30.06.2007 - 30.06.2007 24 °C
Now after two years in China one would think that I have seen it all. But every now and then I get completely blind sided. Today after realizing I would not be leaving Xining for another day I decided to set off on my own. Caught the public bus to the train station and then walked down some side streets to go to an Mabufeng's home,the old warlord of Qinghai in the 1940s.
After approuching it the first thing I noticed that there was a still an intact red hall attatched to the the warlord's house. I thought this was pretty cool. Espicially after I entered the old red hall and saw that it had been turned into a local market, mainly staffed by muslims (Hui or Sala). After this side adventure I entered the house and began to walk around.
On first impression this palace looked like a pretty standerd pre communist mansion. There were lots of quartyards and some western influnce. Then the strange began. First an entire wing (formally the womens wing) had been turned into an exhibit on the different minorities in Qinghai Province. After looking at all the "happy" minorities I decided I wanted to leave (this is after spending two hours looking around the rest of the house). Well apparently I was not I following the proper exit signs because the next thing I knew I was at a dead end.
It seemed to me not many tourists went to this last series of quart-yards in this house. Because there were some strange things going on.
Now in this last quartyard there was a gallery to ancient building methods (which i am guessing was added after the warlord had left) and an area that at one time was a military barracks. Once again I am pretty sure this was added after Mr Feng had fled because it was still in the womens area, male soldiers and lonely rich daughters bad combination. I personally think that might be a fathers worst nightmare. But when I looked around I saw:
First a dog, not super strange, it was tied up and looked like lassy.
Second a chicken, Ok so maybe some of the local migrant workers that lived in the mansion still needed a chicken (this is true I looked into some windows and saw some of the warlord areas had been converted into dorms, that is not strange in China).
Third and last A GOAT!!!! Why is there a goat! This house is in the mddle of a city of 2 million people and suppose to be a major tourist sight. And completely to my disbelief there is a goat chilling eating the grass that at one time had been an eloquent garden.
After standing there for 20 minutes trying to figure out how this seen had come into being a goat, some chickens and few dogs tied up in the back of an old quart yard home I gave up. I retraced my path back to the front of the house slowly coming across more and more people. Eventually hitting a Chinese tour group with a yellow flag and blow horn announcing made up facts. I wondered as I exited this building how the tour guide would explain the existence of these animals? Maybe the tour guide announced something along the lines of: "These animals are the decedents of the private animals of the great Mabu Fang, now take pictures 5 kaui!"