Last weekend I was treated to a visit to Nanjing with the head of the English department at Shuren (Robert Xu) and Diane and Bill. We visited the great ruins of the city wall, which still has bullet holes visible, and walked through the city gate and explored lots of Nanjing territory. Side note regarding Chinese walls: A popular misconception about the Great Wall of China is that it is a wall that separates China from all sides, when in reality it was only built to protect its Northern borders from invading Mongolians. Most of the existing wall today was built during one of China’s most famous dynasties: the Ming Dynasty. China set the example by building many walls around its larger cities (Nanjing was the capital of China before it was moved to Beijing) and this concept can be seen in other countries too, e.g. Berlin Wall, Barcelona Walls, Servian Wall, etc. And didn’t Bush want to do that with our borders with Mexico? It’s a popular idea. Makes you wonder, where is the love?
We then headed to Muchou Lake and frequented the lovely scenery – although it did rain for an hour or so – and went for a peaceful boat ride and saw the oyster farms and an island with a mysterious house on it. (Bill, Diane, and I really wanted to dock on the island and explore but Robert didn’t seem so keen on the idea.) We walked around the entire lake on accident, attempting to look for an exit that wasn’t the main entrance. Hours later our brilliant revelation came to us: apparently there isn’t one. After a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant we took the extremely convenient subway to visit Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum (中山陵) atop Mount Zijin which I haven’t seen since I was sixteen. (He is the “father of China” as he was the founder of the Republic of China.) The gates are now open to the public for no charge, but the tomb itself is now sealed. I was lucky enough to have seen it when I was sixteen, although of course I do not have pictures since they are not allowed inside tombs. We also were able to visit a foreign book store to purchase some much-needed English reading and then ate at a decadent Swedish bakery to end the trip. It was a very eventful and fun-filled weekend, and I was left spent. Oh, and if you’re offended by the title of this blog post, I urge you to blame the writers of South Park. Their brand of humor tends to be hilariously offensive, or offensively hilarious… It kind of depends on who you are.