Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chungqing, Young Fu’s Hometown on the Upper Yangtze

We flew out of Xi’an in the morning. To our surprise we were served a small lunch of rice and a meat and vegie sauce so we postponed the lunch included in our tour until 5 PM since we were not scheduled for supper anywhere.

Our guide, Diana (“like the Empress,” she said [we decided she probably meant Princess Diana]) met us and took us to Ci Qi Kou, Porcelain VillageIn the 1930s and 40s Chungquing was the temporary capital of China under the Kuomintang, but Ci Qi Kou is far enough away from the city center not to have been bombed in the “Anti-Japan War.” I hate to think what fire would have done to the narrow streets and the 2-300-year-old wooden buildings. Now they are a tourist warren of small shops, tea houses and restaurants. I suggested that a tattoo would make a good souvenir of China that would not take up any room in a suitcase, but Steve didn’t think that was a good idea. We did see people sitting with their feet in fish tanks. I’m pretty sure they were getting the calluses eaten off.

The Jia Ling River flows into the Yangtze at Chungqing, making it a major transportation hub.

The 1932 Newbery Award for best book for children went to Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze, the story of a country boy moving to Chungqing in the 1920s. I kept thinking of the story and the real people it represented as we explored the streets of Ci Qi Kou.

As you can see from the pictures, the weather is much more overcast, which I understand is typical of the region. It is much hotter and more humid. It reminded Steve of Rio.

It drizzled most of the rest of the afternoon, which we spent at the Three Gorges Museum—except that the Hall of the Three Gorges was closed for repairs. Our guide was shocked because she was there yesterday. But we saw a 1980s 360 movie about the gorges and enjoyed the ethnic costumes on another floor. Besides, it was raining. Where else were we going to go?

This Hall of the People (or something like that) across the street is patterned after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and the Forbidden City, only bigger. (I found that an interesting commentary on the CCPs view of itself.)

This statue in the courtyard made me think of my own daughters as mothers. I guess Chinese mothers and their children are not so very different.

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