04 June 2005

Hi everyone...the last few days have been interesting. We're getting access to a lot of neat stuff and being treated quite well by the local community. We had the chance to visit TEDA (Tianjin Economic Development Area) which is a special community designed by the government to host very high end business ventures which are mostly joint ventures with foreign companies. It was about an hour out of Tianjin and occupied a large chunk of land roughly the size of saskatoon. The amount of money that was put into this elite community was unreal and a bit scary. There is no doubt in my mind that China will become the world powerhouse very soon. We were toured around and given a flawless pitch by one of the employees but it was very Truman Showesque.

Last night we had to find supper on our own because the prof was eating with one of the local profs. We wandered around looking for a nice place but eventually decided on the mystery meat street bbq. It was a great decision. We ate lamb kebobs and chicken wings to our hearts content. And to wash it down we had a few 750 ml beers that cost us 2 yuan (35 cents Canadian). It was a lot of fun and we really bonded as a group. We had a chance to let loose and share some feelings and some laughs. We also met some Chinese university students who were very open in sharing about themselves. We have affectionately named this night "The best night ever...in China".

Today we went to a Buddhist temple. I've been to several in Taiwan so this was nothing special but it did feel more uncomfortable than usual. It seemed like everything was for sale (incense, fruit, calligraphy, beads etc) but the thing that bothers me the most is that salvation, purification, redemption, healing are also for sale. People give money so that the gods will help them...I just don't like that. It felt like the medieval Christian church and it's indulgences or even the tables in the temple in Jesus' time. It just isn't right for a place of worship to be centered around commerce....I might say more later but I think I might be out of internet time soon...Peace out...

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Thanks for the China stories, Chester. Very interesting.