I’m not quite sure what days of our trip these represent. We berthed in Wuhan two nights next to some not quite mothballed Chinese Naval vessels. We had a couple venues the first being a provincial museum dedicated to a remarkable tomb that had been uncovered in the 1970’s of Marquis Yi of Zeng. His grave was the first tangible proof of a pre-historical character before the unification of China in the Chin Era about the time of the Roman Republic.
Zeng had himself buried with a remarkable set of cast bronze bells. A larger more powerful state had a leader who coveted them so Zeng had them buried with him along with a dozen wives/concubines who had to commit suicide so the Marquis could have some company. Zeng calculated that the Chinese have so much distaste for ghosts that no one would invade his grave to recover the bells. Ghosts are still a powerful idea in China. All the old buildings we visited had door jambs with a raised area below the door for tourists to trip on upon entering. They were put there to deter ghosts who apparently carom off them like ball bearings in a pinball game.
Later that day we were guided to the local Walmart along a pedestrian only street of shops and stores. The goal was to find this Walmart’s living products, chickens, frogs, turtles, fish which the Chinese much prefer to have fresh rather than frozen. I got no further than the candy aisle and decided that a great gift for my Grandsons would be some mysterious hard wrapped candies. They were a hit except for the jackfruit. Both my grandsons and Claudia spit them out although I rather liked their creamy centers.
I followed the advice of our guide after leaving Walmart and turned down side streets to check out a typical neighborhood. It was not fancy living but even with ten million residents it was not a tenement. And as our guide said 90% of the folks had AC. And it was definitely another AC day so as long as the Three Gorges Dam was humming all was good.
Claudia wasn’t keen on shopping so I had gone solo and before I returned to the Emerald I hied it over to the City Park which ran along the Yangtze and which had recently been flooded. I saw no damage but walked gratefully under a canopy of trees filled with cicadas in full throat-ed fever to find a mate. I had been skunked for five days straight looking for one so I held on in the heat looking for one to snap a picture of. Finally, I found a small tree that was making a terrible racket and ducked my head underneath to check it out. Sure enough there were half a dozen of the cigar butt bugs flitting underneath its canopy courting. I finally got my picture. A good one.
Here’s the slideshow: