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November 1997 Archives

November 14, 1997

Wang Dai Fu, Man About Town.

Wang Dai Fu's Gang. From left to right; Dr. Wen, our translator and the hospital's anesthesiologist, Al, with his head finally not cut off at the top during a group shot, Wang Dai Fu, without a smile, he doesn't have to, and Linda with a smile, she doesn't have to either.

Wang Dai Fu. That means Dr. Wang. Dr. Wang is the man in charge of the Bell's Palsy ward at the Yunnan Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Linda and I are spending a couple of months with him.

Nobody is as cool as Wang Dai Fu. Dr. Wang wears black shirts with lightly colored floral ties. He's got this Mafia thing going on that looks great on him.

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Acupuncture Anesthesia

Acupuncture Anesthesia has been dreadfully under-utilized in the West, however, at the Yunnan Province TCM Hospital, in Kunming, its a common occurrence. Its a safe and effective means of inducing anesthesia without the dangerous side effects of Western drugs.

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The Dragon's Gate Monastery

Each step arduous and in danger,
Steadfastly you have to stand your ground;
Being high up in the firmament,
You had better set at ease your mind.

Those are the words you'll find outside one of the many caves at the Dragon's Gate monastery, which isn't exactly a monastery as much as it is a series of caves high in the West Hills near Kunming. Many of the caves feature a Buddhist deity and a plethora of vendors providing you with enough incense to choke an ancestor.

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The Huatingsi Monastery

If you're going to spend some time in the West Hills, outside of Kunming, and you really want to take in some ancient culture, fabulous artwork and just a hint of honest-to-goodness divinity, this is the place to go.

The Huatingsi Monastery isn't the highest location in the West Hills, in fact, I believe that it's the lowest, but from the depths of the mud comes forth the lotus and if it is the beauty of Chinese Buddhism that attracts you, you've come to the right place at Huatingsi.

Apparently, it all began in the year 1063. King Arthur was arguing with his carpenters regarding the shape of his kitchen table, the abacus was still high technology, and Vikings were discovering that America had already been discovered by the Indians who looked a little Chinese...

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The Jin Dian (Golden Temple) Taoist Monastery

We finally got to visit a real live Taoist Monastery. I was actually a little saddened by the reality of this monastery. It was just another tourist trap. Sure, there's lots of pretty buildings with colorful paintings and more than enough really big statues of Taoist deities, but the spirit of the temple is lost in the glamor of it all. Perhaps the spirit was lost when they built the temple in the first place.

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November 15, 1997

The Kunming Opera

The Beijing Opera (formally known as the Peking Opera) is a world-renown expression of all things Chinese. It's a mixture of singing, dancing, drama and martial arts. I've seen it a bit on television and I really like it. The music is accessible in a way that makes you want to hum along once you get it. The way in which people move on stage, their gestures and staging is quite different from the way in which Western actors use the stage. The set design rivals the finest Italian operas. The make-up reminds me a bit of kabuki theater in Japan. The musical instruments used are classically Chinese and the songs are as familiar to them as the best works of Rogers and Hammerstein are to us.

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November 27, 1997

Western Food That'll Curl Your Hair

Dear Mom and Dad,

The halfway point in my adventure has come. It's been two months. To me it feels like about a year.

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About November 1997

This page contains all entries posted to Beyond Beyond Well Being in November 1997. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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