History Lesson

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Where I stayed

Flag of China  ,
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hearing there was a bit of lively action on Sundays at the Green Lake Park I headed over that way to see what was up. The park is not too big and is taken up mostly by very green looking water, hence the name I guess, but there seemed to be little going on beyond the usual Sunday afternoon crowds, of which there was loads, so I soon skedaddled out of there and up the road to Yuantong Temple.

Ok another temple, but there is little to see in Kunming so I figured I'd give it a shot, once I found it that is after almost walking into the zoo next door. The temple was quite pleasant actually with more turtles swimming around in the small lake than I'd ever seen but the scourge of modern China I saw was already hard at work here too with construction going on in the grounds damping the experience somewhat.

Wandering back down the road I came across a park near the hostel that was literally jumping with people and activities far more than the much larger Green Lake Park. There were groups of people dancing, others singing and whole play ongoing at one end with a mass of spectators huddled round about. I later learned that this was probably performed in a local non-mandarin dialect so at least I was probably not the only one standing there without a scooby as to what was going on.

I stopped for some deep fried chicken (do they do it any other way?) at a street stall and was asked if I wanted some spicy looking pepper on top, not wanting to look feeble in front of the tiny women behind the stall I nodded assertively standing up confidently trying to hide my cluelessness as to what the spice was. As the chicken just barely touched my lips I could already feel them burning but bit into it anyway with the little woman watching me the whole time laughing as I tried unsuccessfully to hide the sweating that immediately broke out and the no doubt glowing red face that followed.

Back in the hostel I ended up getting a lesson on just about the entire history of China, which is a heck of lot, from a Chinese girl staying at the hostel who unsurprisingly studied Chinese history at university along side English. At least they obviously got taught more interesting things than I did at university when I had to take a history course for one year in which much like in school they were obsessed with the industrial revolution and agriculture in the 18th century.
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