Cord Houle: Wu Xi day 1
Today we arrived in Wu Xi, stop one on our way to Shanghai, after a long night on a train followed by an early wakeup call. I had unfortunately not been aware we were basically starting our day in Wu Xi once the train unloaded which was about 5 am. So while running on about 4 hours of sleep we headed to the hotel for a quick shower and breakfast. This breakfast was the best one I’ve had since we arrived. I had cold milk bacon French toast and an omelet, not very Chinese cuisine, but amazing none the less. I attempted to let our friends back in Tianjin know we arrived safely; however, my SIM card must not work in this city because I am unable to get any signal.
Our first stop was one of the riches communities in China. While I was looking forward to see how it compared to America, I also reflected back on all the farmers we had met who had little or nothing in the way of net worth. The poor housing conditions and the lack of technology stood out most in my mind. We had been fortunate enough to be shown the less glamorous side of china as well as the booming metropolises with skylines of cranes. As we pulled in and started our tour I was surprisingly underwhelmed. I guess I was expecting Orange County extravagant but in reality it was maybe a little better than the average American community. While the level of living was way higher than anything I had to that point seen in China it was still a lot different than I expected for one of the riches communities in China. This fact drove home even more how I felt from seeing the poor farmers in the countryside. I think I appreciate much more now what I have back in the states now that I have seen a more realistic look at life in emerging economies.
We also went to see the Three Kingdoms amusement park were we saw the location the movie was filmed. We also learned a lot about the famous period in time when Wu Wei and Shu fought for rule over China. This look at a famous historical even that every Chinese person seems to be familiar with was an amazing experience. It also made me appreciate the amount of history China has as a nation. In America we might have a rich history but it only dates back about 300 years. China on the other hand has well over 2000 years of history! We got to watch some trained actors reenact the battle between Dong Zhou and Yuan Shao’s forces. The park was a fun look at the history of the three kingdoms time period and the well know Novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”.