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China: Bozhou III: Nonexistent Temple

Published: 1.2.2014
Bozhou said good bye in style. We went to temple Mu-lan cch'. It is a temple dedicated to the memory of famous Chinese heroin, Mulan. Perhaps some of you have heard her name in the Ballad of Mulan. Until the present, Mulan is an example of traditional Chinese son/daughter devotion (siao in Chinese).

Po-Čou

When the order came that each family has to send a man to war, Mulan chose to save the old father from certain death and she, dressed as a boy, went to war. Her story has enjoyed many adaptations. Some having a happy end (Walt Disney’s fairy tales), others that it does not end so well (such as a film made by Chinese).

Po-Čou

The goal of our morning mission was the temple in which we learn about her life a little bit more. Just the fact that our bus drove us somewhere to the outskirts of the city, should made us more attentive. We had wondered around for a while the thing we feared the most became almost obvious. We wouldn’t find the temple. We do not find it because it isn’t there. It isn’t there anymore. The only thing we found was the statue of Mulan made of white stone. From the temple itself remained only perimeter wall. Within a few enterprising farmers established the tabernacle. Those who lived right behind the former entrance to the temple just warned us either to not go further. They have a dog. One should be aware of Chinese guard dogs. And so we have said good bye to Mulan once again. We walked on fields with growing corn and returned to the hotel (I still cannot shake the feeling that the name "hotel " is kind of accommodation that was too euphemistic to the kind of accommodation we sought). This was followed byour travel routine - pack our things, check the passports and the tickets to the next town. Then let the landlady to check room (and there really was nothing to steal ) and proceed to the station. This time the train station. .

Po-Čou

We proceeded to Kaifeng in Henan province. It was the capital of many Chinese dynasties. We were curious. After all, Marco Polo visited it as well.

Drawing on our experiences, right after our arrival we went to one of the side streets. We began to look for another where would lay our heads. Total brazenly we climbed to the first courtyard we saw. Some lady told us that there probably would not be available accommodation of the type we would like. We wanted to convince her otherwise, but ... Well, she was right. In other backyard. Although it looked promising, in the reservoir were geese, on the stairs kittens were playing, but they were disturbed when the landlady asked if we are going to be in the room during the day.

Po-Čou

The third time we succeeded. Again, we were relieved - such a relief always comes when you know you will not sleep at the station. So we unfolded our map and planed our next moves. .

Text/photo: Hana Bašová

 



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