as in many countries i’ve visited, having an english-language t-shirt is a status symbol; it doesn’t matter what the t-shirt actually says. i passed a woman on the down escalator while i was going up whose t-shirt read “TRUCK FURNITURE MAKER.” (there actually is someone called “truck furniture maker” on Facebook, so maybe she is also a truck furniture maker; but she probably isn’t.)
other notables included the woman with the “VENICE BTACH” t-shirt; the sweet-faced, adorable young couple on qingsheng mountain wearing t-shirts reading “WE LOVE TO DO THE WILD THING” and “YOU FUCK’N ASSHOLE” – and my favorite:
if anyone knows what this is supposed to mean, let me know.
on of the weekend of the mid-autumn festival, i took the train to le shan, home of the giant buddha. the le shan buddha is more than 1,200 years old and was carved into the cliff facing the confluence of the three rivers flanking le shan. the statue is 71 meters tall, the largest stone buddha statue in the world. each ear alone is 7 meters tall.
first, some street photography, including a photo of what appears to be the largest cucumber i have ever seen:
i went to the buddha park on the sunday of the weekend, and it was a cold, rainy day. also, because there had been some days off for the mid-autumn festival, the government had decreed that sunday to be a workday. as a result, when i arrived at 7:30 am, i was the only person there. imagine taking the ferry to the statue of liberty and being the only person there except for the maintenance crew: it was like that. instead of having to wait the typical two hours to get down the stairs to the base of the statue (and then wait for the selfie-taking tourists to move on so you can take your own selfie with the statue), i had the whole place to myself.
beyond the buddha is wuyou temple, founded during the tang dynasty (a.d. 618-907). the most interesting part of the temple is its hall of 1000 arhats (buddhist saints). the hall is filled with terra-cotta statues, each individually molded and painted. the temple doesn’t allow photography inside – and they have cctv to monitor it – but i couldn’t leave without getting at least a few shots.