Sunday, December 28, 2008

Double Sided Embroidery

During our tour in Chengdu, China, we were taking to a place that was famous for embroidery. There were large machines doing the work as well as people doing smaller works. Both types of embroidery were very intricate and complicated. One of the staff workers at the embrodiery business mentioned that a worker can only do this type of work for 20 years before their eyes are effected and they can no longer see the tiny threads. There were some gorgeous silk embroidered pieces and some flawlessly had same picture on both sides! A few displayed a different picture on both sides. Yet, no knots and flaws were to be seen. Absolute perfection is my only description for this ancient silk art!




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Biggest Buddha known as Dafo in Leshan, China!

Biggest Buddha that is carved into the side of a mountain can be found right outside of Chengdu, China in Leshan. We climbed down several flights of narrow stairs and then, back up through a few caves and more stairs. Some stats on the Big Buddha of Leshan can be found at: http://www.gluckman.com/LeshanBuddha.html




Above is a statue of Haitong, the Buddhist monk who developed the plan for the Big Buddha and raised money for this project. He lived in a tomb cave just to the right and behind his statue.




Biggest Buddha waterfalls!



Everyone was pretending to rub the Big Buddha's nose for good luck!




Talk about really big toes!

Holding a Panda in Chengdu, China!

Holding a Panda
At the Chengdu Panda Reserve, one of the few places on earth you can actually hold a panda...for a price of course! But the money all goes to help preserve the most beloved panda!
I had to put on clothing like I was going into surgery!! It was explained to me that they did not want the panda to pick up any germs from me. Next, they brought the panda out and sat him in my lap. It was absolutely unbelievable to think that here I was sitting with one of the rarest creatures on earth in my lap!

One assistant put honey on his paw for him to eat while we were being photographed. At one point, he leaned his head over on me and there was much discussion in Chinese going on! I was later told that I was very honored that the Panda whose name meant "cold, sweet fragance" felt there was something special, something spiritual about me for him to lean his head against mine!

I do know when he leaned his head over, I got to feel his fur and it is stiff, wirey! I always thought it would be soft, like stuffed animal I guess. Silly me!

Hangzhou street

Hangzhou street


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Hangzhou market

Hangzhou market


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Six Harmonies Pagoda overlook - Hangzhou

Six Harmonies Pagoda overlook - Hangzhou


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West Lake Bridge - Hangzhou

West Lake Bridge - Hangzhou

The view was outstanding on the West Lake Bridge in Hangzhou, China!
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Boat ride in Hangzhou

Boat ride in Hangzhou


The Chinese people that I talked to said that the most beautiful place in all of China was Hangzhou. This video was taken on a wonderful, day while being rowed across the famous West Lake!
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Doughnut - Hangzhou

Big Apple Doughnuts
Place holder

The line outside the Big Apple Doughnuts was unbelievably long! We decided to come back later and when we did there was still aline, but not as bad as earlier. The best part of the wait...well, that seeing the dog with the pink ears of course!
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yandang Mountain Videos

Yandang Mountain Videos

Spiderman


Riding The Zipline
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Yandang Mountain



We took a little Weekend trip to Yandang Mountain and it was just fabulous!

















Yandang Mountain

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Window to the world - Chashan, China

Window to the world - Chashan, China
This is the little town right outside of the Wenzhou University campus. This is overlooking the town from the LaDefense Restaurant that I found out is a chain restaurant in China.


Trust-Mart (AKA Wal-Mart) Wenzhou, China

Trust-Mart (AKA Wal-Mart) Wenzhou, China


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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera



Chinese Opera

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Face Changer

Happy Thanksgiving from Wenzhou China

Happy Thanksgiving from Wenzhou China

Nov 20, 2008 Japanese Restaurant Menu in Wenzhou China

Thursday is my day off from school. So after I checked email and did various chores, we headed into town. There was a Japanese restaurant we wanted to try out in the European section of downtown Wenzhou. The food at the restaurant was very good! They offered fried rice as we know it in the US that has brown rice and perhaps a whatever we want to add, such as ham or chicken along with some small vegetables. Apparently, fried rice is Japanese because we have only seen white rice in China and Hong Kong! The food was very good and we plan to go back. They did not cook at our table as we often see in Japanese hibachi restaurants.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Papa John's Pizza in Wenzhou China

First Papa Johns Pizza in Wenzhou China

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday, November 19th Korean Dinner

One of my translators on Wednesdays is Justina. She is from China and actually is from the countryside of Wenzhou.

After class this late afternoon, we began talking about dinner. She explained that in the business center there are several good restaurants and shops. Unfortunately, we are very limited to KFC, Houcaller because they have pictures on their menus. Another restaurant on the third floor has the actual food in beautiful displays so that you can point to what you want. The electronic pocket translator helps with this as well when ordering.

Justina offered to go with us to dinner and point out what the various businesses had to offer. I was VERY grateful and thought this would be extremely helpful. There were several fast food Chinese restaurants. She explained that some establishments emphasized Chinese milk tea, that the students and the Chinese people in general love this beverage.

One was a Korean restaurant that much to our surprise they have pictures on their menu! YEAH! We decided to go there.

I know that Korean food can be very spicy in comparison to western food. So I was careful to ask while she was with us that we liked it a little spicy.

We were served hot tea in small green pottery that was great. The weather here has gotten a little colder, it was about 56 degrees F today and the wind was blowing.

The first dish came and it was a crock pot filled with brown rice, assorted fresh vegetables and a fried egg on top. The dish looked wonderful and smelled like sizzling rice! The waitress placed the crocks on the table, poured a red sauce over the food and immediately began blending and chopping up the food with a large spoon.

I was concerned that it would be too spicy, but it was not, the taste just had a little bit of a spicy flavor.

Next came the spicy pork and cabbage. Then, pan fried tofu known as Dofou in China. I have not been able to find pan-fried tofu anywhere.

Everything was delicious!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday, November 18th Houcaller

Another American professor teaches on Tuesday afternoon next door to my class. She is from San Francisco and teaches onground for University of Phoenix at several sites in the bay area. I invited her to dinner at a western style restaurant called Houcaller.

I had a great steak dinner that included mushroom soup, sirlion steak, noodles with some tomato sauce and an egg all served on a sizzling hot cast iron skillet plate. This reminded of how fajitas are often served in the US in a Mexican restaurant. The "complete" meal includes a glass of hot green tea and one trip to the salad bar which I got all fruit with my trip! My new friend enjoyed a seafood pasta meal, which she mentioned was delicious!

Her name is Fariba and this is her third teaching assignment in China. She mentioned that the air and the water were much clearer and cleaning than other parts of China that she has been in. She is very well traveled and has been to Bejing.

When she leaves here in two weeks, she is going to Shanghai, then Hanoi to visit some friends prior to returning home to San Fran! Thanks for the great information and it has been nice meeting you Fariba!

Monday, November 17, Class Presentations Begin

Back in class this week and next week, the students are giving group presentations over various assigned chapters in the book. I tried to place students in groups, but they wanted to stay with their friends which are usually their room mates as well. The dorm rooms here house 4 per room with each group sharing the bathroom facilities. So most students live together, go to the same classes and spend most of their free leisure time together as well.

The groups mainly are composed of all males or all females. One group had four males and four females, they presented in pairs of one boy and one girl. This was very unusual and the interpreter pointed this out to me as well.

The student presentations were the same as in the west. Some students were ready and anxious to get it over with. Other groups wanted more time and did not have their power point slides (PPT) or their hand-out to me ready. Some PPTs were excellent with lots of graphics and sound effects along with current events based on the topics from the textbook chapters that they were to cover.

One group had a chapter of slides that had been accidentally deleted, so they did not want to present today but rather asked to present tomorrow in class. I was told by the group leader in her best English that the "dinosaur" that lives in the computer had "eaten" that part of their PPT! I guess this is the Chinese version of the "dog ate my homework" OR "there is a virus in my computer".... perhaps.

There were some very creative PPTs. I told each class that they needed to introduce each member of their group, so one group put their pictures on a slide with their English name under their pictures. They started some upbeat fast paced music, while they each walked under the screen and pointed to their name as they said their name as well! Very nice introduction.

Another group played a short, quick video of a famous cartoon pertaining to monkeys in a tree. Then, the monkeys began discussing something. Next , we see the monkeys holding each others tails as they hang from the tree to grab the reflection in the moon. When the monkey holding on at the bottom actually does catch the moon's reflection there is great laughter that goes up in the room! I was told by the translator that this is a children's story throughout Asia and the monkeys do NOT catch their reflection, so this is a different twist of this story in this cartoon. The group effectively used this illustration to demonstrate that in organizational behavior what happens with good team building and appropriate team work. It was an excellent example!

Here is the story of the Monkeys and the Moon

"The Monkeys and the Moon - Tibetan Tale In long-past times there lived a band of monkeys in a forest. As they rambled about they saw the reflection of the moon in a well, and the leader of the band said: "O friends, the moon has fallen into the well. The world is now without a moon. Ought not we to draw it out?"The monkeys said, "Good; we will draw it out."So they began to hold counsel as to how they were to draw it out. Some of them said, "Do not you know? The monkeys must form a chain, and so draw the moon out."So they formed a chain, the first monkey hanging on to the branch of a tree, and the second to the first monkey's tail, and a third one in its turn to the tail of the second one. When in this way they were all hanging on to one another, the branch began to bend a good deal. The water became troubled, the reaction of the moon disappeared, the branch broke, and all the monkeys fell into the well and were disagreeably damaged.

A deity uttered this verse: "When the foolish have a foolish leader they all go to ruin like the monkeys which wanted to draw the moon up from the well.""

http://www.planetfusion.co.uk/~pignut/moonmyth1.html

Sunday, November 16 Big Buddha

There are actually three areas known as Hong Kong. We were staying on the island of Lantau where Disneyland is located and the largest bronze Buddha in the world. So we were told that we had to go out and visit "The Big Buddha".

A taxi was called and we were off after being told that it would be about a 45 minute drive. However, we were stopped still for about an hour in what we thought was construction. Our driver explained in his best English that there were people stopping the traffic, but not to worry that the police were aware of the situation and they were on their way to remove the people.

Once traffic began again, we could see on the side of the cars "Protest for the reduction of Bus #38: Slow Drive Protest"!! I have never encountered a "Slow Drive Protest". Have you?

Apparently, the protestors had to register with the local authorities and had received the signs for the vehicles that were involved in this protest.

After about 1 1/2 hours, we arrived at the Big Buddha. I believe that studying other cultures and their religions to be very fascinating. I think it is very interesting to note that all cultures have some type of belief in God within their society at some level. The belief that we have a creator or force that is greater than ourself is a common link that cultures often share.

I was under the impression that most of the Chinese native people were Buddhist. However, since being here I have been told that the government has declared atheism as the national religion, but recognizes that there are Buddhists, Muslims and Christians living here.

We climbed the steps to see the Buddha and there were signs to be silent. This is also a site for a Buddhist monastery.

We returned to the hotel to collect our bags and set off on our return trip after our holiday in Hong Kong!