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Yangshou Village in the Rain by Bonnie Schwartz

Our adventure in Yangshou Village began in the lobby of the hotel where everyone scrambled to open packed suitcases to take out boots, umbrellas and parkas as we watched the pouring rain bounce several feet in the air and clatter on the stones. When we arrived we realized that was only a sprinkle!

The intepid group traipsed down the flooded streets, ducking under stores to try keeping float. Old old lady in a blue jacket invited Elza into her house while the rest of us went to see the Chinese doctor who treated Michel’s cold with large clay cylinders heated by flame and then stuck to his chest – sort of like the spines of the dragon. The doctor handed out sticks with cloth on the end to several people to cure headaches.Annie, our guide, took some of us across a bridge to a villager’s home where we learned about their family traditions, ancestors and weddings. On the way we stopped at the nice wine store where a man was steaming a large cauldron of rice and and mixing it up with a shovel to ferment the rice. One scene remains vivid in my memory. While we were on the bridge overlooking pastoral views of water buffalo and horses, a little pony walked by the buffalo. At first, they had a staring contest, then the pony reared up on his hind legs, turned around and playfully bucked out at the buffalo and trotted away … that is life in Yangshou

Memory of Guilin by Dorothy Shepherd

Fantastic dragon mountains, interesting old architecture, and everpresent building cranes symbolic of the new China.

Magpies in Guilin by Lucia Moskal

So here we are in Guilin, land of high bumpy mountains straight out of a Chinese Brush painting. One of our tour stops was at the riverside to view the Elephant Hill formation. Off in the distance across the river we could see the silouhette (sp?) of the head of the elephant with its trunk sloping to the water as though the giant animal was taking a drink from the river. There were many costumed locals we could take pictures of, or as our tour guide called them, “minorities” with silver headpieces and bright colored clothing. Eleanor Barkelew and I decided to leave the quay and climb the stairs to wait for the bus as everyone else was still taking pictures and exploring except for Nan who had also gone up to look for the bus. At the top, only a few local people were there, but neither Nan nor bus were in sight. What was going on in the middle of the square was clearly a domestic despute, very loud shouting. A Chinese woman, about 40, casually dressed, was yelling at a Chinese man, dressed in dress shirt and slacks, i.e., not a street worker. Another woman was standing by as the woman continued to screech, parrying back and forth, gresticulating within inches of the man as he stood silent. This went on for at least 10 minutes, back & forth. The scene changes when the woman left. The man just stood there. Two minutes later the women came back, the woman starting in on the man again, other people standing around not intervening. Another ten minutes of screeching, just like a group of magpies, protecting their nest, the last act in this local domestic drama.
Note from Nan: Sorry not to blog but I’m occupied as shown!

Today we are in Beijing and leave tomorrow for the Yellow Mountain; we arrive late. Weather has been perfect. Chinese unfailingly polite.

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