Wednesday, 18 June 2008
I CAN see dead people!
So, first thing after breakfast, I went to see a dead guy. Chairman Mao Tse Zhong (pron. Mao Zedong) died in 1976 and was the founder of the communist and still current ruling (only?) party in China.
The powers that be decided that it would be a good idea to embalm the body in the same way that Lenin was and he's still laid there today, 30 odd years later.
The impression that I get is that most chinese still revere Mao and when you enter his Mausoleum, which is a disporportionately big building in the middle of tiananmen square, you're through the front door, down either side of the dead dude and out the back before you can say long live the revolution.
I have to say I wasn't that impressed, but the chinese (many offering flowers to him) obviously are. I don't know if this is through ignorance of the bad stuff he did and a cover up by the party, or a genuine belief that he did the country good. I am fortunate enough to be able to have seen both sides of the coin and it has certainly made me appreciate the great freedom we have in the West, so very much more!
After this, it was off to the Indoor Market where I thin I've successfully managed to take my backpack over the weight limit with gifts for you lot back there! Then I visited a cool taoist temple, where their law, similar to buddhism in many ways, is divided into 'departments'.
You'd better watch out kids, they've got a department of implementing 15 kinds of violent death, a dept for demons and monsters, a punishment department and also a department for controlling evil spirits.
All is good in the hood when these boys get to work I can tell you.
After that I trekked up to Factory 798. An awesome arts 'town' on the site of a huge (we're talking a few city blocks here) of an old electonics factory that fell into disrepair. Now the town literally is filled with artists and every corner you turn, there's a new cafe, gallery, or other unusual installation to ponder over - really fantastic stuff. Wes, you'd especially love it and boys, the rest of you should give these things a go every now and again - never hurts to open the mind a little...
So, that's it! I'm home tomorrow - fantastic!
Not sure this is my last ever post, but it certainly will be the last for a while...
I'll let you know how I get on and stay tuned. I'm sure this site will get busy again in 2009 for the 'big' trip!!!
See you tomorrow folks! xxx