Anyways, this is somewhere in Taiyuan. I could walk there from my family's home in Taiyuan. If I remember correctly (which I might be wrong) but I think this building is even older than the Bible.
I loved the decorations on this building and drew many many sketches based on the ancient artwork on it.
Here you can see us with my spouse's teacher from college, and his wife. I learned so much about Chinese art form that day. The old master showed me many of his original works, and taught me that in Chinese the name stamps didn't have any real rhyme or reason in the compositions of the pictures and could often be stamped in a strange place, and was meant to be seen to NOT fit the picture, and to stand out... but, also that many artists also sued stamps with slogans, poetry fragments, or even logos.
I was told to NOT try and go the Western Way (Taoism thought stuff) but go their Way (Tao).
Wow! I lived in China so long that year you can see my roots from when I darkened my hair.
A common thought about Chinese family is that they don't wear shoes in the house...
Actually, you MUST wear shoes in Taiyuan inside the house. When I first started living in China, most people STILL had the old concrete Soviet Russian style floors which resembled a garage floor (USA). I was NOT allowed to go around barefoot, because of all the coal soot pollution in the air. it's EVERYWHERE! I have asthma, so it was major problem. I often tried to exercise to help strengthen my lungs. Luckily, in a nation where Communism is slung around all over like cast off litter, you can use FREE public exercise equipment EVERYWHERE.
You must cover everything with plastic, sheets, or towels, and even put your remote controls in a plastic bag covering, or it will be covered in soot in a few weeks and stop working.
Today, people tend to have better floors, but instead of wearing your regular outdoor shoes inside, you wear slippers, or usually flip-flops. It's customary for people nowadays to have extra pairs of cheap slippers for guests by the front door.
When you first get to the Manchurian region you will be overwhelmed at how much soot is in the air. You never feel clean, no matter how many showers you have. But, after about 3 months you start to get accustomed to it.You will have black soot in your nose, and will need to clean your nose frequently.
Today, Taiyuan is far more advanced, and probably in much better condition than most places in the USA, including around here in Greater Boston. Ever since the bailouts, I've seen street lights go out in Hanover which STILL have never been fixed since 2006. There are whole shopping centers here that are in disrepair and have been abandoned since 2009.
I bought several CDs when I was in China.
C-Pop & techno.
A popular son at the time was "Super Star" by "S.H.E." because it sounds similar to "t.A.t.U.", and parts of it sound like "Herz an Herz" (Passo Doble/Blümchen).