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(2009-05-15 19:17:09)


分类: 新西兰上学记

108、Remembering China


Chapter Three: Heritage

9th of April 

第三章  遗产





Time is still passing real slowly for me. Maybe it’s just that the tempo of life in China is too slow for me, or perhaps it is my reluctance to accept this new way of life that has dragged me down.



Today was the first time I’ve woken up so late, even though currently I live in a farm and there are roosters that would cry and scream every morning at sunrise—probably because I went to bed at 1 in the morning. Grandpa told me I’m going to be visiting the graves of my great-grandparents today.



Uh-oh. Another super-long trip awaits me.





Turns out I was completely right. My grandpa’s uncle’s friend is a taxi driver and he voluntarily decided to drive us to our family grave. On the way we bought some flowers—mum’s Christian so obviously she doesn’t want any of that ancient Chinese stuff such as burning paper ‘coins’ in front of the grave and all that nonsense.



I must admit that I was wrong about all that pollution in China. I thought that all of China was covered in that revolting and annoying smog, and only when I entered the countryside did I realize how green the grass and how blue the sky really is in China. In the city it is pretty hard to see any cloud, while in the countryside you can’t see ANY because the sky is so blue and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.





The view was picturesque and beautiful and completely surprising because I’ve never been in the countryside before. A creek oozes by—the water is beautifully crystalline clear and you could even see a couple of trout swimming by. We were driving on a dusty road through hills and mountains covered in tea trees, tea being a local specialty. The folks are poorly educated but I prefer them to a lot of the city-folks, because of how simple they are. They wouldn’t worry about the pollution and how to get a job because their job is to be a farmer and I feel that a farming career is the kind of job that props the world up so to speak. Society is spearheaded by a few, but most people simply stay behind and they are the ones that hold society together. They are the ones that keep the world in one piece.



I find it difficult to accept the fact there aren’t a graveyard where all my ancestors ashes are laid to rest. Maybe it’s a Chinese tradition, I guess. The graves are built on hillsides and they always face water—in this case it is the creek. One of the grave held ashes from my ancestors who were back in the Qing Dynasty—now that’s around two hundred years ago. I also discovered that the family members on my grandpa’s mum’s family have ‘zhang’ as their surname- which is a real surprise because until now I always thought my dad was the only ‘zhang’ who is linked with this enormous family of mine.




Having done all of this ritual, we headed to a small, tourist town nearby and had lunch in a local restaurants. I must admit that the food was excellent (I’m afraid that comes at a price because I’m sure they added quite a bit of MSG). There was trout cooked with tofu in a delicious soup, as well as bamboo shoots with salted pork in a mouthwatering broth. Before the meal I was sneezing and coughing and I feel that I had a cold. I was wrong. All I needed was some food!





My mum and I wanted to visit a couple of local tourist attractions, namely 300 –hundred year old buildings, stuff you see on movies such as ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. I was shocked that you had to pay ten bucks to get in and I was disappointed that all the paintings and calligraphy collection were not very well kept. I even found two bottles of Australian wine that somehow found their way (they’re probably more than 50 years old, seeing how dusty and how aged they are).





What am I going to do tomorrow? To be honest, I have little idea. Everyday is full of surprises and the routines I have to endure in New Zealand are finally liberated by the fact that I am having a fantastic holiday in China. Who knows? I’m updating more of this stuff tomorrow. Right now I’m going to sit back and relax and play some games.





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