It's a bird! It's a plane! It's.. actually a phoenix.
Jingzhou Travel Blog› entry 20 of 74 › view all entries
With a new job selected and confirmed Wei and I decided it was time to pay a visit to more family and friends, to get away from the city. Jingzhou was our natural selection, being just 2 hours or so from Wuhan and where her parents and aunt live. We almost canceled as both of us were having a hard time adapting to the heat and it was pouring rain when we awoke at 6am in the morning. However, by 8am it had stopped and baba was right; the rain provided cooler weather to travel in. With our bags packed, no breakfast but some soybean milk we set out to sign some last minute papers with the school I will work for and then to catch the bus; which we made just in time as it was about to pull away.
The countryside is more crowded than what we deem a countryside in Canada, yet it looks very familiar to our farms with the exception of huge fish ponds. One thing I love about Jingzhou is it is noticably cooler than in Wuhan (the wind today was simply refreshing) and it's less crowded. With so much greenery it's possible to forget that China is considered over populated and polluted. We (baba, Johnson, their nephew, little cousin Matt, mama, Wei and I) went fishing old school style, a worm, pole and some fishing wire. Nothing fancy and we didn't catch any fish but Baba did snag a shrimp. I have never held one before to my knowledge and I was very nervous to do so but after some encouragement and the realization that I came here to try many firsts I reached out and snagged the shrimp by the back.
Afterwards we all sat down to have a dinner specially cooked by Auntie, it was simply delicious, and then to ready ourselves for a walk through a park and a carnival like place. The city of Jingzhou is surrounded by a large wall that is lit up during the night. What's special about this to me is that this is the wall Wei passed many times during her childhood. She plans to show me around all the places she would play at or pass by as a young girl. We're also staying with her parents tomorrow night at the house where she was born; a place she hasn't been to in many years but tonight we stay at her aunt's. Something I thought was very sweet was they decided on taking family photos and I was apart of Wei's family now so I was able to get in the picture.
The park was beautiful; green yards expanding out with trees and an elogantly carved fence lining the lake. There were large chunks of soap stone (perhaps?) that littered the green yard perfectly. Engraved in the fence and the bridge was the design of a phoenix, as this is Jingzhou's symbol. It's amazing how quickly time passes but shortly afterwards it was dark and we walked through the carnival as lights flashed, music boomed through speakers and young as well as old alike gathered in large squares to dance the night away.
Yes, still having to use squat toilets and most certainly putting up with stares! Worth it? Absolutely. Oh, and Wei's little cousin of 7 years has no English name so we have dubbed him "Matt" out of convienence.
Red Cat Ate:
(to be completed)
Red Cat Firsts:
- Holding shrimp
- Fishing old school
- Using a Chinese frisbee
- Going to Jingzhou
- Meeting Johnson, nephew, uncle, auntie , baba and Matt
- Taking so many family photos!