A Weeks Rides, Pyramids & Children of The Corn

Trip Start Jan 01, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Jiangxi,
Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Exams and Chinese communication!

Due to exams, last week I only had a small handful of classes and many of you may be wondering why I didn’t take off for the week. Well, it goes like this, while saying 'Goodbye & Have a Good Weekend’ to everyone on Friday the 28th, no one thought to tell me that there were exams for the first few days the following week. So I guess Monday morning when I arrived for class seemed to be the right time to tell me…HHHhhhhmmm!

I was then supposed to begin Wednesday which turned into Thursday and then Friday!

Anyhow I could go on and on about communication along with the nine days in total I had off, but instead I’ll simply be happy with the time I had off to venture far and wide (five to seven hours each day) while all of you were working along with the fact that I didn’t have to teach Grade 1 for an entire week.  Most of my time was spent across the Xinjiang River in the hills and villages both north and south of the city where I found several surprising sites.  

Whilst riding the hills following a small track I came across a huge pyramid like ‘structure’, my first sight was from a distance and I stopped and wondered why in the world anyone would want to make a pyramid out of bricks so far out of the city.  When I started riding towards it, I began to realise that the entire area around me was once a huge granite/stone hill covered with small trees and clumps of grass.

The pyramid was all that was left and soon enough that will also disappear.

On another day whilst out and about beneath a bright blue sky I came across an entire village that had been abandoned.  I’m actually still unsure whether the residents relocated to other lodgings over a period of years/decades or whether a group of young religious folk from Nebraska actually began constructing a new village and half way through some bright spark stood up and said;

Um, excuse me Malachai, I know you don’t like being questioned and all, but I’ve been wondering why we are building New Gatlin so far away from the river.  Don’t we need water to feed our corn and wash the blood from our farm tools after each parental sacrifice?  And where do we find fresh parents out here? How will the Burt’s and Vicky’s of the world stumble upon our village if their car won’t fit down the small track that leads here? 

Malachai replies: Well ain't this place a geographical oddity.
Two weeks from everywhere!

I imagined everyone dropping their tools, looking to Malachai who drops the corn husk crucifix he was making as he ponders the answer.  Then without further question all begin to follow Malachai as he silently leads them back towards the river and fresh sacrifice, all with a Children of the Corn eeriness about it!

Simmered Soup Casserole ((Wa Guan Wei Soup)

The following is a short run down of what has become my favourite lunch time meal. 

There are a handful of small local eateries found in my area, all have around twenty soups to choose from along with dumplings and rice noodles, both of which I usually add my soup to once I have finished the contents of the small clay pot.  This soup is a typical dish of Jiangxi cuisine, with a history of more than a thousand years. The main casserole cooking pot is three metres high and inside can be found smaller jars placed layer upon layer, which respectively hold home-grown chicken, snake, turtle, gastrodia tuber, mushrooms and other raw materials.

Beneath the exterior of the main crockery pot, charcoal is burnt at a constant temperature to allow the soup to simmer for as long as seven hours and because the jars are heated by the intense vapour drawn up through the clay walls, they simmer gently avoiding direct heating which creates a thick, aromatic and restorative soup.

After choosing your soup, the jars cover is removed to reveal a fantastic and delicious aroma.

The secret of such great flavour lies in the pots ability to absorb water, permeate air and control the temperature. The raw materials are simmered in sealed jars at a low temperature for such a long time that the nutritional elements are fully dispersed, thus, the soups are soft, tender, delicious and fragrant whilst maintaining the original delicious taste.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

The soundtrack to this entry was by Mclusky
The album was ‘My Pain & Sadness‘

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