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This past Christmas holiday I went back to China and spent a week in my ancestral home city of Chongqing. This visit was really different from all of my previous visits, and I was able to accomplish more than the sum of all my previous visits. I come from an abusive, matriarchal background that basically tries to tie me up and treat me like a dog, but this time they relented and let me go out to places on my own because they are beginning to realize that I won't be pushed around. Anyways. I only spent a short amount of time in Chongqing so I really had to make the most of my time. One week was certainly not enough to really meet people and especially females. I don't live there nor do I plan to because it's the tiger's den for me. I have an ex from there (she's currently attending GWU, majoring in Global Security / Counter-Terrorism and will surely go for an MA) who also went back for the holiday, but it's not hard to figure out why we didn't meet.
The first place I visited was Ciqikou, a couple kilometers from downtown CQ (Jiefangbei / Nanping area). It's mainly a market area with small shops and food. The people who run the shops and stalls live in small neighborhoods behind the market area. It's one of the more well-known destinations to visit in Chongqing, and I saw a lot of northerners there. Many of them were young guys with their girlfriends and a decent number of the girls were attractive, at least by my standards. I had some meat on skewers and tried some fried dough twists, one of Chongqing's specialties. In an alley near the back of the market I saw a couple arguing with each other. The woman was tired of running a shop with her husband and wanted a "better life." She was hurling insults and profanities at the man, and he just took it like a total p***y. Among the more interesting shops at Ciqikou were a tattoo parlor and one or two shops owned by artists that drew self-portraits for tourists. At another shop that sold a bunch of random stuff I found a deck of collector's edition poker cards with images of Japanese AV actresses.
Hongyadong's a similar place to Ciqikou. It's located in downtown Chongqing by the Yangtze River. Like Ciqikou, it's also a popular tourist destination for people all over China. Some of the buildings there are partially hanging from a cliff. Like Ciqikou, the main part of my visit to Hongyadong was culinary. I had a bowl of "suan la fen" at one of the small restaurants there, it's a staple of Chongqing / Sichuan cuisine and I enjoyed it. It wasn't that spicy, with the sour taste somewhat eclipsing the spiciness. Like at Ciqikou, I saw lots of northerners and some of the girls were decently attractive to me.
I also got to visit a couple of historic heritage sites. There's a museum on Nan Shan (Southern Mountain, more like a hill that's about 580m high), about 30 minutes by taxi from downtown Chongqing. There they have preserved the houses that Nationalist leaders once lived in during the war against Japan. Chongqing became the capital after Nanjing's fall to the Japanese in 1938. Due to its mountainous terrain, the Japanese could only send their planes to bomb the city but could not get their army in. One of the mansions was the residence of Song Qingling, one of the famed Three Song Sisters. She was married to Sun Yat-Sen and enthusiastically supported her husband's political ideas. She saw her sister Song Meiling's husband Chiang Kai-Shek as a dictator and a betrayer of Sun's "Three Principles For the People." She later began supporting the Communists, and as a result of this, she didn't get along with her sister. Song Qing Ling only lived in Chongqing for a month. Among the old photos and writings (original) preserved in the two-story house was an article written by Song Qing Ling in English for the New York Times. In the piece, she pleads for assistance from America in China's war effort, highlighting China's will to resist, while arguing that the Japanese public's dissatisfaction towards the war (the Japanese population was heavily taxed and exploited in various ways) and Japan's lack of self-sufficiency in natural resources would ultimately lead to defeat. I read a couple fragments of her piece, which caught the attention of two museum guides standing behind me. One's 35, a very bookish looking mum that wears glasses. She's from Changshou County, which is actually the hometown of my biological dad. The younger one's 26, from Kaixian (Kai County), has a boyfriend but is not married yet. The three of us chatted a little about our shared passion for history, and I was able to add them on Wechat. Me being an overseas Asian attracted their curiosity. Both of them are quite nice and down-to-earth. By then the museum was about to close for the day, so I quickly made my way up to the top of the hill which sat the house of Chiang and Song Mei Ling. It was a slightly bigger house than Song Qing Ling's, but not by much. On the first floor was a conference room used for planning troop deployments. On the wall was a map (original) depicting the war situation in 1943. Those of you familiar with history will know that by 1943 the Axis nations were increasingly on the defensive. The living room and bedroom were on the second floor. Looking at some old photos on the walls, during his spare time Chiang liked to drink tea and read books with his wife. There was also a photo of Chen Qing Geng, a man of Fujianese ancestry who led the Nanyang (Singapore and Malaysia) Chinese Association. There were ethnic Chinese from Malaysia and Singapore who returned to China to assist in the war effort. Unfortunately the vast majority of modern day Chinese Malaysians and Chinese Singaporeans no longer feel any connection with the land of their ancestors, and very much prefer to identify with the West instead. Chen was the founder of Nanyang University, which provided a Chinese education, but it was later boycotted by the emerging Anglophile tyrant Lee.
After I finished my tour I enjoyed the natural scenery on Nan Shan. I couldn't find a taxi to go down the hill, so I took the bus instead. Buses in Chongqing are smaller than the ones in Beijing. Taxi drivers were friendly and quite easy to start conversations with. People from Chongqing are often known to have a fiery temper when provoked, and I saw quite a bit of it, but they were generally friendly and helpful towards me.
Yang Ren Jie (Foreigner Street) was really boring. Unlike what the name suggests I didn't see a single foreigner there except a couple of people from Xinjiang (Uyghurs, but technically they aren't foreigners) selling lamb skewers. I ate a few. I saw several stalls selling Hunan-style "stinky tofu". Not a fan of it, didn't bother trying some. The place was nothing more than a bunch of street food stalls and a small amusement park.
I wanted to visit a place with art, so I went to the campus of the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts in Jiulongpo District. Usually art / music schools tend to be quite oriented towards females. I tried my luck at cold approaching but had no success. Oh well, couldn't expect anything when I was nothing more than a tourist in Chongqing. There's a small gallery exhibiting some of the art work created by the students. Decent technique, but no life or soul. A good painting to me is one where I can imagine myself inside the painting. I did not get that feeling. Across the street from the campus were some shops selling artwork and art supplies. I went into one of the shops that was selling both Western-style and traditional Chinese style art. Nothing impressive, everything felt very commercialized, but the double portrait of a happy young couple caught my eye. I know that my happiness, blessed by God, will come soon. I know that in the near future I will finally be given compensation for all I've endured. A few of the female college students I saw there were driving their own vehicles. Car ownership among college students in the West seems to be the norm, but in China it's still relatively recent. Personally, I'm a non-driver.
The next two days I just wandered around without going anywhere in particular. I had a small cup of soft tofu ("dou fu nao") and a bowl of really spicy rice noodles with beef. I was panting for breath after finishing it. I came across this bird seller on the street who was selling parakeets, lovebirds, finches, cockatiels, and two magpies. Seeing the magpies was interesting, as I had never known of this species being sold as pets.
A lesser known historical site in Chongqing is the former site of the Korean (now South Korea) government-in-exile. Korea sent a delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, demanding freedom from Japanese occupation, but they didn't make it in time. The Nationalist government of China allowed them to set up a government-in-exile, first in Shanghai. In 1932 when Shanghai fell to the Japanese, these Korean officials kept escaping west until they eventually established themselves in Chongqing. The provisional government in Chongqing was one among a few others. Korean soldiers fought alongside Chinese soldiers during the war against Japan, and Koreans also formed their own military or paramilitary organizations in China. Some of these were assassination and saboteur groups that conducted clandestine operations. Korean officers attended and graduated from Chinese military academies such as the Whampoa Military Academy (Huangpu Jun Xiao) in Guangzhou. There were a number of Korean servicemen in the US, who trained in military intelligence and as pilots. It was interesting to see how the affairs of an entire nation and people in exile were managed from such a small block. The higher ranking officials such as Cabinet members and the Chairman had offices and a conference room on the top floor of the main building. These officials of the provisional government lived on the outskirts of Chongqing, where their children attended schools, receiving a Korean education directed by the government-in-exile's Ministry of Culture and Education.
I had dinner with the two ladies on the last day of 2016. We went to this mini-hot pot restaurant at Shapingba near Wan Da Plaza. I had a good time with them and the mum brought her cute 4-year old son. Due to stomach issues I couldn't eat a lot, but it was a pleasant evening having dinner with two down-to-earth women. After dinner the younger woman headed for her Mazda in the parking lot, while I followed the mum and her son to the bus stop. We chatted a bit more on the bus, where she apologized to me for not focusing enough on me during dinner because she had to look after her son. She's quite a gentle mum, which is great. A woman that will make a good, kind, wise, and gentle mum is definitely something that men should look for.
Overall this was a decent trip and it's reinvigorated me with the strength and will to leave the West for good and sever ties with my abusers. Now I'm back in the good old Anglosphere, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll have this damn piece of paper known as a degree by 2018, and then I will finally escape.
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Great Post. The history of the Song sisters is an interesting one - seemingly they had very different personalities. I haven't been to Chongqing only Chengdu - the best historical sight I saw there was Dufu's thatched cottage, which was a big park with a range of attractions including statues of various poets, a pagoda, Dufu's house of course and an archaeological excavation. I liked the people in Chengdu, taxis drivers etc were good guys - where as in Beijing and Shanghai I find there is a large percentage of hard to deal with taxi drivers. Chinese friends have always said the women of Sichuan are beautiful, I can't remember seeing any beautiful girls though. I much prefer the girls in the north, Dalian especially - from your post it looks like you feel the same way.
Where do you plan to live when you graduate?