CHINA 2012 part five

November 30, Friday

We are winding down the tour.  We’ve been 3 days in Hebi, a town of 1 1/2 million about 330 miles south of Beijing.  Had an excursion to Yixang, to see some of the earliest relics of Chinese civilization.  Another adventure, the least of which was seeing the decayed bones, many of people and animals buried alive so as to accompany the lonely Emperor on his journey to the next world.

Now about the food:  incredibly varied cuisine with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables,  Lots of steamed dumplings filled with spinach, pork, whatever.  Rice.  Noodles.  Hot.  Bland.  Lovely sesame cakes, delectable pastries.  They eat practically everything of the pig and the chicken, so:  watch out!  Fish, calamari, luscious mushrooms, tofu.  Rice gruel and rotis, just like South India.  Green tea, black tea, sometimes coffee, too.

All in all, there is a spartan quality to the life here, which, at this point in my life, I admit I find very appealing.  They just don’t waste:  resources, food, electricity, water.  The theaters and buildings are often unheated.  Nor do people seem to complain about these things, rather almost to thrive on them.  Does this make any sense?  Is there a lesson here?

Today is my birthday.  I’m keeping this fact to myself and just enjoying a little time alone.  Practicing, reading, reflecting (ayyy, how pretentious I must seem!).  I am very happy with all the birthday greetings I’m receiving through Facebook, even though I can not access them.  I am so eager to enjoy these last few days in this remarkable country.