Happy Birthday Carrie

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Happy Birthday Carrie

Due to the Guangzhou marathon, it was decided to chill out at the hotel in the morning. Traffic is bad enough without roads being closed. So when afternoon came, we headed out for a little tourist action which began with a trip to a historically important temple. To be more specific, this temple is where Buddhism was established within China.

There are incense sticks for sale to burn so that you can send your messages to Buddha…or something. Our guide told us that the sticks are kind of like cell phones. I suppose that means that people burn more than one to get a better reception.

Like any tourist type draw anywhere in the world, there are people looking to make easy money out of your apparent affluence. One of these are the fake monks we were warned about. They will give you something that is ‘free’ but then try to talk you into giving them money, that or offer to tell your fortune. The way you tell a real monk from a charlatan is that a real monk will never ask for money. One big theme of Buddism is to be free from want of anything so it follows that a real Buddish monk would not own anything nor desire to get anything other than food. I’m not sure if the monk in the photo is real or not but he didn’t ask any of us for money; I did see him playing with a cell phone so I would guess he is probably a phoney.

People pray to these dudes…presumably so that they don’t hurt them: They look well capable of harm and I want nothing to do with them thank you very much.

After the temple we went for a little shopping and gawking at a market where weird and wonderful things are sold and gawked at…

Ruth didn’t want to cooperate for the obligatory photo with statues.

George liked the thought of waking up to an alarm clock of the people. We think they were made out of tuna cans.

Dessicated sea horses are probably good for virility or something. On offer were also certain dried male organs from deer. In the interests of taste, those did not get photographed.

Scorpions don’t come much fresher than this.

Efficient family transportation is popular here and they still say that China is one of the worst offenders of pollution and emissions.

Efficiency is also very much on the mind of those with more commercial enterprises.

There is, of course, often a little trade off in terms of safety.

When we got back to the hotel I had planned on getting Carrie a birthday cake but the hotel had beaten me to it and made me look bad in the process.

It was a box made out of chocolate, containing a sponge cake with whipped cream.

All in all, a very successful day.

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