"" Writer's Wanderings: ARK - Give Me An A!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

ARK - Give Me An A!

If you were to ask Mrs. Noah about her cruise aboard the ARK she might start by telling you that:

Adventures of a spiritual nature often come in unusual and unique ways.

I've blogged about our trip to China. It was part of a cruise we took through the South China Sea in October of  2007. The first 8 days were spent on land exploring Bejing, Xian, and a few other cities before boarding the cruise ship to sail to Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. The terra-cotta warriors, the Great Wall and the panda bears in China were all fascinating to see and I don’t regret for a moment the opportunity to have experienced China’s culture and tradition. But the food and the restroom facilities were truly something else. This is where that sense of adventure was supposed to come in that our travel agent had told us to pack.

Our first night in Bejing, we strolled up to a pedestrian mall dodging traffic at a few streets we had to cross. There are no traffic rules it seems and pedestrians are low on the food chain. The best advice we got from one of our guides was to close our eyes, step off the curb, and keep walking. If you stop you disturb the flow of traffic and there will be an accident.

At the pedestrian mall, there were lots of nice shops and then off to one side was an alley that led to the “real” China. Food booths lined the cramped and crowded alleyway.  There was all sorts of weird foodstuffs on a stick—bugs, snakes, seahorses—if you’ve ever watched the fellow on the travel channel who eats all the weird things, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The smell was enough to put you off of wanting to sample anything.

From Beijing we went to the Yangtze River. There for three days we cruised down the Yangtze River on a Chinese river boat. On board, the river boat food looked a bit more appetizing but much of the time was unrecognizable. Our China adventure was the only trip I’ve ever taken where I actually lost weight.

Before we left for China, I knew that we would be experiencing some tough days of travel, different foods, and cultural shock. Overcrowding. Trust me, our western style toilets are a luxury. So I had asked God to get me through it by showing me God Moments where I could see Him at work in this Communist country where people worshiped Buddha and gods of other Eastern religions.

One afternoon we transferred from the river boat to a smaller tourist catamaran that was to take us down a tributary of the Yangtze and through what they call the Lesser Gorges area. It was a beautiful area even though we saw most of it through a cold drizzly rain. We listened as our Chinese guide told us about the history, and pointed out the monkeys and other wild life that we met along the way. When we got to the turn around point and headed back, our guide began to tell us about local customs and traditions. Then she sang us a Chinese folk song. When she finished she asked that we help her to learn a song in English that she liked. She asked us to sing—Amazing Grace. One hundred voices rang out in the middle of the river in the middle of Communist China. It was the most beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace that I’ve ever heard.

Adventures of a spiritual nature often come in unusual and unique ways. But wait! There's more from Mrs. Noah. . .

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