprehensible town/city/situation.


134 / questions

There were quite often questions I forgot to ask ~ but then
I see things here where I live that remain a mystery

what happened here?

a curious scenario

& how is it for people of a certain age,
who have no family?

Also: what happened to the large number of people who were
're-settled' due to the 3 Gorges Dam (which accounts for maybe 3% of
of China's power) to these mean dwellings in barren country
far from everything?
I heard they abandoned this place - who wouldn't?

PS see post 136 / from this


133 / Xi'an - terracotta warriors

Photos at the museum, of all the different faces;
impressive, how the variations were worked out
to achieve the illusion of individual clay soldiers

impressive, the vast site filled with warriors who've been
pieced together since the farmer found the first bits of
terracotta in his fields. Now theres a roof over them

impressive, the army of craftspeople & others who continue
to resurrect this megalomaniac's memorial to himself

impressive, the extraordinary resources that went into it,
& still do, although tourism must generate a lot of
money, too. A site of many paradoxes

at times they looked like ghosts, or spirits from some
nether world, standing still while we -perhaps- drew conclusions
from their underground captivity

I'd thought the breakage was due to the weight of centuries of earth,
maybe earthquakes, but the current view is they were
deliberately dug up & smashed by subjects who hated the emperor
while he still lived ~ & within weeks of his death.
I think all aspiring dictators should live a
week or so among the terracotta warriors.. & re-think.


132 / xian

Particularly liked this tower in Xian, the old capital,
Chang-an. Although much of the old walls, architecture etc
has been restored to varying degrees, this one 
seemed somehow real,
perhaps its simply its beautiful proportions

As usual, I'd have liked to see it then..

Can't tell you any details, made no notes

There was a pleasant garden around it too


131 / also..

After I joined the tour in Beijing, we went to several
sites: the summer palace, with its attractive paintings
that, being exposed to the elements, require frequent attention

always, of course, really a lot of people,
here a friendly work group,

at the lama temple, lighting incense

a marble boat, meant to symbolise the unsinkable state,
absolutely dead ugly..

the great wall, 

they looked quite difficult hills, without the wall,
at Mutian

the very wet first day

one of the crazy rocks at the summer palace,
atop a beautifully carved stone

& something I really appreciated, an artist painting
flawless strokes, with water..


130 / forbidden city

Was here for many hours, its vast & interesting

& visitors can only see a small part of it

I wonder if the colours were as bright, back then?

carved stone stair treads

Huge brass vessels, partially gilded

stunning details everywhere

fabulous metal work

even when I couldn't see in, the reflections

I think it gets more perfect with age

certainly the trees do

so glad I went then, the day the group went was so wet,
despite the crowds, even the chairs were empty


129 / Jingshan Gardens

Surprised by the lovely trees here

& by the happy relaxed crowds of people 
practicing Tai Chi, music, dance, mahjong, you name it..

gardeners screened off their new work

an adjacent park had a big lake with small boats,
not much action as it was a week day.
One could forget the pollution, more or less.


128 / black & white

A few abstract walls near my small hotel

Didn't venture past this area for a few days, 

I liked it a lot . Grey bricks.

lots of past messages

& these interesting trees in the big park nearby

& a bit of blue.