Wenshu Monastery

I woke up later today around 10 AM. 

My throat felt worse than the day before. My swollen glands still irritate me from time to time and I always cough up nasty yellow mucus in the shower. I think I caught something from the train ride a few days ago.

Anyway, I dressed up in some of Eric’s clothes and prepared for my interview with Hampson Learning at 2 PM. They didn’t go into detail about anything so I made my own plan teaching basic ESL.

Watches
Chris bought a watch off an old Shu Shu for 60 Kwai.

I practiced a few times, threw on some clothes and hit the road on a ten to 15 minute walk towards the center. I grabbed some food on the way from the local Wowo. I think I’m down to like 125 or 130 pounds. It’s impossible to muster up an appetite and most the time I end up ordering super hot food since I can’t speak the language.

I end up always getting Bauzá, which looks like a big cream puff filled with greasy meatballs, pork or chicken. Three of these can fill me for under a few RMB.

Wenshu Monastery
A beautiful, detailed, temple inside of Wenshu Monastery

I walked into the appointment a half hour early and sat around until 2 PM trying not to fall asleep. The same Chinese woman from yesterday interviewed me. She asked basic questions about my education and job history. The issue being obtaining a work visa and still getting a chance to travel. We tried to work something out so backpacking to Vietnam, Thailand and Laos would be possible. She suggested starting the work visa from January 2015 to January 2016. Honestly that seemed very promising. I thought about it and then I ended up doing a demo to a Chinese girl who pretended to be 12 years old.

Dumbing down my language took a while to grasp. They offered part time work for two months starting as soon as possible, which turned into full time in February. That meant I needed to stay here until February of 2016. The deal breaker shed light when she said I’d be teaching every week for a year since the students still learn at the training centers even when they are on breaks from school. I can’t commit to that.

I decided to walk away from the opportunity. Taking that job will interfere with my travels and I can make more in the summer at WNY Skydiving anyway due to my lack of ESL teaching experience.

Wenshu Monastery
An intricate statue inside the walls of the Wenshu Monastery

I called Chris and met up with him and Sarah. The metro took us to Wenshu Monastery. We walked around town through these little secluded alleyways that connected to the main roads. Booth after booth of Chinese merchants outlined the perimeter. Most sold old currency or antique Buddha’s, but one old Chinese man took to antique watches. Shockingly, many still worked. We checked them out for a while and I began to understand how Chinese culture worked. In China, you bargain for goods. If the price is 100 RMB, you say you’ll pay 50 RMB and maybe you both settle on 70 RMB. In this case, Sarah haggled down the price to 60 RMB for Chris. This reminded me much like the pawn shops in America.

Wenshu Monastery
Just an ordinary pond with detailed Chinese, rock, engravings inside of it.

We ended up walking around and checking out Wenshu Monastery. The Chinese government maintained it quite well. The architecture remained in pristine condition. Most writings on structures translated directly from Sanskrit. The dark red walls of the Monastery appeared freshly painted next to the black trim. An old traditional building with dark red pillars, black walls and a hint of yellow Chinese symbols amassed a huge area inside the monastery walls. The intricate details engraved on every square inch of the structure looked like machine work.

Seeing this put me in awe because the Chinese culture is so much more distinguished compared to America’s melting pot.

Below is a video of my Chinese friend Eric. He was drunk as shit kissing the GoPro. He invited me into his apartment to stay for a few months while I travel ChengDu and explore the world one country at a time. Thank you Eric!

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Brian Cray is not a cyclist. He’s not a hitchhiker. He’s not a train hopper or an adrenaline junkie. He’s just an ordinary man with gypsy blood in his veins, who can’t seem to settle down. Nothing defines him. He goes wherever this world takes him on this journey we call life, roaming the world, at will, by any means. He aspires for a life of indefinite travel, a tiny home in the woods for him and his wife, and any work that keeps him wanderin’. Brian Cray is a travel writer at heart, sharing his stories with the world one keystroke at a time.

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