Sunday, March 16, 2008

China - Day 6 - Part 1

We started the day going back to Tiananmen Square. There was one thing we didn't see yesterday. We had to go see Mao in person. That's right. The real Mao. In person.

Apparently, he's frozen or something in this case in this huge building in the middle of Tiananmen Square. People can go see him and pay tributes or something. This I had to see. Frozen dude. Who can miss that.

Sorry folks, but there're no photos here. The policy around that place was insane. We had to check our bags, photos, and belongings in this place across the street. You can't bring anything but your sincerity to his greatness coming into this place.

We lined up first to go through the security check. Then waited in another line in stacks of 4 to go into the building. Of course the lines were never in stacks of 4s. These are tourists that didn't understand what the commands were and Chinese people that didn't care so much for it. So, it was basically a mob.

We went into this huge room that had a giant carving of Mao that you can lay flowers by. You can buy those flowers from these museum people. Funny enough, they're plastic flowers so they basically just reuse them daily. Genius.

They told us that there is no talking and move through the area quickly. Oh, I was getting first date gitters. You know, like the time I went out with a dead guy encased behind glass under heavy guard. We walked into this darken hallway where we can see, behind what seems like a feet of solid glass, inside another casing, is Mao laying there. Just chilling.

We didn't have that much time to look at him, but he looked a little chubby and a little waxy. It's suppose to be the real Mao, but I don't know. Unless he's let himself go a little while in that glass, not sure why he'd look a bit chubby.

It was a bit disappointing considering the time it took to get it. The viewing took all of about 30 secs before we were escorted by the military police out into the gift shop. I hope my burial place has a gift shop too. Coins, lighters, memorbelia with my face on it. It'd be fantastic.

Next we went to a Daoist temple that was relatively nearby. This was a pretty cool place. I took over 100 photos at this place. They had all these rooms that had all these 'departments' represented in it. For example:
This is one of my favorite departments, "The department of implementing 15 types of violent deaths". Basically, if you've commit a violent deed, this 'department' will figure out your punishment. Usually, with something equally harsh.
Besides the signs, each of these department was in a little room with these figures in there.

Some of them are pretty cool.

There were lot and lots of these departments. Not all of the departments are all that interesting though. I believe there was a department of contracts. Department of forest animals. Bla Bla.. There are also a lot of rewarding good deed departments too. Face it people. Heaven or Earth, there's gonna be burcracracy.

We had some lunch at some good dumpling place. Off we went to our next adventure.

Next, we visited yet another very famous temple. This time, it was a Buddist temple. This one was a lot more traditional than the last temple. Pretty much the same as all the other ones. There were a couple of really awesome statues of Buddha. I believe there was one that was a couple of stories tall. Very impressive stuff.

I'm pretty sure it's bad form to take photos of Buddha and other types of deities, so not many photos here. What was kinda cool here was I was in this one room getting some prayers on (hey, when in Rome..), and these monks stood next to me and started chanting (it wasn't for me or anything, they just happen to stand next to me). It was awesome. Like religious chanty barbershop. I found it to be both very cool and calming.

We didn't stay too overly long here and after a pretty long day, we headed back to the hostel. Oh, the fun that was about to start.

To be continued.

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