Lotus Flowers

7 Sep

Despite my last post, I have found some pretty awesome things here in Chengdu, especially now that we’ve had a solid day of cool, rainy weather and no longer feel like I’m about to die.

My favorite (non-edible) thing so far is the flowers.

We have two lotus flower ponds here at Chuanda (the nickname for my uni) right at the entrance of the north gate. They do make for a startlingly good first impression, especially as you exit off the bustling first ring road. There are always students reading, old people gossiping, young toddlers doing whatever toddlers do, and the few remaining pedicabs in the city loitering nearby for a fare.

I haven’t ridden one yet, even though I see people of all ages doing so. The idea (and power dynamics inherent in the situation) makes me uncomfortable. However, I do see that they provide a valuable service, given that just walking from the gate to the dorms is enough to raise a sweat. (PROTIP: When in Chengdu, do as the locals do. Walk slow, drink lots of tea, go out at dusk and later. This is less of a “relaxed western china lifestyle” and more of “how we managed to not kill off everyone from heat exhaustion”.)

But yeah, pretty pretty lotus flowers. I think they’re kinda neat, as flowers go. They have all this symbolism in Chinese mythology and in Buddhism. I mean, there’s this gorgeous pink flower that grows very tall (like several feet) out of the dirtiest, muddiest pond scum water. If that isn’t a metaphor for Buddhist enlightenment and the human condition, I give up. (Oh, wait…)

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5 Responses to “Lotus Flowers”

  1. Maya September 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    “They’re neat, as flowers go.” I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU. You, as always, are my hero.

    • Dad September 9, 2011 at 2:05 am #

      How did the internship go?

  2. Dani September 8, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    :) I love it.

  3. Dad September 9, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    So would a photo of the pretty pink flower be too much to ask?

  4. Karen Luksich September 9, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I love lotus flowers. I grew them in Munster. I thought I could grow them in Las Vegas but it’s too dry here. I would like to see a nice shot of one though. Good to hear how things are going for you.
    Hugs,
    Gramma

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