Fun fact: the Chinese character for "river" (江 jiāng) originally referred only to the Yangtze river.
Nowadays they call it the Long river (长江 chángjiāng). And after walking across the Wuhan Changjiang Number 2 Bridge during Day 3 (technically Day 4 but who's counting? (answer: Jon is)) of our trip to Hubei, I can tell you that the Yangtze river is not just long but wide. Fun fact #2: Chinese "yo' mama" jokes often employ a reference to the Yangtze river following the clause, "Yo' mama's ass is so wide...". Fun fact #3: the last fact was false. There are no jokes in Chinese.
But seriously, it's a wide-ass river (or as some would say, a wide ass-river). Crossing it on foot took us (me and Jon and Michael, a Wuhan PiAer) a good twenty minutes, leaving plenty of time to contemplate photo opportunities, for instance, of ourselves:
But I also got to take some photos of the bridge itself, and in doing so I did something culturally significant (a.k.a. bloggable!) that I completely forgot about until I was reviewing my photos back at home. Take a look at the following three pictures (in chronological order) and see if you can guess what it was:
Is it as obvious as I think it is? I think a lot of Western tourists in China do this too: When taking photos, if possible, I try to include something "China-ey" in the frame. In the first frame there's Chinese characters on the bridge, but as for the traffic it may as well be Cleveland. Then I saw a guy on a bike (riding bikes is a Chinesey thing, right? answer: it is if the biker is Chinese). Then I saw a guy on a motorized bike with three large cardboard boxes on the back. Bingo! Everyone knows that carrying oversize loads on two wheels is an Asian Thing! If there had been a man jogging right behind him carrying fifty-two sheets of drywall on his back, then I'd have had to wait for a fourth photo-op.
This photo proves, if it weren't already obvious, that the Yangtze's got some muddy-ass water down there. Speaking of muddy ass-water, I now no longer have diarrhea. Just thought anyone who reads this might want to know.
Back at the provincial museum, Jon and I were pleased to discover that the line was no longer ridiculous, and finally we reaped the benefits of free admission (free admission probably being the reason this museum is so popular).
Read the end of the description above this ancient ceremonial vessel:
I laughed pretty heartily at that, because that's exactly the kind of stuff David used to show me after meeting with his tutor to talk about the Analects, and I'll be darned if he isn't off at Nanjing University right now still doing it. More power to him, I say. By, the way, "King Zhou of Chu, now there's a motherfucker who knows how to observe decorums!" is how I think that last line should have been translated.
This set of bells are the real draw of the museum, purported to be one of the oldest (or possibly the oldest) musical instruments on earth:
Also, I thought this was a pretty neat way to display a collection of arrowheads:
Since you were probably wondering about the title of this post, finally, I should tell you about this girl we saw at the museum snack bar with a terrible drinking problem: