A crowd... somethings happening
On this morning, Dad and I go back to the Kite Museum in Kite Square for another try at getting in. Before getting there I leave dad alone for a moment while I find a WC and some water. Well leaving dad alone in an exotic land is akin to leaving a child in an unsupervised toy store. Something is bound to happen.
I arrive back at the square and start my search for pop. I'm looking and walking around, trying to find out where he could be. Some moments of searching carry on and I have no luck when it dawns on me not to look for just one man but to find the largest group of Chinese folks I could and see if daddio isn't in the middle.
The fantastic duo
Wouldn't you know it if I didn't turn my head and see about 20 Chinese huddled around papa looking at the movie clip he just shot on his digital camera. Next thing you know dad goes out into the middle of the square and starts swatting a 'Chinese dradle' Indiana Jones style and the crowd is just lovin' it. Pop is such a crowd pleaser, that one of the many memorable moments of dad's trip.
We go into the kite museum and poke around. What a collection of kites! Old, new, foreign, domestic. The history of it all, the culture. Weifang is the so-called "Kite Capital of the World" (it's got year-round winds too back that moniker) and this musuem showcased an incredible history of it all.
Says it all.
Kites with tails, with feathers, bells, whistles, box-like, hawk-like, sillohette kites, old kings and emporers, princesses, animals, balloon kites, tiny kites, kites that hold a person... this place had it all. Two floors and seven rooms worth. Well laid out place and, like the square, brand-spankin' new. Neat place.
Best moment in the museum and for dad it was very special was meeting the master craftsman on site. This man (like so many other kite makers in the province and area) makes his kites all by hand, using bamboo for the frame and silk screen paper for the image. To watch him file, widdle, twist, cut, chop, bend and even burn the bamboo was absolutely spellbinding.
A dragon, a princess, a kite, what more could you ask for?
Your mouth literally falls open seeing how the kites are made so fine, so intricate considering the scale and proportion of the wood and paper. The paper used is tissue paper thin and the bamboo is filed down to about the thikness of a toothpick. But the kite, the kite is georgeous. It's thin and light, but sturdy and very secure which makes for an easy-to-fly kite. Watching dad with the master craftsman was a sight. The Chinese man couldn't speak English: all the communication was done with hand gestures and by demonstration. We got to watch the master make an entire kite from beginning to end. An awesome experience.
After departing the musuem a wild group of elementary school kids ganged up on us and we were forced to take a photo with them.
Entrance to the Museum.
Actually they were very nice and the teachers tried their best to make it go quickly. We then set out on a walk-about of Weifang. We headed down to 'kite street' where lots of kites and other knick-knacks are for sale. We had some 'burritos' on the street and then headed to Wal-Mart for a comparison. Can't believe all the goodies in that one store. God Bless Amerimart... Errr Wal-Mart... Errrrr AMERICA.