Day 7 – Sunday 16th June 2019 – Zhengzhou China
Today we do the Shaolin Kung Fu thing up in the mountains about an hour and a half out of Zhengzhou. Big mountains like we haven’t seen so far.
I’m thinking of David Carradine and his character in the American TV show. “Grasshopper, what you thinking? You need to look inside yourself and find what is good”. Or words to that effect, anyway we’re a bunch of old farts mostly and most should remember the show.
Shaolin is the martial arts bit of Buddhism, at least that’s what I think I’m hearing, the early start blunts my concentration a little.
First stop is the Erqi Memorial, an old building in the middle of modern buildings, some in need of a tart up, then the drive into the mountains.
Our guide, Sean, has a little trouble with the Australian humour but this is only his second trip with Trip A Deal, so I feel he’s doing ok.
We arrive to a crowd of people, not many Caucasian faces around today, and move up the hill to the forrest of memorials for dead monks, some of them quite old. We then move through the temples, we light some inscence for Tim and leave some of his ashes at the temple. When him and Mark were younger they were karate exponents, maybe not as devoted as the kids who go to Kung Fu School – a real school but majoring in Kung Fu – lots of little “Grasshoppers”.
We then go to a Kung Fu/ Shaolin masters performance which was terrific, lots of skilful fit young blokes ( no girls?) with knives, nun chucks, breaking steel on their heads and throwing a needle through glass. We do a session, just our group with the Master, inscrutable man that he is with his two junior monks helping, we look like a bunch of paralytic praying mantis’s , bit sad, but quite funny really.
A bit of shopping before we head home, the Navigator skewers an umbrella sella, (poetic eh), and drives the Chinese umbrella market into free fall.
Back in Zhengzhou we rest a bit before heading to a Russian restaurant for dinner, there’s us 6 and 8 others, they squeeze us in but at 2 tables. We give ourselves Russian names, like Vlad, Irene etc and order food and drinks. A very pleasant evening. Australians eating in a Russian Restaurant in China.
Tomorrow an early start for the train to Xi’an, another 600 kilometres away but only 2 1/2 hours on a bullet train.
Cheers until the next one