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Russell Eagling


Jing Zhou

The university took us for a trip to Jing Zhou before we went to the wedding of one of the members of the office that night.  It is about miles from Wuhan and it took us about three and a half hours in a bus the university had hired.  As we got up fiendishly early in the morning I was hoping for a nice sleep on the bus.  Unfortunately, the roads were so bumpy this turned out to be all but impossible.

The city itself has the best preserved walls in China.  However, I'm beginning to realise that this kind of impressive fact always needs to be treated with a fair degree of caution.  Although the chinese boast about their 5,000 years of history and revear the old, they don't appreciate the crumbling.  If any site gets deemed a site of major tourist interest it seems to get pulled down and rebuilt.  We have seen this kind of "restoration" work now in Jing Zhou and also the Yellow Crane Tower.

The city walls have also led to Jing Zhou being known as the Mah Jong city.  In deference to this fact I decided to try and buy a Mah Jong set there.  I didn't have much time and I did my usual shopping routine.  I didn't get the things that I wanted, but I came away with a bunch of interesting DVDs.  Unfortunately, I didn't pick up the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4" or "NYPD Blue season 2" that I saw.  To add insult to injury I then told American James that I had seen these collections and not picked them up.  I think he is still mourning their loss because every time I see him he carries on muttering "Buffy, Buffy, Why?, Why?"

In addition to their interesting walls, they also have lots of other interesting historic finds in Jing Zhou.  The main one I've got pictures of below of what they found in some tombs they keep digging up from the Warring States period (475-221BC). Their most famous one, using a cunning trick to lure all tourists, they named "Tomb No. 168".  The occupant of this catchilly titled vault was still there.  Whilst not exactly alive and kicking, he was mostly present except for his hair and clothes.  His joints were still quite movable and just to prove his innards were intact too, they opened him up and put both the body and the innards on display along with the many artifacts that they found in the second part of the tomb.  The whole tomb had been flooded and the chemical content of the water was just such that it preserved him incredibly well.

 You can find out all about the wedding here on a different page of my website.  By the time we had got up at another cruelly early hour and after celebrating the wedding the previous day this time we managed to get a few hours sleep on the bumpy road back to Wuhan.

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Launched on December 25th 2003