Monday, November 06, 2006

Moving to Square One

Moving to Square One

October 30, 2006-10-31

The cold but soft wind has already started to blow very gently on early morning. It was fresh air I was inhaling but I could feel something more than that. I have realised that spring is nearby and it’s giving me an acknowledgement that I have a tough but exciting days ahead. The temperature has started to drop but I am excited because I will be enjoying the snowfall for the first time in my life although I was born in Nepal, The homeland of 8th top tallest mountain including Mount Everest.

It’s been more than a month now and I am feeling the Nanjing closer than before. Now my eyes and heart can look transparently and more clearly except speaking Chinese language. The course is becoming exciting everyday and professional, I am enjoying every day and every moment.

It was long national holiday in the beginning of this month that coincides with Thanks giving, Ramadhan and Dashain for different peoples from different quarter of life. Fortunately, we were able to enjoy our wonderful time with some of the Nepalese friend in Nanjing. It was my first experience in life, enjoying Dashain outside Nepal.

I was surprised when I saw Nepalese restaurant named “Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant” near Nanjing Normal University with Nepalese chef, flags and recipe with perfect Nepalese environment. I never thought we will have place like that as Nepal has never been the place of importance to international community not only in South-Asia but whole in Asian continent. I was really impressed as I could feel and sense something about Nepal deep inside me forever in China.

We were more than ten Nepalese students. Most of them are studying Chinese language at Nanjing Normal University, Shingulu to start medical degree next year and some were in the middle of their educational goals. But China is becoming important hub for Nepalese and other foreign students to study medicine as it is cheap and has shifted policy for foreign students.

The weird telephone card was making us crazier in operational procedures and my friends were tempted to grab it as it was very cheap card. However, we were able to sort it out after very long conversation with owner. I feel language constraints as a big barrier for foreigners in China.

We met some of the wonderful Nepalese chaps who helped us to go around Nanjing. Also, I had Mc DONALD for the first time in my life, one of the trivial but stacked in Gray matter for a long time.

I was even more impressed by the guy from Armenia, the short but very smart and smiling chap. I thought he helped me to understand some vocabularies as well as East Asian agendas on his region.

After delicious Nepalese lunch we went to Amusement park. We were enjoying the most beautiful amusement park that I have ever seen in my life. Most of those things are simply a mechanical rotor that moves in a different directions and mathematical angles in different algorithm. But the human presence over there was making it more alluring and heart-touching with different colourful lights.

On a hot sunny day there's nothing more refreshing than being flung through the air on the Flying Pharaoh. Round and round it goes as riders safely soar high above the ground in comfortable seats suspended from above that was what I have imagined and seen in the romantic Indian movies. But those feelings can only be weird imagination for some peoples.

It was true at the beginning I enjoyed a lot in slow and steady motion riding Pharaoh but it was horrible when I almost fainted at top, it was rotating too fast and I was feeling nausea.

Although I had played these rotating games a decade back and had severe problem of Nausea and vomiting. It relapsed again when I played pharaoh that evening.

I was feeling bad each time now even though only when rotors were moving. It was disgusting and irritating for me and I didn’t want to stay there for a long time. I was feeling very tired, exhausted and weak. I was lucky that I was alive.

It get even worst when I was vomiting in taxi later; giving me the flashback of those naughty days when I used to drink a beer from bottle in late teens and early 20’s and used to vomit in rest-room.

The money was gone and the imagination faded away for forever. I have re-assured myself that I was not born to play this game and have promised myself that I will never take this train again in my life.

But after I saw courage’s of beautiful Nepalese girls crushing those games with smile and boldness. I was happy. It’s hard to see courageous Nepalese woman because of orthodox and male dominated society. Finally we were at the second home and I was very exhausted and tired.

Following morning, we left our venue at seven for the ancient city of Yangzhou in the morning. As we passed through the high-ways I could see the inner side of the china. The inner fields, houses and life of farmers from the window of the bus were giving fascinating view of china.

In the mid-way, we passed through Yangtze River. The slow but gentle flow of the Yangtze River was proving that china is pacing towards economic prosperity and development. I can see some big ships for the first time from my window.

Acclaimed as the mother river of China, the Yangtze River divides the country both geographically and culturally. Bounded by picturesque natural scenery and ancient cultural heritage, this region is a key tourist place to visit.

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and third longest in the world beside Nile and Amazon. The headwaters of the Yangtze are situated at an elevation of about 16,000 feet in the Kunlun Mountains in the south-western part of Qinghai. Approximately 350 million people inhabit the region of the Yangtze.

In 1995 construction began on the Three Gorges Dam near Yichang and is scheduled for completion in 2009. The dam will measure about 600 feet and about 1.5 miles wide. The dam is expected to help control the flooding of the Yangtze River Valley.

Flooding along the river has been a major problem. The rainy season in China is May and June in areas south of Yangtze River, and July and August in areas north of river. The huge river system receives water both from southern and northern flanks, which causes its flood season to extend from May to August.

The dam will contain twice the amount of concrete of the Itaipu Dam in Brazil, currently the world’s largest.

In the course of this valley, the river's elevation drops from above 5000 m to less than 1000 m. The Yangtze receives more water from thousands of lakes as it pass by.

Historically, the mighty Yangtze river became the political boundary between north China and south China several times because of the difficulty of crossing the river. A lot of battles took place along the river.

Nanjing was the capital of China several times, although most of the time its territory only covered the south-eastern part of China.

It is also a loading point for coal barges on the Yangtze River for 28 cities including Nanjing and Shanghai.

Snaking its way 6,300 kilometres from western China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the East China Sea, the Yangtze River stretches nine provinces and serves as a drain for 695,000 square miles of land. It spans so many regions that it has acquired half a dozen names.

A quarter of China’s ocean-going cargo enters the river between Shanghai and the sea.

Shanghai is known as the gateway to the Yangzte, spanning the Huangpu tributary just south of the river’s mouth.

Nanjing has become associated with calamity since the Japanese devastated it in 1937. Destruction, mass murder, and torture desecrated this prized city ultimately claiming 150,000 civilian lives.

Nanjing now boasts some of China’s most advanced technology and a prestigious university. The city stands as a symbol of Chinese strength and self-sufficiency, a monument of the people on their great river.

Every year the Yangtze deposits massive amounts of silt that helps make up the Jiangsu Province, a large plain used to grow rice. The fertile plains provide one of the most profitable areas of agriculture in China. Today China accounts for 35% of the world’s rice production.

Rice is the world's single most important food crop and a primary food for more than a third of the world's population.

The common Chinese saying, ‘If you haven’t travelled up the mighty Yangtze, you haven’t been anywhere’, well describes the river’s range of picturesque landscapes and geo-political importance.

The ancient city of Yangzhou was settled over 2,400 years ago. Located northwest of Shanghai in the Yangtze River delta, Yangzhou is well known for its fine cuisine, jade carving, and beautiful gardens, lakes and canals.

Yanghzou has history of more than two thousand years; a leading economic and cultural centre and major port of foreign trade and external exchange since ancient time in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and Huaihe rivers

Slender West Lake is one of the places we visited in the northwest suburb of Yangzhou City. With continuous harnessing through the dynasties, it gradually became a scenic area with many enchanting lake scenes. It is located to the west of the city and is slim in its shape, so people named it Slender West Lake.

We spend almost a day in this place, we never feel that time was moving fast. The beauty was amazing and heart touching. We could see monuments, natural beauties and ferries across the lake. The beautiful flowers and bridges were more interesting things to notice.

One of the characterstics I have noticed in the china is that every city is very populous and crowded. I have even noticed that chinese peoples loves to enjoy holiday and inner tourism has gain momentum in china as chinese economy is becoming prosperous each day.

But one of my chinese friend was telling me that only the rich peoples can afford to go for vacation so it seems that majority of chinese peoples are struggling hard as china continues to prosper.

Slender West Lake is 4.3 kilometres in total length with an area of over 30 hectares. The lake boasts many famous scenic spots, such as the White Pagoda, the Five Pavilion Bridge, and Xiaojin Hill.

We were able to have a glance of romantic activities of a couple in the park that was proving that new generation is moving towards westernization and is opening up.

Finally, we were at the top of the beautiful Nine-Storey Da Ming Temple. The storey was very difficult and tiring as it was too stiff. But we were competing to reach at the top so that we can see everything. Also, everywhere electronic cameras were installed for the safety reasons.

Inside it, every floor has the Buddha’s statue that seems bit different than in Nepal. In Nepal, we don’t have any crown or caps in Buddha’s statue. At top, we could see everything; it was very exciting and alluring sceneries.

I can see how the religious parameter deviates with time and place. After finishing the trip we were taken to one of the Chinese vegetarian restaurant named “Daminssi Vegetarian Restaurant”.

When we were inside the restaurant, it seemed crowded because we were almost 100 foreigners at a time. Peoples were glancing at us. We were curious what we were going to eat there.

But they brought completely weird and Chinese dishes. There were round tables and dishes were served in it and we have to rotate the table to get the specific cuisine. They brought many types of food although it was a vegetarian restaurant.

We were inevitable to use chopsticks in our lunch. I tried to use chopsticks for the first time but I failed and was in frustration and in despair as I was so hungry. There were many dishes of the food in the table but were not sure what we were eating. After seeing others in despair I didn’t made an attempt to use it again. But I have decided that I will buy a pair of chopsticks and try to learn it as it seems necessary if you want to dig china.

But we were expecting desperately for the spoon and fork to arrive. However, there was havoc for a long before they bring it. At the middle of lunch, they gave us the spoon and fork. Now peoples were more tempted as they find the fork and spoons and were enjoying food perfectly after a long pause although it was weird and sceptical.

Finally we were back in our apartment after the tiring but exciting day. Fortunately, I was able to taste KFC for our supper.

The other day we went to Wal-Mart and KFC at Xin Jie Kou and bought some sportswear to play football. These days I started to like sports ever than before.

At evening we went to explore Chinese night life. In Nanjing, the 1912 street is popular place for night jockeys and freaks to enjoy colourful lights, music and dance. Although I am not a night life freak nor I have seen these things except in Bangkok on 2004 and in local streets of thamel, tourist hub of Kathmandu.

I was able to memorise some of key words of places we were been that includes Rothenberg, the Scarlet, the red club, 7th club and locked door.

I was surprised when I entered the bars, everywhere English song was there from Hip-Hop to blues. The environment was perfect with wonderful music, DJ’s and colourful light. I was happier when I heard Hotel California. I could even see other foreigners and security patrols moving to and fro in the place.

Again we had to rush for our place as we were afraid of the old man who locks door in our apartment after 10.

We left the place for the next time convincing our selves that we would able to freak out some other day to enjoy it fully in one or other way at mid night.

Other day ,we were surprised when we got four different types of round cake in our dinner on Oct 26,2006. Fortunately, it also ends the festival of Dashain in Nepal. I was wondering why we were given four different types of round cakes in the full moon day. Later I realised that the day was about reunion in Chinese culture. On this very day all Chinese peoples gather together and have a dinner in the evening.

I may explain the significance of full moon day in the future if I get opportunity to know about it.

On the other part of the globe many interesting as well as shocking things happened this month.

One of the prominent Russian woman journalists was shot dead. Google was buying You tube, North Korea has tested Nuclear power, world got Ban, a South Korean as a new Secretary General of UN.

Finally October was saying goodbye and November was in the door-way. My fingers were tired and I realised that I have to take a long rest again before I start new one.