Correction. I’m working from my hand written journal from 2006, often writing during lunch or on the bus, or catching up at the end of the day. I identified a stop at a tourist center with pit toilets as the “new” Wuhan City. It was not.
Our visit to the farmer was from the long bus ride on the way to this 350,000 year old Wuhan City. More than eight million people live in Wuhan, about the population of our state of Delaware. We see western imports, Mc Donalds, KFC, Michelin Tires. People are more affluent, they drive Fords. Wuhan is one of the furnace cities, very hot and humid as well. Vicki tells us there is corruption here, the roads have very poor quality cement. People sell knockoff designer goods even though they face big fines. We arrive in time to catch the Wuhan History Museum and a dinner show. In 1978, an ancient tomb was discovered from 430 BC., the remains of the Marquis Teng.
Huge timbers from the tomb are still in incredibly good shape. Inside with the Marquis was the remains of 13 concubines and an array of musical instruments, zithers, bells with two tones, bronze utensils, flutes, drums and whistles.
In the morning at the airport, we find out we are collectively overweight. Vicky bribes the officials and they let us on. She warns us that we will pass through one airport on this trip where bribery won’t work. I report my damaged suitcase and the officials there will not fill out the form because when they asked the color of my suitcase I told them beige plaid. They do not have the color beige nor plaid on their form. It was more hassle dealing with it than the suitcase was worth. Vicki says they are afraid for their jobs if they make waves or do any little thing wrong.
The long flight to Jiliang (lee-john) through several time zones puts us in the city at 10 pm. The hotel held the buffet dinner for us. We taste fried milk and black rice, a wonderful sweet desert.
Our hotel is right in the middle of “Old Town” a UNESCO site. Hotel windows have no glass, the beds are hard wood with light padding and warm woolen covers. You can hear people in the next room talking in a normal tone of voice. Music and laughter floats across the moat but we are tired and sleep soundly in the fresh mountain air. The next morning we wake up to this view of the town across the moat. Lijiang is only 250 miles from the Tibetan border and is populated by the minoirty Naxi, (Nah-shee) people.
After breakfast we visit the Naxi Dongba Museum. The Naxi are known for their textiles. Their language was originally pictorial and an English Anthropologist saved their language from extinction. The Naxi are known for their ability to stick their hands in the fire and in boiling oil. (Not a demonstration we witnessed.) Apparently, an ability similar to fire walkers.