National Day Holiday: Day 1

Seven days of no classes.  “But why” you ask, and the answer is simple and kinda silly.  National day was yesterday, so it was a holiday.  But we get seven days of holidays for one holiday.  Apparently none of my students have thought about this when I brought it up.  Never occurred to them.

Anyways, the first day a friend, Jim, Fu Jiao or Feng Fu Jiao, took me around the city and I hung out with him.  His family is friends of Mr. Ma, so they’ve asked me to hang out with their son and help improve his English.  So I joined his family, and extended family, for lunch, we went and played some pool, of which these Chinese kids 5 years younger than me are very good at, and then we climbed Grateful Mountain.  It is the only mountain in Xinhui, it’s climbable in under an hour, and it’s very nice.  I took the liberty of taking some pictures.

The Approach

Some pretty low incline stone steps.  I’m told that older people climb these steps daily in the evening, so the steps are well illuminated and very well worn.  There was even an admission fee.  I climbed it with Jim, his friend named Kobe, and three girls, Angel, Shelly, and Cici.  Good thing I brought an extra shirt.

This was a small temple on the way up.  Might have been a small monument as well.  Not sure, No one told me.  There was a woman doing yoga off to the right, so I had get to an awkward place to take a good shot.

The Midway Temple

Grateful Mountain has three temples, or so I’m told.  Two at the top, and one at the halfway point.  This is the one at the halfway point.  Unfortunately it was closed.  There are four statues inside the temple that I wanted to see.  I’ll catch em next time.  Out front of the temple is a statue of of a turtle covered in coins.  I was told if you can get a coin in the turtles mouth you are blessed with good luck.  Suffice to say I didn’t leave with any coins, and that turtle totally swindle my ass.

The Midway Market

Also halfway up is a park, parking lot, and small market for stupid tourists and people with too much money.  People will often stop at this point to eat Dao Fu Hua, a tofu dessert with a syrup on it.  I’ve had it many times at h0me so it wasn’t anything new.  Quite good, but I’m not what to measure it by.  Screwing this up is kinda like screwing up hot dogs.  You technically can but you have to try pretty hard.

The Descent

We didn’t go all the way to the top.  It’s not a difficulty thing, I’ve climber much worse.  Far worse.  Terrible places where only the brave and foolish tread.  This was a walk in the park.  Literally.  It’s a park.  We didn’t go all the way to the top because of time constraints.  We got there late and people needed to go home for National Day dinners.  So on the way down I took pictures, of which this was the most poignant.  It’s pretty much just a long windy road of an even lower incline.  This is where the cars, busses, and motorbikes go to get up.  I had to explain to them that this was “cheating”, which they understood after I spelled it out for them.

All in all, a very good National Day Day 1, I’m going to go back to Grateful Mountain sometime in the future and gets pictures from the top.  It’s not very tall by Canadian standards, but I guess anything over five feet is tall to Chinese.

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