(Ed. note: Please note the complete capitulation)
Well, now it is day 3 of our time in Ningbo. Starts out very civilized – as I said, someone in management decide to open the other restaurant in the hotel for breakfast so there was no long line or angry patrons to face.
Over breakfast we discussed this photo from the paper. Notice the ‘stove’ (large white barrel on the right of the photo), preparation area (foreground), sink (back left), lovely decor. And people complain about the state of housing for the elderly in North America! This story is part of a campaign to draw attention to happy elders. Giving them meaningful work is one answer.
After breakfast, we decided to wander off to see the oldest mosque in Ningbo – it is more that 300 years old. Before we found it though, we stumbled across the Tianyi Museum – a museum that is the oldest well-preserved private library in China and one of the three largest family libraries existing in the world. Covering an area of more than 26,000 square meters, it keeps a large collection of about 300,000 ancient books, among which 80,000 are rare copies including the woodcut copies and handwritten copies of the Song and Ming Dynasties. It seems to go on forever – you just keep turning corners and going into more rooms.
We came across this father and son admiring the books. Now I know it isn’t a great shot, but check out what the shirts actually say. (Ed. note: See the caption)
It is to laugh, as Terry says.
Then it was off to find the mosque. We first saw a building with just the symbol below on it and we (well, Geoff) thought “Aha – that must be the Muslim symbol for mosque.” Once we got to the front however, not so much.
Sadly, we never found the mosque – maybe we will have to go back some day.
We were wandering down a side street when an old beggar (the gentleman with the cane) thrust his tin cup in my direction and asked for money. I turned my pockets out to show him I had none and then he pointed at my camera bag. Very funny. I opened it, pulled out my wallet and showed him that it too was empty. We had a good laugh, I took his tin cup and thrust it into the face of one of the young guys – who put 5 rmb in to it.
From there it was off to the old Ningbo – which has been refurbished and has many cool little shops in it. This is just on the side of the street. You insert your library card, punch in the code of the book you want and Voila! Great idea to get books to the people. On the other hand, one might think someone working with the library could get the spelling correct. (Ed. note: Our library day, apparently)
We wandered through the shopping and came upon Zhongshan Park, which was a place for the elderly to gather. There were a couple of hundred of them chatting, playing cards, listening to music or just sitting and watching.
Now, I said listening to music. This short video is of one of the half dozen ensembles we heard performing – really they were the creme de la creme. (Ed. note: Turn the volume on your speakers up)
We still had some time to kill before our train, so we went for a spin on the lake in a “pedal boat”. You don’t realize how out of shape you are until you have to pedal one of these babies around for 30 minutes – and Terry wasn’t about to go in early.
Finally it was back to the hotel. I thought that somehow we had magically been transported to Pitt Meadows for a Saturday afternoon wedding
As we waited in the lobby to get taxi to the train station, Cheryl, Andy and Terry got into a conversation with a Chinese fellow who was waiting for a friend or business associate to show up. When he discovered no one was coming, he offered to drive us to the train station. Nice guy. And so our Ningbo Adventures come to an end.
The Shoe Blog
Remember the surface of the grounds at Tianyi Library Museum? I’m not going to say that this young lady had a great deal of trouble navigating her way around, but it was clear she far preferred the odd smooth patch she came across.