China is amazingly beautiful. The out-of-this-world mountains take your breath away; and so does the sea. While driving through the cities along the coast, that reminded me of Izmir in Turkey, where the abundance of splendor can bring you to tears.
We didn’t have time to prepare ourselves for such an encounter. The road strolled vast areas of fields, with majestic rocks popping up from place to place. I could easily say the stones were petrified giants covered in green shrubs. By the time our souls got used with the magnificent scenery and the gasps of surprise didn’t let us breathless anymore, we were in awe again. The mirror of a great lake welcomed us by its shore. We couldn’t see the other side of it.
After taking a tour of the city, we stopped to get on a boat to the island. There were many tourists, most of them Chinese, who walked the large paved passage to the beach. The communist agents looked extremely pleased to see us in awe. They informed us that the governor was paying for our boat, and we were pretty impressed.
It is wise, useful and pleasant when people of different political structures can find a common ground and grow relationships based on that common ground.
There were beautiful historical-like boats floating to and from the island. At this point I should say the name of the lake and of the island we visited but, for my embarrassment, I don’t know them. The truth was that I wasn’t able to write them down from Chinese to my poor English, and I let it that way.
There was a special boat waiting for us, and we stepped on it with thrilled hearts.
If you ever visited San Diego’s village by the shore, there was a boat that reminded me of this one. The boat in San Diego was used in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie and it wasn’t open to the public when we were there. But a few years later we had a family event and we embarked on a historical boat in Dana Point, California and sailed for a couple of hours the good waters of our Pacific Ocean.
The boat in China was something like that.
We were given an exclusivist boat ride, while tens of tourists got cramped in other boats.
It didn’t take too long to reach the shore of the island. The green piece of land welcomed us with the heat of the day.
There were the three of us Americans (my lady friend and one gentleman friend from church,) the interpreter and the two communist agents when I had to look for the restrooms. My lady friend came with me.
Well, since I was a child I there were available all kinds of resources when it was about this need. All my childhood in the outskirts of Transylvania on vacation at my grandmothers and aunts I was used to the humble outhouses there. But never went through something like this in my life. And it’s not about the huts and shacks different nation have to cover that kind of necessity. It was about the custom we encountered on that island.
The restroom was a hut with no door, where you go behind a wall and the ladies were there doing their thing one next to each other without any privacy. Everything had to go in about 8-10 holes in the dirt. While people next to you would do their business as well, other women were watching you to finish, and then take your spot. I remembered my friend stepping inside, and being horrid at the scene. “I can’t do this,” she said and got out.
-To be continued-
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