lama hotlog and disco

An eclectic day. We start out visiting the Lama Temple, which is really impressive and has a cool and thick vibe of centuries of praying. It is one of the few historical sites left untouched by the Cultural Revolution, and most of the Buddha figures and temples are intact. After lunch at Xu Xiang Zhai vegetarian restaurant across from the Confucian Temple, we walk through the hutongs to the Bell Tower.

According to my guide book there is much debate about the origin of the word hutong. The most convincing argument is that hutong derives from a Mongol word, hotlog, that means "water well" and suggests a small area of the city that may have been served by a single well before they dug the canals to supply the city with water.

At night we go to a DJ-gig in a club in Ditan Park. It's a real disco, next to a 4 storey Chinese restaurant. Loud techno music is pumping as we enjoy a drink and a delicious fresh fruit plate while people dance and wave their hands in the air like they don't care... The vibe is unusually asexual.
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8:58 AM

hey vibee! i'm posting becuz i read this whole blog and no one else posted yet so i figured maybe if i post someone else might post becuz whatever i end up posting will probly seem silly or irritating and other people will think nothing they post will be that bad. or maybe i will inspire instead and that will work, too. or not.

so, after driving across the country for 4 weeks [that would be the usa] i feel tired and disappointed - "underwhelmed" is the word i used to describe my feelings. i also wrote the longest poem i've ever written about how there is no amerika, but that would be silly here.

so i have 3 questions:

a] do you feel that your expectations - whatever you thought you might experience in china - have been met? or surpassed? or were your expectations too great? [i guess that's 3 questions, but i still have another]

b] have you learned any words or phrases in chinese, ones that you can say and chinese people can understand you? numbers count.

c] i understand there are all kinds of dialects. is there one that is considered officially proper, like high german or r.p. english? is there a dialect that is considered "cool" tho not official? is there one that is considered purely hillbilly and ignorant and redneck cracker stupid-like?

d] are there any written characters you can interpret now? what are they? can you post pictures or drawings and translations?

not that you have to answer on the blog. or even at all. just being me, you know.

peace love and soultrain to you and your boys.
and to everyone else...    

11:47 PM

Hey Norm,
When I first thought of going to China I had a lot of expectations. Then, the more I read and talked to people who have been or lived here, I understood that my preconceptions and thoughts were all wrong and that I did not know anything about China. Therefore I decided to as far as possible wipe my brain and start from scratch. Trying to ask questions, test hypotheses and talk to people to learn something about this place and myself and the people I meet.

My Chinese is limited to a few words like hello and thank you. Body language, a map, business cards and a mobile are the ways to get around. English speaking Chinese are who I learn from this time. The official language is Mandarin. Other than that I am oblivious to the use or meaning of dialects. Sorry :(

Peace and love.    

11:48 PM

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