Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back from China

Well, it was a crazy wonderful, incredible experience. Turns out I was unable to blog while in China. Somehow they have blocked facebook and blogspot there. I was able to do e-mail, at least when I was able to connect to the Internet, which wasn't always the case. I started out doing a lot of what Gyokuko called "blogging on paper" in my journal. As the trip went on, I found it more possible to get online, depending on where we were staying. In any case, it wasn't as though we had a huge amount of time for such things, though Kyogen did make efforts to keep a blog, found a way to get around the China block first by sending e-mails to Jyoshin in the office here and then by way of a proxy server. He also is putting photos up on flikr, though he hasn't been able to do much, I wouldn't think, since getting home, because he got sick on the flight back.

Anyway, I don't know whether I'll be able to post much here about China, but I'll do what I can. I did send a bunch of e-mails to a bunch of people, and those should be reasonably easy to put up, but the early journal entries will need to be hand-entered.

One thing I did yesterday, which came directly out of the trip, and which I alluded to some years back when contemplating going to China, was to go to Tao of Tea and get some tea, which I came back and brewed China-style, and drank most satisfyingly while reading a mystery novel. Yes, I discovered tea in China, and have been enjoying it. Turns out they brew it very differently than we typically do in the States. I'm guessing a lot of people here drink coffee and like things bitter and strong. Too bitter and strong for me. But that's not how it's brewed there. You can get multiple steepings from a bunch of tea, and the first one is discarded (sometimes called washing the tea). And it's not steeped for very long, so it appears weak to some. When it's brewed this way, I can actually taste the tea and enjoy it.

We'll see whether I can actually incorporate tea time into my day -- I'd like to if at all possible.


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