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Remember, Remember, the 2nd of August

travel china \ 2009-08-04

The Nationalist treason and plot.
 I know of no reason, why the Communist win
Should ever be forgot. On many military emblems throughout China has 八二 (8/2), signifying the Communist “Independence Day.”

Much of CCTV was filled with praise and glory and really bad Communist music for the defeat of the Nationalists 60 years ago.

Our last week was just as epic as the Communist celebration. We ate 狗肉, which I thought was fine, but it isn’t something I’d go out of my way to get. To be honest, in the range of “less commonly eaten animals,” donkey is a lot more delicious. Our culinary deliciousness does not compare to what we did for 3 days…

TRIP TO NORTH KOREA

Outside of the 6 hour drive to the boarder, this was exceptionally exceptional. We woke at the crack of dawn, arising from our 2 star hotel bed, ate some kimchi and were off!
We started at giant basin filled with water and rock sculptures. This was one of the few times I could actually understand how the sculptures got their names. Usually “Legendary Sage Reading Scripture Above a Tree” looks like “Large Rock Next To Small Rock,” but this time, I totally saw the Sage. After that was river rafting. Not white water, but legitimate fun nonetheless. We then finally arrived at 长白山, or Long White Mountain. Changbai Shan is currently an active volcano with a giant basin in the middle of it. This makes the mountain almost entirely covered with clouds and has huge rapids and a waterfall coming down the side. It also has hot springs that one has the option of partaking in, but to be honest, I wasn’t really in the “Remove Clothing In Front of Strangers” mood. Thus we wandered around there for a good few hours until we braved the trek up the mountain to the “Sky Pond,” the big basin thing. The trek was not your average car ride up. It was 72 switchback turns, overlooking cliffs, in the rain, in 20 minutes or less. I’m hesitant to do 100km on a normal road, let alone a mountain. Needless to say, AMAZING. They even had a sign that was just an exclaimation point. I don’t know what it meant, probably, “Watch out, YOU’RE ABOUT TO GO EXTREME!!!” The basin itself, as previously mentioned, is usually surrounded by clouds. Jiang Zemin hasn’t even seen it, but knowing how much Jilin loves Zemin, I’m not surprised. (That’s what Yucen says, I’m only pretending to know about old Chinese politics) Thus one is exceedingly lucky to get more than a brief glimpse of the other side. Why would one want to see the otherside, a mere 2km away? It’s NORTH KOREA. That’s right my friends, the clouds part and Kim Jong-Il’s smiling visage is seen etched onto the mountain side. (This may or may not be true.) We were lucky and we got to see a fair amount of the other side and get some good pictures. One other thing, they have cellphone coverage on that mountain. I don’t even have coverage in my house sometimes. There is a disconnect here.

A visit to school

We visited Mrs. Grandma Wang’s old school and talked to the top English classes there. Some highlights:
– The MC calling the most err…unfortunate looking…girls the “prettiest” and everyone laughing. (Ok maybe not a highlight, but an example of Chinese school humor?)
– A girl asking why I didn’t have blue eyes and then asked to touch my hair.
– Yucen and I singing Tonghua
– 3 kids singing (much better than us) Backstreet Boys, HSM, and Jay Chou
– One class deciding loudly, in unison, that I looked like Harry Potter.
– I also found out that 郭一口 (my chinese name), if said like an American name is 一口锅, a cooking pot and a source of much amusmant to the Chinese populace.

Pictures

They’re done and there’s a reason why Parry in Chinese means model…or something. Also, everyone thinks Kevin is a girl. Poor him…
Pictures may or may not go up after we return, depending on how voyeuristic (the internet related definition, not the uh…other definition) we find ourselves. Anyways, the days are slowly dwindling. I’m going to go play Chinese hacky-sack, my current record is 22 in a row (Yucen’s is 9, Kevin’s is 2…this could also be an indicator of how often we each do it…or skill? Probably skill.)