National Day and Great Big Buddha
Today is China’s National Day, so John has a whole week off school – woo hoo. In my Chinese lesson yesterday, Grace asked me (in Chinese) when Britain’s National Day is. I had to tell her that we don’t really have one – which is a shame really. Celebrating National Day seems to involve putting up lots of flags and setting off a lot of fireworks, so it is a very good thing.
Last night, John and I went to the Blue Bar (an expat bar in the city centre) and met up with some teachers who work for the same company as John, but for a different school in Wuxi. Their school runs the American AP programme, so the teachers were all American. They were quite a mixed group, but all very nice. Living here in China is giving us the chance to meet people from all over the World, which is brilliant. One of the teachers pointed out that in the US, Independence Day is a lot like the National Day in China in that lots of fireworks are involved. I am very jealous and will start campaigning for a National Day if I ever move back to the UK.
Today we got up early and took a taxi to the Lingshan Buddha. The Buddha was built in 2007 and is 88m tall. The Buddha is very impressive and well worth a visit. The temperature is much cooler at the moment, even a bit rainy, so we were able to walk up all the steps to the highest point (the Buddha’s toes). The site doesn’t feel very spiritual, though. I think I would be a bit disappointed if I was a Buddhist. It is too commercial and you feel it is just a way of raising money so they can build an even bigger Buddha somewhere.
We have been making all sorts of plans for this week to make the best use of John’s time off. On Wednesday, we are off to Shanghai for two nights – we can’t wait. Then on Friday night, I fly back to the UK to take my final Open University exam.