Dear Cracker Friends : If you ask the Chinese people where they would live if they had the freedom to choose 95 % of them would say West Lake / Hangzhou. They view it as the most beautiful place on Earth. Marco Polo said that Hangzhou was the most beautiful and elegant place in the World. I have just arrived here. We shall see in due course if Marco Polo was right.
The day I went to the lake it was sweltering hot and humid. I figured it would be a nice day to sit down by the lake drinking a few beers , taking some photos and watching the world go by. Little did I know what I was in for. I met a nice young lady that asked if she could practice her English with me. I of course never refuse ladies that depend on the kindness of strangers. We talked for about an hour and then a sun shower started. Most of you probably don't know this but the Chinese HATE rain. They went running for cover. I on the other hand believe that a nice gentle summer rain cleans the soul and rejuvenates the spirit. They were quite confused why I didn't seek shelter. I tried to explain but they just couldn't grasp the concept. They wanted to talk though so they put up their umbrellas and we talked for about an hour. They then excused them selves and I guess went back to work. Before they left though they told me to stay and watch the music show at 3:30. They left about 3:05. About 5 minutes after they left it started raining considerably harder but it still felt good so I just sat there and reveled in it. All of A sudden ALL the Chinese people ran like Hell for shelter. I was laughing my ass off at them. Five minutes after that I wasn't laughing anymore. I was too busy looking for the arc. That nice calm lake you see in the pics became a roiling ocean and the rain became a hard driving rain. I still stayed put though to get the video. In the video I'll post soon immediately below these pics you'll see what I mean. The Chinese folks were roaring with laughter at the drenched lao wai.
AHHHH THE GOOD TIMES !!! The slide show below is of the beautiful West Lake that so captivated Marco Polo's imagination. It did mine also and I think it will yours too. Stay tuned there are lots of photos and videos coming over the next two weeks.
The slide show below is of the Jiefang Pagoda and surrounding areas of West Lake.
The slide show below is of The Goddess Of The Lake. These photos are taken from across the lake from the traditional site for photos of The Goddess Of The Lake.
The gallery of photos below is of the art work inside the Jiefang Pagoda on West Lake in Hangzhou.
Dear Friends :
This is D.D. speaking. I'm pleased to tell you that I've found a couple of things in Hangzhou that I've not been able to find anywhere else I've been in China and which I've missed greatly. Seriously China how can you even dare to call yourselves a civilized people / country when certain delightful commodities such as butter , cheese , Bacardi Rum , Ocean Spray Cranberry juice and Italian food to name just a few are not readily available in EVERY Chinese town. SHAMEFUL !!! Yes it's true friends I've been able to find Bacardi Rum and Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice right here in Hangzhou. The best thing is they are sold together. The man that invented Bacardi Breezers is a freaking genius.
Trust me when I tell you friends that exploring China is a whole lot more fun and tolerable when you run into The Yellow Knights Of The HaNazee with a buzz on. These Bacardi Breezers are great. They mix the two ingredients exactly right so that you get a nice cranberry flavor without drowning out the rum flavor and vice versa. There is also just just enough alcohol in them to give a nice buzz without becoming a falling down obnoxious drunk. They also seem to have a nice healing effect on my arthritis. It's so much easier to go urban exploring on foot when your arthritis isn't raging. I don't know if it's the medicinal properties of the cranberries or the alcohol. The fact is it doesn't matter. Whether I'm actually being healed or whether I still have the pain and just don't care is inconsequential to me. The fact of the matter is I can walk freely and without pain which makes going walkabout in Hangzhou so much easier. Nah that's ALL bullshit. It's the alcohol. lol
I thank God for Bacardi Rum and Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. They've made my life a whole lot more pain free. She does indeed work in mysterious ways.