For our second day traveling in China, Joe and I booked a tour of a water village. Why did we book a tour? Aren't we savvy enough travelers that we can get from point A to point B in any foreign language without a scuff on our shoes? Well... no. Our hostel booked us a nice tour and because it was cheap it was going to all be in Chinese. I copied down a useful phrase of "When do we meet you back at the bus?" and we decided to go for it.
So, in the morning we piled into a tiny mini bus with some Chinese and some French tourists and proceeded to pray for our lives as the drivers sped as fast as possible laying on the horn every chance he got for an hour to the village. Apparently the speed limit is slightly less than whatever will cause immediate death and not only is swerving between slower cars acceptable, but so is driving on the sholder of the road where the bicycles and farm animals walk and spliting lanes if you think you can fit. whoa.
Soon, we arrived at the beautiful and slightly more peaceful village.
(I quite like the guys on their lunch break sitting one the top of the circular bridge)
Only *slightly* more peaceful?!?! you ask? Well, dozens of Chinese tourist groups, all preceded by a guide with a bullhorn or yelling at the top of his/her lungs tramped around showing us through the beautiful old houses.
Hmm... I think I like pictures with doorways...
Not only was photography allowed in the old historic houses but people had no problem sitting in the old chairs, posing at the old desks, and TOUCHING the historic bronze relief!YOU CAN TOUCH IT???? I thought. Wow. If museums were like this, I might go more... except for the bullhorns. China seems to have a very different sense of how things are to be preserved vs. used.
Later we wandered to a part of the village that had an old Taoist temple. I love the colors.
Prayers are written on the red slips that are tied to the trees.
I'm still just in the very beginning of understanding anything at all about Taoism, but it seems really interesting.
There are so many ways (religions etc) that people seek order and peace, I think....
And a question: Which one is your favorite picture?