Well, Christmas in Wuhan. My first Christmas away from Australia. It was definately what you would call strange. Whilst the Chinese do celebrate Christmas, they celebrate it with shopping. There were “Boxing Day” sales all over the place on Christmas Eve and everybody in Wuhan and surrounding districts appeared to be taking advantage. The streets were jammed, the sidewalks were crowded and everybody was trying to sell me something. Of course, I forgot my camera so no photos… sorry.
We had just come from our schools Christmas Party, just another chance for the school to make money and the parents to show off their children. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself even though I had to sing a song in Chinese (literally translated as “The Moon Stands For My Heart”). The DJ even thought that I would sound better with no music, or something anyway, as he refused to play the CD that I had rushed around trying to burn. Most of the children performed really well, and my students were superb (not being biased at all).
Afterwards, whilst trying to push our way through the crowds, we jumped on a bus and celebrated Christmas Eve in true Aussie style. A few beers, English music, Santa Hats and dancing all night.
On Christmas day, Taryn and I headed out for lunch at one of Wuchang’s more “Anglocised” restaurants (i.e. they have an English menu). We spent the afternoon shopping (go the cheap DVD’s) and the evening watching DVD’s before heading to bed. A strange, but enjoyable Christmas day.
Today I met up with a friend and he took me to see Guiyuan Si, a Buddhist temple dating from the late-Ming and early Qing dynasties. It’s main attraction were the statues of Buddha’s disciples in “an array of comical poses” or, in other words, doing things like playing the flute. The temple was pretty much a let down, except for the gorgeous courtyard. We left pretty quickly and headed out for lunch.
Lunch was the most enjoyable part of the day. We got given a gorgeous, leather-bound menu and opened it up to enjoy one of the most delightful set of English translations I’ve seen yet. One of the options for lunch included an offer of sex, whilst one invited me to eat blowing wind. Couldn’t get photos, but am definately going to try to go back and get some.
After lunch, we headed back to Wuchang and went to a pretty cool temple complex. The painting on the temple walls was really beautiful.
The pagoda temple on top of the hill was also pretty amazing. We got to go inside and climb up the ancient steps. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not any bigger… those ancient Chinese weren’t very big, I can tell you that. But, it was an awesome tower and a pretty darn good day 🙂 Oh well, back to school…