Wednesday, November 12, 2008


ok ok, yall are right, I am a total slacker haha. but in my defense, really nothing much happened since I came back from HangZhou. I spent the rest of the time sleeping, eating and shopping. Except for 3 days where I made a side to NanJing to visit my father's family. I was actually pretty nervous since the people from the two sides of my family actually hate each other and they never talk. This time I am taking M with me so I have no idea how it will go. It didn't help that M and I had a small fight the night before cause she thinks I am being inconsiderate making her staying at my aunts. Since she was afraid my aunt will give her the cold shoulder. I felt really bad since I haven't fought with her in like 5 years. Looking back it was partly my fault for not giving her enough assurance that wouldn't happen. So there was alot of tension. But it all turned out relatively alright. I can tell deep down, they still feel all awkward, but at least on the surface, it was all civility and politeness. That is all I can ask for.

So while in NanJing, there are of course more banquets. My aunt took us and my favoritite cousin to this great restaurant in the shopping district the first day. I had many famous NanJing dishes like the Salted Duck and Tofu Skin soup and Lions' Head that Velius talked about. I was lucky in that the week I went coincided with the International Urban City Conference in NanJing. My aunt says that in preparation, the entire city was cleaned and wiped spotless so it will look good for westerners. (so typical). But the benefit is that everywhere is super clean and have good service haha. I was able to ride the spankin new subway that took people across NanJing city. that was really nice too.

The next day, we went to visit Treasure Ship Park. It is a new park built after I was there 2 years ago. In the late Ming Dynasty (1400s). A Eunuch, Zheng He was given the mission to take a sea faring ship to explore the rest of the world. He started out from Yangtze River in Nanjing, and did about 7 trips going as far as the cape of Africa before he lost the favor of the emperor and the empire closed its doors until modern times. A couple of years ago, they found the original shipyard in NanJing and excavated lots of equipments for making ships and many artifacts during that time. So they created it into a park. In the park, there is a to scale replica of Zheng He's flagship. It was a humongous 5 level thing that I am sure can carry a thousand people at least. It was really cool to read about Zheng He's exploits and all the places he visited. It was really sad though to see how much difference there was between his trip and the European's. The Europeans started trades, and brought back lots of treausre and money for their country. But Zheng He instead took lots of gifts to other countries and didn't take anything back. Maybe if he was able to make money, they wouldn't have stopped his trips. It seems like a such a waste when they basically negated all his achievements and destroyed all his boats.

No comments: