‘What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others’
These are the wise words of Confucius, the 6th Century BC humanist philosopher whose teachings have influenced China for two millenia. Qufu is where Confucius was born which is why we’re here.
Its the smallest town we have visited in China so far and is very low rise with a relaxed atmosphere. Even the rickshaw hawkers laugh when you turn them down. This morning we are up with the larks and outside the front gate of the Confucius temple with about 100 Chinese tourists. The gates open and a costumed procession of musicians emerge. A HUGE PA system hums and crackles into life and gongs, drums and woodwind blare out waking the neighborhood. An important looking gent in a blue silk outfit and a hat announces things VERY LOUDLY. Soldiers in plastic hats with flags and dancing girls stream through the gates and perform for the smartphones.
Once the performance is over we all head through bag xray scanners and the ticket check and explore the temple. In a room near the back are some wonderful old carved bas relief stones.
We have a pit stop of meat buns – lamb and spicy chicken, then we walk to the Confucius cemetery.
The cemetery is an oasis of calm and tranquility. At one point I can only hear birdsong. Confucius’s grave is decorated with offerings of flowers and ribbon. Two teenage lads prostrate themselves in reverence. We walk around the cemetery in the sunshine.
On the way back we see a lady making toffee so we stop and try some. Its good. We buy her sesame toffee which is already boxed and when we try it on the way home realise it is very stale and leave it on a bin.
I have chicken cubes and spicy peanuts for lunch which is not very good.
To be truly happy and contented, you must let go of what it means to be happy or content. Guess who?