Usually I try to do a bit of research before I get to a place, but Xinjiang somehow didn’t really seem worth bothering.
The first time I heard about it was in Houma – and I was very surprised.
One of the greatest guys in Chinese philosophy might actually be from here:
There are three great Confucian philosophers: Confucius 孔子 (551-479 B.C.) of course, then Mencius 孟子 (370-286 B.C.), and later this guy Xunzi 荀子 (298-238 B.C.)
Let me see if I can get it right:
First there was Confucius, and he said many things.
Then Mencius said something about the nature of man. He said: man is good because man’s nature itself is good.
But then Xunzi came up with a clever twist: Man will be good even though his nature is bad. How could that be? Xunzi says, every man wants what he doesn’t have – that is his greedy nature. Man is bad so he’s longing to be good. Therefore, man will be good.
(Please correct me if I got this totally wrong. I just remember I liked this way of thinking.)
Anyways, Xinjiang is one of the several places in China claiming to be Xunzi’s home.
And even if he’s not from here, this place is still great. Such a rich cultural heritage:
Jiangzhouwen Temple 绛州文庙. Again, a lot of the structure has been lost since the Ming-dynasty.
But there are some details to be discovered, like this painting up in the wooden rooftop:
They were just in the process of cleaning up the whole place, and I caught a shot of this dude in front of the statues:
I asked them if they usually get a lot of foreign visitors here. The last ones were three Japanese guys some time last year, they answered.
What a pity, this little town has so much to offer:
Like Longxing Temple 龙兴寺 with its 13-storey pagoda.
Of course I had to climb to the top:
From every pagoda I’ve ascended so far, I should have learned by now that the stairs are going to be miserably small, and that there will be absolutely nothing to look at on the top. But still: if I see one, I’m most certainly going to climb it.
Call it hope or whatever.
This one actually did have a nice view from one of the tiny windows though:
After a while, I navigated my oversized, aching body back down those tiny stairs:
Just walk a couple of steps, stretch your back, buy a ticket from some lady and next thing you know you’re standing in someone else’s grave:
I ask the guide: “Nice place, what is it for?”
guide: “They put the corpses in here.”
me: “The corpses? And then what?”
guide: “Then they closed the door.”
Again, time for an immediate evacuation:
Please don’t say I’m fat. I’m not fat.
Xinjiang doesn’t see many foreigners today, but it does have a pretty large church. It was built in 1937 by the Dutch.
I had a bowl of dumplings 饺子 after this, then I continued my sightseeing trip:
Jiangshouju Garden Pond 绛守居园池, a landscape arrangement from the Tang-dynasty.
Then there was a drum tower, a bell tower, a music tower and a main hall.
I looked at them all, but I had already gotten weary of all the historical relics, and enjoyed the fact that I had to walk through a school courtyard to navigate between them:
Tomorrow will be another rather large walking day for me, I think.
But, like this guy, I’m always trying to look optimistic:
Call it hope or whatever.