Friday, October 9, 2009

National Day Holiday

We got to have a much needed break from teaching from October 1st to 8th because of the Chinese National Day and their Mid Autumn Festival. We had some major challenges over the break but we also had a lot of fun and got to see some really cool things.

We had bathroom troubles during the break. Our bathroom has had a major leak since the day we moved in and on the first day of our break they sent a plumber to come fix it. After a few hours of incessant pounding he fixed it, but he left a huge hole in the wall and pieces of tile, cement, and brick all over our bathroom! We also had an issue with our toilet not working because a piece of the plumbing from our leaky faucet went down the toilet! Because of that we didn't have a working toilet for a week! We had to go across the street to the school or go to the McDonald's to use the toilet. That was not pleasant because there are not very many western style toilets in this town so we had to use squatty potties and we had to go for a little walk before we could use the restroom.
On the last day of our break, we had another toilet issue. I broke the toilet seat. Because our bathroom is Chinese style, our shower head is mounted next to the toilet and sprays onto the toilet. Because of that lovely configuration I prop my foot up on the toilet seat whenever i need to shave or open the window (its behind the toilet). Well when i propped my foot up the other day I broke right through the toilet seat. It was yucky and very painful. My shin now has a number of cuts and bruises, and we have a smashed toilet seat! We are now on the lookout for a replacement seat.If you ignore the bathroom issues we had a pretty good break. We got to see a ton of fireworks, and we heard about 20 times more than we actually saw. We also got to take some really long and intense bus rides. The traffic here in china is INSANE! they don't seen to believe in staying in lanes, obeying stoplights, or even driving on the right side of the road. They also take to the sidewalks sometimes. We got to see the Yangtze river. I got to step into it (i didn't go too far in because it is really brown and dirty). We also went to Moshan Hill which has some ancient Chu towers, alters, and temples. We also saw some Taoist temples and monks, and some of the other teachers we went with (Robert and Ryan) had their fortunes read by the Taoist monk people. However, when the monks finished reading the fortunes they asked them for a ton of money! We saw some really amazing architecture and gardens there. We got to walk out into a giant lotus field, or I guess it is technically a marsh.

We also spent a day at Guiyuan Si, a Buddhist temple (or temples) here in Wuhan. We saw a ceremony going on with the Buddhist monks that was really cool. They were singing chants as they went. It was so cool! We also saw tons of idols and shrines and gold Buddhas. As we entered we were given incense to light and then stick in front of the temple. I thought it was stinky! They had incense everywhere, so i couldn't escape the smell. McKay likes the smell, so it wasn't an issue for him at all. I am hoping that we will get to see even more neat places like these as time goes on here in China.


Kayli said...

That picture of you in the white is so beautiful!

When I saw the first bathroom picture I was really confused how the shower worked. No curtain? No door? It sprays on the toilet? ...!!!

Sorry about your bathroom troubles and your poor leg. I hope it stopped hurting!

Keep posting! I miss you!!

Cecily said...

I hope the hole(s) get fixed (or replaced) soon. Glad you go the VSR (or whatever it is called so you can blog).

Tara Bishop said...

You guys are looking good! And oh my about your bathroom.... That is just crazy. But it is also pretty funny about the toilet seat... :)