Trip Start Apr 08, 2010
4Trip End Apr 12, 2010
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It is now time to talk about other concepts which are practiced here. One, which this hotel must ascribe to is Feng Shui, which literally means fire water. It is all about balance and a master often takes over the design of a building or house to make sure that every element is in balance. It is in no way antithetical to western design and incorporates many components including often minimalism. Each shape or curve must conform to the overall scheme and even the placement of furniture is included. One must remember that Chinese custon involves much superstition. For example the number 4 is their version of 13 and is not used because the word sound too much like death. Other things are that certain gifts are not given because they signify the occurrence of some cataclysmic event. The color red is ubiquitous and is a happy and lucky color. Something else gleaned about chinese characters is that the symbol for grandson is similar to son, except has two little circles of silk under it to signify thealmost eternal thread of the silk worm, and I believe may help explain the extended family, a tradition still throughout all of china. I also learned that a symbol seen at the museums yesterday and today is the verb for use, and that is because many of the art objects were used by the emperors in the Forbidden City of Beijing (Peking).
Today I saw this great village and the surrounding streams and mountains and after about 4 hours, took the train back into town and saw the National History Museum, not world class, but interesting nonetheless
In seeing all the exhibits it made me think of how many americans, including my father used to say, all they can do is copy, not invent things. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all learned in school that the Chinese invented paper and ink, and of course we all know they invented the vase. What may surprise you is that they began the tradition of the birthday present, along with the box, wrapping paper and card that accompany it. Of course they invented fireworks and I was startled when today I thought an explosion was occurring, only to find that it was firworks for a just married couple. Oh yeah they basically invented that ceremony too! Don't forget the rice and the decoration of the car for the happy couple! The sticky bun started here, not at Cinnabun. Irrigation is their technique, making farming possible in bad rain times and in drier places. Mother's day, that's theirs, giving of flowers at special occasions, and the arrangements themselves, oh yeah that began here too! In fact one could argue that cultivation and the planting of seeds really was first established here. Candy and possibly cookies began here, but in slightly different orientations. Tea... this is ground zero and Taiwan is known for the best Oolong in the world, but I think their green teas are fantastic and have some for my continued travels. It is true that the industrial revolution, technology and other things started in the west but Marco Polo changed the world in many ways to the same extent as Columbus. This is a very user friendly place as they drive on the right, use the same electrical current and anyone under 30 speaks adequate english. It is a mountainous area for hikers with ckean air, outside Taipei and this and other economic issues will be propounded later!