How’s that for an opening picture? Eye-catching, isn’t it? Anxious to see more? Where the hell did he see this you’re thinking? Shujie and I went to Tongli this weekend. Tongli is a “water town” about 18km from Suzhou (we’ve been there). It’s supposed to be one of the prettiest ones and by water town I think they mean it has canals and is another Venice of the East. I’ve been to Venice and it isn’t even close. But every country has places they compare to other places. If you go to the province of Hainan in China, you’re going to the “Hawaii of China”. If you go to JeJu Island in Korea you’re going to the “Hawaii of Korea”.
Tongli is worth a day trip. It’s not worth 2 nights. There is an old town, which is very pretty and nice to walk through. It’s a good thing it wasn’t summer or tourists would have swallowed us. You pay about $12 to get into the old town and for your money you can walk around and get into any of the 10 sights for your ticket. That is except for the Chinese Sex Museum, which required an extra $3 to get in.
I’ve been very lucky and have visited many places. I’ve been to hundreds of museums and after a while it gets to the point that if you’ve seen one museum, you’ve seen them all. However, in Suzhou we saw a beautifully designed museum (talked about in an earlier post) and now we’ve seen the Chinese Sex Museum, which is unique.
This museum looks at 5,000 years of Chinese erotica and is filled with statues and pictures and carvings. It is far from pornographic and I have a few other pictures that can be seen on flickr. If you go there and search for me (mlking55) and look at the sex museum set, you’ll see them. I would have liked to have taken more but if you search there are sites online that have lots of pictures.
We saw a combination backscratcher/dildo. Yes, one end of this stick had a hand for scratching your back, and the other end had a penis. It was different. We saw chastity belts. We saw pictures. And we saw statues. This museum is one of the only places in China where homosexuality is openly recognized as part of Chinese culture.
This place was truly a treat to see. Here you can see “using penis for future generations”. Yes, that is a penis growing out of his head topped by a turtle. Shujie told me that the Chinese refer to the head of the penis as a “turtle”. I think having the turtle then is overkill since you can see the head of the penis. Maybe they thought foreigners would one day see this statue and they would need to be explicit.
This next picture I think of as a mother taking care of her family. I don’t see the sex in it but maybe I’m just naïve.
Next we have “no hear, no look, no see for sex”. Did they copy the “hear no evil statue” for this or was “the hear no evil statue” copied from this?
I like to think of this one as emphasizing family togetherness. The husband is about to go off to battle so he’s making love to his wife one last time while his child exhorts him to hurry home.
And of course, beware of Chinese bearing gifts.
Here’s a canal followed by a picture of the boat we took a canal tour on as it’s about to go on the “roller coaster” as they called it. It was a lock of a few feet. I think roller coaster overstates it a bit.
Here are just some pictures of the local scenery. It was pretty but 2 nights was plenty. There were no good restaurants but a decent coffee shop where I actually had a piece of apple pie (the apple was fine but the dough needed work) and a piece of black forest cake, which wasn’t bad.
Here’s Shujie in her “crouching tiger, hidden dragon” pose followed by her getting ready to bang a gong.
The videos are of Shujie reliving the magic of T-Rex’s big hit “Bang a Gong” and some Chinese opera performers.
On Sunday morning we took the bus to Suzhou since we had to get the bus from there back to Jurong. We scored well at the bookstore as we got Shujie 4 books. She’s actually starting to read novels for the first time in her life. She’s read “The Secret Daughter” and “Kite Runner” and loved them both. I find the books (if they have an English title on them) I can recommend that I think she’ll like. I’m thrilled by this development since I love reading and I want everyone to love it.
Yesterday when we returned we had Shao Kao (of course since it was Sunday) and then we watched Jane Eyre that was recently in theatres. It was marvelous. It’s nice to see a great movie that you can buy for less money than you’d rent it for in North America. Is it a legal copy? I really don’t know since the quality is as good as any DVD I’ve rented. They are much better quality than the ones I bought in Korea which were obviously copies.