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July 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Hi Everyone,
Finally got a bit of time to sit down and start this e mail,who would have thought retirement could be so busy haha.
As i briefly mentioned in the last blog we visited a Pure Land Buddhist Monastery the other weekend it was quite a journey to get there 3 hours and 3.15 to get back I had to drive into the city centre to pick up our other friends who were going with us then drive right across the city and out to the west as one of them Jane was showing us how to get there as it is her training temple she goes up regular for retreats and voluntary work days.It was really nice to see so many young people up there doing voluntary work,we met some more lay trainees and got to visit parts of the monastery not open for visitors of which there are many as it is in the centre of the very popular western hills for hikers,we were also invited to lunch with all the trainees, workers, a little bit different from Throssel, as in men and women eat seperately,there are lines of tables in pairs were people sit facing each other but with a gap down the centre to allow the servers to walk down filling your bowls,also a lot longer meal time ceremony.
We drove over to the large market the other day then went to see some people selling plants in the flyover underpass near by, I had riden past them the other week on my bike I bought a lovely bayan tree bonsai it stands about 14 inces high and looks about 10 years old but probally no more than 3/5 at the price of only £10 the apartment is rapidly filling up with plants they are so nice and cheap.
We visited the Olympic village and stadium yesterday as it was close to the theatre we were going to on the evening thats all in the north area of the city but i drove around on the expressway so it only took 1 hour 15 minutes.It is a very nice area as you would expect, i took a photo of the most expensive apartment block in Beijing that overlooks the stadium,there are many visitors there especially chinese tourists from the countryside parks were full of buses,we had two groups come up to me and Jun and ask if they could photgraph  me stood with their children,three of the chidren stood with me straight away, two were a bit reluctant and one looked at me and burst into tears haha.
The show on the evening was very good it was traditional acrobats, martial artists,dancers,a magician and finished with a large steel ball in which 6 motorcyclists went in and rode around the inside round and round and up and down at high speed (not very traditional but breathtaking to watch) the guy next to me had not clapped at any of the other acts but couldn,t contain himself with this one he was jumping up, clapping ,shouting haha.
There was another of the acts that consisted of dancers in masks waving flags,but the main one was out front dancing and every so often his hand went towards his face and the mask changed it was so fast he even came down off the stage to the front and was stood 8 feet from me and and i stared at his face when he did again and i could not see how he did it the mask just appeared to change instantly.
Jun and I are going away this next weekend for 4 days down to Xian to visit the terracotta army and the tombs of emperor qin shi huang,so hopefully i will get some good photo's, we are going by train as it is so much cheaper than flying but it is a 13 hour journey,but it's overnight and we have a sleeper although we have to share the compartment with others the same as we did last year coming back from shao xing.


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