To the fallen ~ Nanjing Massacre Museum

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My father always told me Chinese history is tainted with bitterness and suffering. He was never wrong about that. What happened at Nanjing, was cruelty in its modern form, purely human evil…..

I highly recommend “Rape of Nanking” to all who haven’t read it. Its gruesome and numbing but most importantly effective. And written by the brilliant and volatile, Iris Chang, who took her life after  a battle with depression most likely triggered by all her extensive research on the horrors of Nanjing.

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At the entrance of the museum, there were these statues standing on the flowing stream of water (that cleverly guided visitors in). They depicted victims of the massacre frozen in air. Below them, quotes were embedded in white print (translated in Chinese & English). Continue reading

the ones left behind – Zhejiang, China

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As I’ve noticed, things in China are meant to be swallowed: the dingy apartment complexes, newspaper stands, drink vendors, all of it. There a silence that seemingly lingers in places only alive in memories, one that begs to be remembered. I think places like these make me particularly conflicted because I nostalgically remember bits of the old China with warmth. This is without saying that China’s current progression is bad or anything (its level of progression though quite frightening) but there is so much being left behind in the wake of the construction. IMG_2864

Zhejiang, China is currently in a movement to demolish the old and construct new modern, glamorous buildings. With this movement, comes the reconstruction of many older living spaces such as this. Continue reading

Nanjing! Nanjing!

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“Collect beautiful moments not things”  

When you get the chance to fly and end up with window seat, the one thing you must do is stare out the window (longingly, romantically, and passionately) at the city of clouds, how they just barely form white mountain peaks against the pink horizon. Its not your everyday car ride, its a ride above the clouds, the closest we’ll get to touching the sky.

We arrived at Nanjing at nightfall, all purely exhausted. In my state of clumsiness, I even tripped and fell on the cement while lugging my ugly red suitcase. It’s easy to say we were all relieved upon arriving at the hotel for a long awaited night rest.

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Morning came fresh and early. We visited St. Paul’s church in the city at 10am for their English service. The interior was lit in a 1800’s feel, mmh, beautiful.

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Wild Goose Pagoda

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Another beauty of Xi’an : the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. A Buddhist pagoda built in the glorious Tang Dynasty, the Wild Goose Pagoda has also been named one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I’ve been in love with Chinese pagodas since day one when I first step foot into the Six Harmonies Pagoda of Hangzhou ( 六和塔 ). It had been an ethereal summer day when Hangzhou officially stole my heart and I think now I associate pagodas with moments frozen in time. IMG_2553

The first construction of this pagoda collapsed five decades later and was rebuilt by an Empress who added an additional five stories to the original five. Unfortunately, natural disasters do happen and an earthquake of the 1500’s  knocked the pagoda down to seven stories. What a history…… Continue reading