Confucius, goat meat, and kaoroke

Trip Start Jun 03, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Flag of China  , Shandong,
Saturday, August 3, 2013

We got up pretty early. We had to meet the guide at 8:00 a.m. We first walked to the city gate to watch a show. It was quite the production with trumpeters, dancers, soldiers, etc. We couldn't see much though, there were just too many people.

Then we went to the Temple of Confucius. It is one of three of China's great ancient building complexes. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built (and since expanded and renovated) 2000 years ago. There were many interesting things inside. Our guide told us so much history and good information; it's difficult to remember it all.

We enjoyed touching the dragon tree to give us a long life. Ada paid her respects to Confucius hoping for a good school year this coming fall. There are egrets inside the compound that are nowhere else. Certain dynasties used certain color tiles on the roofs of the buildings they erected.

Next we toured the Kong Family Mansion. It is also a large complex of buildings that include "offices" and living quarters of the descendents of Confucius. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of interest was the uneven "board" (the one we saw was made of concrete) that was used for punishment. If one was caught stealing, perhaps they would have to kneel on this board for several hours. Wives would make their tardy (and perhaps unfaithful) husbands do the same. The guide asked me if I wanted to try it. Uh, no. That would hurt.

There was a tiny little passage going from the "office" area to the living quarters. This was so that water or other valuable things couldn't be stolen. Past the living quarters was a beautiful garden with lovely, tall pink lotus flowers. There is also an old mural in the garden that shows a path, and no matter where you stand, it looks as if the path is facing you.

From there, we took a bouncy horse and carriage ride. The Chinese driver was from Russia. It was fun to hear him say goodbye in Russian. He took us to the tomb of Confucius. It is a big burial area where only certain people can be buried. We took a shuttle car through the paths, rather than walk. We were getting tired.

Later, for dinner, we went to a restaurant that specializes in barbecued goat. Again, we got to pick out our menu from the kitchen. We ate outdoors at a table with little tiny chairs. We drank regular rice liquor, then the very best rice liquor (2000 RMB/bottle) in China, and beer for toasting. They toasted to me a lot. Fortunately, I took tiny sips. I mainly drank cold and hot tea with my meal. The food was great: yummy goat meat, garlic bread, skewers of tendon (yuck!), skewers of a flat fish that I didn't think I'd like, but was super delicious, and other food.

We then went to a park where people were group dancing. Some ladies were doing a dance with drums and ribbons. A few people enjoyed me taking their pictures and showing it to them on my camera.

We went to a cool place where you rent out a room for kaoroke. You can buy snacks and drinks in the lobby and then you go to your private room for the singing. At first it was Ada, Ada's aunt, cousin, nephew, and me. Later, her cousin's husband came too. I had fun watching everyone sing. I did not sing myself, thankfully.

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