Pics from the last few weeks

Ok, here’s the rest of the pictures from our Taishan trip. I already posted day 1, now here is day 2 and 3, as well as other pictures from last two weekends. Enjoy!

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This is a picture of the main temple in Confucius’ temple complex. This complex is where Confucius taught and it is filled with monuments to him that have been built over the years.

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A picture of the long halls on either side of the many temples and monuments that currently hold more shrines to lots and lots of someone’s, but I suspect that previously they could have been where Confucius’ followers lived, but that’s just a guess.

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This is a reconstructed room in Mencius’ house. Mencius’ house was very quite and peaceful compared to Confucius temple complex. There were lots of people at Confucius’ place, but there was almost no one at Mencius’ temple complex or his house.

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This is at Tai mountain, and this place is a small temple that you come across as you climb up the mountain. I believe the locks are commemorative, you carve your name and date on the lock and lock it on the chain fence. The red ribbons say “deng shang tai shan, quan jia ping an” which basically translates as “scale the peak of Tai mountain, all your family will be safe in sound” I know that sounds really really weird, but the point is that climbing Tai mountain is good luck and because of it your family will be well. And it sounds better in Chinese because it rhymes. Anyway, the people buy these ribbons and after they climb the mountain they tie it to this tree with a 1 yuan tied into the ribbon for good luck and as a offering to whatever thing is in the temple.

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A very small part of the very many steps we had to climb. This is near the summit and I promise, no matter how steep or tiring you think they look, they are much worse than however bad you think they are.

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This is on top of the mountain, there is a large path that leads from where the cable cars arrive (there are cable cars you can ride from the beginning of the steps to the summit for lazy people and for those incapable of climbing) to the temple built at the top.

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This is a guy who lives up on the mountain, I’m not sure if he is a monk of some kind or not. Anway, there was an out of the way courtyard that looked very interesting, but it also looked like it was off limits to tourists (since people actually live up here) and of course being myself (wink), and seeing this man standing in the doorway, I asked if I could look around and he said of course. Then we talked a bit about martial arts and he offered to pose for me (I promise, I did not ask him to).

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The collection of structures built on top of Tai mountain, they include but are not limited to: a temple, various monuments, a signal tower and maintenance station, and the living quarters for whoever lives up here because of the temple (not sure if they are monks or just people who feel like living on the top of a mountain).

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Tai mountain, Confucius and Mencius were day 2, this is in Weifeng city on day 3. Weifeng city is famous for its traditional crafts, especially kite making and flying. As part of our trip we got to make a very simple kite, which was fun, but I bet it doesn’t fly.

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This is inside the kite craft workshop where we made our kites.

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This is the kite store at the folk art crafts complex we toured. As you can see, there are lots of them and they are beautifully and meticulously crafted by hand.

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This was last weekend when we visited the opera school. They put on several short shows for us giving us examples of each of the different aspects of beijing opera. This was a short play about this man and woman martial artists, who I guess are enemies because they fight, who meet in the middle of the night and so they can’t “see” each other. It was interesting to watch them act out searching around in the dark for each other and never looking at one another or anything else in particular because of course its night and they can’t see anything. I took a video, I might post it one day.

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This was an example of the singing, as well as some nice moves with those long things attached to her costume, think of the girls in rhythmic gymnastics who have those long streamers.

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More acting/dancing/fighting. This is the good guy and there were four bad guys that come on after a while. I’m not sure what the plot was, but it was tons of fun to watch. If you notice, this guy has two really long pheasant tail feathers attached to his head dress. They were so much fun to watch, they look like antennae and they way he moved made them wave around like they were moving on their own.

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So after the show, they offered to paint some of our faces, I talk about it in my previous post so good read that. These are a couple of my classmates who got the “monkey” face, and now they are monkeying around.

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Ok, same day, after visiting the opera school we went to one of the many school cafeterias and made dumplings together with our Chinese tutors. This was very fun, but I didn’t help because I had a cough that day and I didn’t want to cough all over the dumplings.

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