Monday, July 15, 2019

A tri[p to China - Day 7 - The Hunan Museum

Day 7 - Hunan museum

The brochure says: This morning visit the Henan or Zhengzhou Museum (dependent on day of the week and closure periods), which are both major museums in China and were created for the collection, protection, study and display of cultural relics in the hinterland of the Central Plain. Then visit Erqi Memorial Tower. Erqi Memorial Tower is the memorial of the Erqi Strike, which occurred on February 7, 1923. The Erqi Memorial Tower has altogether 14 storeys, totalling 63m in height. A winding staircase inside the tower brings you to the top floor, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the whole city of Zhengzhou.

Peak hour traffic, and the Scooters

A leisurely morning at last with an 8:30 call, but we don't get underway until about 15 minutes later.
Then we got caught up in peak hour traffic, but any time of the day in peak hour traffic in these large cities though this was one of the smaller with a population of only 7 million.

Perhaps the most interesting part of driving on the bus from one place to another is watching the local people driving, which is very kamikaze-like, and then the scooters, of which there literally thousands.

In China, you do not need a licence to drive a scooter, and as they cost less than a car, considerably less in fact, everyone wants one.  But these people who now have their own lane in various parts of the city, don't stop for anything, turn into traffic even when the lights are against them, and worse of all see a gap and slip into it, even when it's a bus bearing down on them.

Scooter drivers in China drive without fear.

But there's an even greater folly these people commit, putting more than two people, even three people, including very young children, even babies, either in front of or behind them hanging on, or sometimes, not.

It is amazing in all the time so far we have not seen an accident, only smashed cars on the side of the road.

The Hunan Museum

Eventually, we arrive at the museum and get off the bus adjacent to a scooter track and despite the efforts of the guide, there's no stopping them from nearly running us over.

We arrive to find the museum has been moved to a different building as the existing, and rather distinctively designed, the building is being renovated.

That provides us with another view of industrial life in that there is nothing like health and safety in this country, and the workers are basically standing on what looks to be a flimsy bamboo ladder with nothing to stop them from falling off.

That is a form of entertainment in itself and keeps us occupied while the guide gets the tickets.

The museum itself has exhibits dating back a few thousand years and consist of bronze and ceramic items.  One of the highlights was a tortoiseshell with reportedly the oldest know writing ever found.

Other than that it was a series of pots, cooking utensils, a table, and ceramic pots, some in very good condition considering their age.

There were also small sculptures

an array of small figures

and a model of a settlement

20 minutes was long enough.

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