China Day 20 (Tianjin-WuXi)
Today was our last morning in Tianjin. It is very bittersweet because I will miss this city and the countless number of people I've meet here, especially the students, but I was excited to move on as well and see a new part of China. Later that day on Facebook a few of the Chinese students said that they were very sad that we were leaving, especially because they thought we were leaving the hotel at 5PM rather than the time that we actually left, 7:30AM and they felt bad that they didn't get to say goodbye one last time. I felt the same, it would have been nice to say goodbye to them one last time. Fortunately, I was able to get many of the Chinese student's email addresses and so I will be able to keep in contact with them. The train ride to WuXi was a very long, and fairly dull, trip. It took about 6 hours on a high speed train to get there. Our compartment had four beds in it but we couldn't actually use them because we had to put our luggage on the top beds and fit five passengers on the bottom beds. Needless to say, it wasn't the most comfortable ride I've ever taken, but it was nice that we were taking a high speed train, at least. I took the time on the train to dig into one of the books I brought for the trip, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. It's a very interesting book. When we got to WuXi we meet up with our new tour guide Joe. He's a young guy, only 29 years old, and seems like a really great tour guide. In WuXi, we went to a park and watched a show about the three kingdoms of old in China. In WuXi, about 1,000 years ago, the Northern Army had sent 200,000 soldiers to WuXi to invade. The commander of the WuXi army only had around 5,000 soldiers and clearly recognized that to combat this army was suicide. Brilliantly, he ordered for the WuXI army to open their gates, take down their flags, and play music. He also had a few boys sweeping in front of the gate. This was seen as a sign of welcoming in ancient China. The commander of the Northern army knew that the other commander was a deceptive and brilliant man and thought that there must be a trap inside and therefore ordered his men to retreat 20 miles back. This bought the commander of the WuXi military time for the general of his Kingdom to send reinforcements. We watched a show at the park that was about the memory of his brilliance. It was a pretty interesting show but I thought it could have been better. Then we went to the hotel and I was relieved to discover that the beds at this new hotel were not rock hard.