Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jishou, Hunan Province 

Sue accompanied Coffee and me to the train the day before yesterday. The train left on time, but was delayed along the way, so it took us about 28 hours to get to Zhangjiajie. Coffee had not been able to get tickets directly to her home town, so she bought tickets Zhangjiajie, a resort area near her place. As a resort area, Zhangjiajie gets lots and lots of travelers, so there are many more seats available on a train going to that location. Her uncle has some connection with the railroad, so he was able to get us directly to a train going from Zhangjiajie to her home town. Helps to know people.

I have been having trouble with my teeth. At first I was puzzled as to why I would have an ear splitting toothache when the X-ray showed no problem. But the dentist explained to me that since my back teeth are broken down, this puts too much pressure on my front teeth, which makes my gums sore, and sometimes leads to infection. My back teeth are broken down, so this puts too much pressure on my front teeth. The result is sore gums, which leads to infection. This is the third time this has happened now, so I really need to get started working on rebuilding the back part of my mouth. In China, when you go to the doctor, he will write a prescription, which you take to the pharmacy to get your medicine. So far, just like the States. But in China, if you need more medicine, you just bring the box to the pharmacy, and they will give you what you need. So I went to the drug store in my village and got the antibiotic (Tinatazole), 5 RMB, and the pain killer 20 RMB. Drugs are cheap in China. Anyway, it does seem to be healing up.

Coffee and her Tujia grandmother
Yesterday after we got off the train, we went to a local place for dinner, and then drove to Fenghuang. Fenghuang is a resort community built around an ancient water town. I was dubious about going there, because I had heard about how it had been rebuilt. I'm glad I was prepared, because I would have been quite shocked. The first thing I noticed when we got to Fenghuang last night was gargantuan amplifiers with ear-splitting music. Fenghuang is billed as "Fenghuang Ancient City," but most of what I saw was anything but ancient--concrete buildings with fake facades. Mind you, it's well done, but very Disneylandish, not old at all.

And LOUD. Oh, my goodness! If you are a party animal, you will love Fenghuang. It is definitely Sanlitun writ large. But I am not a party animal. I have never cared for Sanlitun (except for the Beijing Bookworm), and I don't care for today's Fenghuang. It's impressive, and set in a beautiful natural surrounding, but it's fake. And teaming with tourists. But what can we say? It is being sold to a clientele that grew up on fake and likes fake. And there has to be some place for all those tourists to go. So perhaps we need to sacrifice a few places like Fenghuang to keep the party animals from disturbing the solitude of more remote areas.

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