At last! I’ve made it to the end of my first semester here at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center! It has also been about a month since I first stepped off the airplane back in September. How time flies! I’ve written almost 10,000 Chinese characters in the last week…and I do believe this is a personal record!
Here are some calming pictures of turtles to celebrate:
Ahh...entrance to the Hangzhou temple of the million turtles...
Island of the turtles...the million turtles!
"Move over bub, I want a space to park too!"
This one is not a turtle but a Foo Dog with a mouth full of leaves! Mascot!
So in Hangzhou, there’s this Fangshengchi on the way to Leifeng Tower. With a million turtles in it. Literally. Buddhists drop these turtles in during festival time to celebrate the saving of life. Or something like that. I have a very vague understanding of it all.
Duowen Heavenly Master
Explanation....which is kind of small...
I’ve survived a two day spat of papers and presentations…just barely!
I’ve always wanted to see Hangzhou on account of it being the backdrop to my favorite Chinese fairytale, 白蛇传 or Madame White Snake as it’s known in the Chinese Opera circle. The story goes like this: A long, long time ago, a woman lent a young scholar her umbrella on a rainy day by the shore of the West Lake and they fell in love. But because the woman was no ordinary human–she was a thousand year old white snake spirit–they had a terrible time trying to stay together. Madame White wanted to help her husband succeed in life, and so she used her magic to covertly arrange certain happy coincidences that, unfortunately, often ended in unintended disasters. Long story short, a Daoist priest (or Buddhist monk depending on the version of the tale) tries to exorcise her from the human realm and they end up have a large battle that causes the deaths of many innocent people. As a punishment, Madame White is locked up under the Leifeng Pagoda, freed only after her son returns after having successfully passed the Imperial Examination. Here are a couple of shots:
Duan Qiao or the Bridge Duan
The Leifeng Pagoda in the distance.
Up close and personal with the Leifeng Pagoda.
The happy couple...