Tuesday, 5 December

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North Wenquan

Tuesday, 5 December


I woke early and had breakfast at the farm. The so-called western food was really very bad. The coffee was so awful that I could not drink it. But the food was so expensive and it was much more than that in the Gloucester Tower. Then I went to the Wenquan Temple. It was also called the Guangde Temple. The temple was an old monastery dated before the Tang Dynasty. It was named by the Song Emperor as the Chong Sheng Monastery. During the reign of Song Renzong (宋仁宗), when Zhou Dunyi (周敦頤) [1]was heading to Hezhou to take up his post there, he had stayed in the temple. In front of the temple there was a stone pool. Its name was the Xiyu Pool. The water came from a hot spring, therefore it was quite warm so dozens of fish were there. Probably they were hot water fish. There were rectangular pools in both sides behind the Daxiong Baodian. Those women washing clothes there were on the whole quite good-looking. I wondered if they were nurtured by the local environment. Behind the temple there are crepe myrtle trees. They are elegant and lovely. Then I proceeded to the Guanyin Temple. Now it is a park club. And on its left there is a library but it is quite small. I left the temple and turned West, passing through the Wenquan Primary School to the Bamboo Manor. The whole manor was mainly decorated with bamboo and its environment was pleasant. The rooms were nice too. So we moved from Shufan House to here.


At 11.00 I went to Feilai Pavilion. It was 450 metres away from above water level. We went upstairs from the new road. The road was steep and with many steps. (There were more than 200 steps from the first step.) When we went there, we could overlook the whole gorge. We could see the whole view of the park. Many new houses were built on the mountain. They were made for the purpose of summer resorts and air raid prevention. Nevertheless, Feilai Pavilion was dilapidated. We stopped here for a short while. Then we left by the old road. The mountain road was smooth and wide. Green pines were along the way with bamboo in-between. We scanned the mountains, which were decorated with red leaves and green pines, with yellow and white colours in-between. The view was really lovely. At 12.00 we returned to the park. We took a short break at the tea pavilion. Though it was the first month of winter, many lovers were there whispering loving words to each other and it was as if they paid no regard to the wonderful scenery surrounding them. So we could imagine that there would be a lot more between summer and autumn. After the meal, I took a stroll in the park and went to the hot spring bathrooms. I met the Chongqing waitress Shi Qiong (施瓊) there. Tianjuan said she was originally a native of Suzhou. She was a waitress in Wuhan and was hugely popular. After she went to Chongqing she still had many pursuers. Now she is working in the Xinduhui restaurant. She could earn more than five or six hundred dollars every month, which was better off than the senior officials. Recently Chongqing had a saying that while prices of all things sky-rocketed, public servants were the cheapest. It was such a joke. She was not really good-looking but she had a good figure. But a woman like this is not easy to find here. A colloquial saying goes that when a person leaves his native place he is not treasured. But this woman of Suzhou will become a luxury when she leaves her native place.


At 1.00 I visited Yuhua Cave. The cave was under Zhuzhuang. Outside the cave there was Feixueyan (also named Feipu). Water fell from the withered pines. Though the waterfall was not very high, water splashed and spread which was very similar to falling snow. The door of the cave was so narrow that only one man could pass through. As I walked downstairs I saw stalactites hanging or sprung vertically. They looked like humans and animals, and their shapes like various beasts and flowers, which was so marvelous. We went further inwards and found that it was dark and slippery. We could not walk on the road. Then we left along the old path.


We took a short break at the tea house next to the cave room. We returned to the Bamboo Manor at 3.30 p.m.


We also had the latest Chongqing newspapers here. It only cost one cent. The newspapers said with regard to the Soviet-Finnish issue, it was concerned that there would be no hope for peace. The scale of war was escalating and there was no way to turn back. The Soviet Union blamed others as imperialist aggressors, but now it was one of them. For all matters it is better to depend on our own strength.

[1] Zhou Dunyi(1017-1073) was a leading scholar and philosopher in the Northern Song Dynasty.