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October 05, 2004

Tai He Park

Mr Qiu had to go back to work early but we could catch up in the afternoons. This afternoon we climbed another hill in Qingtian called Tai He Park. It is directly behind No 2 Middle School where a lot of our friends live. When we actually lived in Qingtian we tried to find it many times but always failed. But today with a bit of guidance we found our way, right passed Qingtian jail. Another thing we didn't know existed, a friend Isabel (born and bred in Qingtian) also didn't know it existed. Ahhh the funny Chinese people!!

Half way up the hill is a Yellow Temple. There were about 10 of us on the walk, about 5 adults and 5 kids. The kids raced ahead of us and we met them in the temple. Cherry, Jeebies daughter was in the temple and beating a big shell drum. One monk appeared. By the time we arrived we were having a great chat about different customs and meanings in different religions.

yellow temple.jpg

Trev was about to strike the drum, when Mr Qiu stopped him. The background to beating this particular drum is it arouses attention in an emergency. From Cherry beating the drum there were now 4 monks around us wondering what the matter was. I imagine the conversation was something like "stupid laowei" as they walked in as Trev had the drum stick raised above his head about to beat it. In actual fact he'd never made a noise but the evidence was in his hand.

At the top of the hill there is a huge rock with some cranes (bird variety) carved out. Qingtian is also known as the "crane city" although there aren't any actual birds there. Legend has it that years ago there were many Cranes in Qingtian. A taosit monk was studying martial arts and lived on Tai He hill. He practiced for many years and when he thought he was good enough, he used his sword and cut the rock in half. This proved his strength and the Cranes flew him to heaven, but they never returned. Hence Qingtian is known as Crane city, but has no cranes.

On the downward climb we met a park cleaner. He pointed to every rock and tried to convince us if we looked hard enough we could see a crane in every rock. Trev and Jo legend has it that the man has gone mad from living on the hill amongst the make believe cranes.

Posted by Jo on October 5, 2004 10:32 PM
Category: Qingtian
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