On Sunday we took the bus out to the nearby town of
Since it was drizzling out we decided to take a petty cab (aka rickshaw) from the bus stop in Zhouzhang to the town entrance gates, and I soon discovered that this is a totally common form of transportation.
In Zhouzhang I got to go into my first Buddhist and Daoist temples (when you enter temples women should step over the threshold with your right foot first), take a canal ride (um, sort of Venice like…), and tour a rice museum, although to my dismay, after the museum I still have only a vague idea of how the rice-growing process works.
At the Buddhist temple I lit a stick of incense and bowed and put it on the altar, for which I got wished good luck and got a little card with my fortune on it. There were several guys in the temple reading fortunes, so Amanda and I decided to get mine read. I don’t remember all of it, but here are some take-aways: I don’t like breakfast (hmm, kind of true); this is my lucky year; I like to travel (I’m not going to give the guy too much credit for getting this one right – I was an American in Shanghai, after all); I have a lucky face; and I am strong-willed, ambitious and active in achieving results. Very nice. And then my fortune teller explained to us that now we should make a charitable contribution.
In Zhouzhang there are also a lot of side alleys with vendors selling all kinds of stuff, of particular note – strange tan-colored taffy-like candy (may be the first time I didn’t feel like eating the whole bag) and meat and rice wrapped in bamboo leaves.
In Zhouzhang you also get a sense of Chinese history.
In the evening we got to try a Shanghai specialty – dumplings – and saw a great movie (“To Live”) about life in China from the 1940s – 1970s.
Pictures: 1. Canals around Zhouzhang, 2. A rickshaw (in