Friday, 16 September 2011

At the temple and the bathhouse

Friday was a good day.  Not as hot as the previous few days, but still humid.  Went for my run and then met AJ at 9:45 outside our college. He took me to another bike repair guy. This one has a van so if we breakdown irreparably by the roadside he can come and pick us up. Then as per usual AJ raced off to another job.

In the meantime I went over to the first bike guy, the one I bought the scooter off for an oil change. I’d done 300k so it was time for the oil to change – 30y (£3 ish). Then I had a walk around the shops in that district – its one of the few areas in Nanjing that allows street stall, apparently they are illegal in the rest of the city.

Then back to my flat. Aj came around at about 12:30 to take me to a Buddhist temple. So it was off past our college, past the new bike man he had shown me which was a bit ironic cos AJ’s exhaust dropped off enroute to the temple. 

Anyway we continued to the temple, AJ’s scooter sounding like a full bore formula 1 motorbike.  Being in his slipstream was deafening.  At the temple we bought some candles and things that were not quite incense sticks but more like smoke sticks.

The temple itself was fantastic. As you can see from the pictures there were some really beautiful and old statues of Lord Buddha. We lit our candles, waved the smoke sticks to the North, South East and West and paid our obeisance’s to the deities.  We didn’t really see half of it and it will be worth going back.

Then off to the bathhouse, which fortunately was next to another bike repairman. In fact it was the bike shop where AJ had bought his exhaust pipe so it was fortuitous.  So we left the bike there to be fixed while we were wallowing.

We swapped our shoes for flip-flops and a locker key.  Once in side we stripped naked (don’t linger on that thought) and had a shower.  In the main room was a deep bath, like the ones I used to have when playing rugby before health and safety made us all have showers.  There was also a massage type table. It was onto this that AJ jumped after the shower. I slid into the hot waters of the bath.

Once on the table a guy uses a rough glove thing and gives you a rigorous rub down ALL over. Then before he turns you over sluices you off with hot water from the bath.  Then it was my turn.  I must admit it was nice as he sloughed 57 years of dead skin off my body. Then it was another shower and off to the pub for a pint.

The place was a bit shoddy and was clearly meant for locals not tourists or westerners, which accounts for the fact it only cost 20y.  But I enjoyed it. There was also a sauna, which we didn’t use, but I will when it gets a bit cooler here.

At the Blue Marlin, the Rugby was on and many of the teachers turned up. Later, with Peggy and Tom I went down to the local Metro forecourt where loads of food stalls set up after about 5pm and had a great plate of egg fried rice. Tom had noodles and some meat kebab things. It was nice and cost 5y. (50p)

Tom waiting patiently 

Just been for a run (Saturday) and off for a coffee with Tom and Peggy after a shower. Then Rugby later in the Blue Marlin!

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