Author's note:
All material on this website is covered by copyrite, `04/02.
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal.


GETTING MARRIED IN CHINA


`04/1/31
by
LEE A. WOOD

(Family portrait.)
IN THE MIDDLE, BLACK COAT, BIN (LIN). TO HER RIGHT, JIN MEI, WHITE COAT, BIN'S YOUNGER SISTER.
THE FAMILY GATHER AROUND A GREAT AUNT WHOM THEY HAVEN'T SEEN FOR YEARS.
THIS IS IN A SMALL TOWN (CALLED SHAO XING) ABOUT A DAYS DRIVE SOUTH OF SHANGHAI.
WE HAD GONE THERE TO INFORM THE AUNT OF THE DEATH OF HER SISTER

All of last year, Paul, from Prince George, and I, planned to spend January in Mexico.

`03 Nov. 22 Bin (Lin), my ex-wife and I left for China.

The day after we arrived, in Shanghai, Bin's mother died. (She had been failing for a long time)

You can read more about that in my story A DEATH IN CHINA.

(On a street in front of a shop.)
HUANG JIN MEI, IN WHITE COAT WITH A BROTHER AND 2 SISTER-IN-LAWS
THIS STREET IS A FAMOUS TOURIST SPOT IN SHAO XING

(Jin Mei with a hat on.)
JIN MEI, HAMMING IT UP
WE WERE TRYING ON HATS IN A SOUVENIR SHOP
(background coloured solid green.)
THE HAT BLENDED INTO THE BACKGROUND
SO I CHANGED THE BACKGROUND WITH PHOTO SUITE III

Back in Shanghai, Jin Mei's neighbours and friends are avid dancers.

Jin Mei booked tickets to take me to a disco on Christmas eve.

On the afternoon of Xmas Eve we went to a jewellery store.

(Jin Mei and I at supper.)
ON XMAS EVE THE FAMILY TOOK ME TO A RESTAURANT
FOR A SPECIAL DINNER
BEFORE WE WENT FOR SUPPER, I PROPOSED TO JIN MEI
(Jin Mei dancing and waving her hands.)
XMAS EVE AT THE DISCO
JIN MEI SHOWS HER RING TO HER FRIENDS
( Jin Mei holding a large envelope.)
MEI WEI WINS THE DOOR PRIZE AT THE DISCO
GIVES IT TO JIN MEI
( A friend holding a large envelope.)
SHORTLY, THEREAFTER, DING LING
JIN MEI'S FRIEND, WON A DOOR PRIZE

Both calendars were given to me as presents. They are lovely prints with metallic highlights and will grace the walls of our house after Jin Mei immigrates to Canada.

On Boxing day I flew back to Vancouver.

Paced the streets, impatiently, during the weekend and Monday morning got my papers from the government to show that I was divorced.

Took them to my lawyer who sent them to Victoria.

Took my passport to the visa office to arrange for another Chinese visa.

Went to Flight center and booked a ticket to Shanghai.

Not wanting to sit and stew in Vancouver, and still wanting to meet Paul, I booked a ticket to Mexico.

(Paul and Brenda look down from a balcony.)
PAUL AND HIS WIFE, BRENDA, AT OUR HOTEL
MI CASITA, IN ZIHUATANEJO
(View of a beach.)
VIEW OF PLAYA MADERA FROM OUR BALCONY

Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, my lawyer received my papers back from Victoria, translated them into Chinese, and sent them to the Chinese Embassy.

(Palm roof of a cabin.)
BELOW OUR ROOMS WAS A LOVELY CABANA THAT
I SAID I WOULD USE NEXT WINTER WHEN I TAKE MY WIFE TO ZIHU
BRENDA LAUGHED AND SAID, "FIRST YOU HAVE TO FIND A WIFE”
"NO PROBLEMO”, I REPLIED. THEY JUST LAUGHED AT ME
I HADN'T TOLD THEM, OR ANYONE, I WAS GETTING MARRIED

While in Zihu. we were able to renew acquaintances with some old friends, and to make new ones.

Zihu. is such a friendly town.

( Water across the road.)
HEAVY RAINS THE NIGHT BEFORE MEANT WE HAD TO
DRIVE THROUGH WATER IN SEVERAL PLACES
(A sign on a tree,(Parque Ecologico La Vainilla).)
OUR FRIENDS TOOK US INTO THE BACK COUNTRY TO A SMALL COMMUNITY

( A lovely water fall deep within the forest.)
LOCAL YOUNGSTERS LED ME UPSTREAM THROUGH THE PARQUE
(People gathered around and outdoor table.)
FRIENDS OF FRIENDS BARBEQUED A LARGE FISH
THAT WE HAD BOUGHT FROM FISHERMEN ON PLAYA
PRINCIPAL IN ZIHUATANEJO, EARLY THAT MORNING

(Sunset over the ocean from high on a hill.)
AS WE MADE OUR WAY OUT OF THE HILLS WE STOPPED TO ENJOY A MOST SPLENDIFEROUS SUNSET OVER IXTAPA

The day before Chinese New Year Eve I flew back to Vancouver, arriving at night.

The Chinese embassy had closed before I got there but before they closed they sent my papers back to my lawyer.

Hoping that the previous statement had occurred I slept in late on Chinese New Year Eve and arrived at my lawyer's office an hour after the courier.

I then hustled over to the visa office and picked up my passport an hour before they closed for Chinese New Year.

Needless to say I had been on pins and needles the entire time I was in Mexico and wasn't really able to relax and enjoy my trip for fear this thing wouldn’t time out.

The next day I flew to China.

The marriage office was closed for the New Year.

Consulting the calendar we discoverer that Sat. Jan. 31 was a lucky day.

The marriage office opened on Friday and they informed us they would be open on Saturday, because they had been closed all week.

(Sitting at a counter.)
JIN MEI AND BEAR REGISTER AT
THE WEDDING OFFICE IN SHANGHAI.

Saturday was kind of a Canada day at the wedding office.

The couple before us; the groom, a Chinese gentleman, was from Vancouver.

(Standing together on a platform before the official.)
`04/01/31 THE WEDDING CEREMONY

The couple after us; the bride, a Chinese lady, was from Vancouver.

(Family at supper.)
THE BRIDE'S FAMILY, TOAST THE NEW COUPLE, AT A CELEBRATORY DINNER

For our honeymoon we went south of Shanghai to Zhu Jia Jiao (the ancient city) (I wonder how many towns in china are called `the ancient city')

ZHU JIA JIAO
THE ANCIENT TOWN


CAO GANG RIVER AND THE `FREEING CAPTIVE ANIMALS BRIDGE®.
The bridge, with its five arches, was built, instead of a causeway, to allow egress to vessels and animals.

Author's note:
All material on this website is covered by copyrite. `04/2
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal.

At one time, Zhu Jia Jiao was an important shipping port. Barges filled the many man made canals as they carried wares to, and from, other towns and villages.

Zhu Jia Jiao is in the county of Qing Pu in the province of Shanghai. Only about an hour®s drive south of the city of Shanghai.

From Pu Dong, it cost us Y150 by taxi and our return trip, 70 minutes, by bus, to central Shanghai was Y15.

(A large parking area with a row of shops in the background.)
THE CENTRAL AREA OF TOWN IS A PARKING LOT.
Surrounding stores and restaurants offer most amenities.
In the evening the parking lot is surrounded by vendors selling their wares from blankets spread on the street.

Near the center of the row of stores is a driveway into the main hotel.

(Jin Mei and I in front of a hotel.)
THE SHANGHAI CAIYUAN HOTEL
WHERE WE STAYED IN FOR OUR HONEYMOON
The hotel offers: a full menu restaurant; a bowling alley; meeting rooms; sauna; and chess room.
(View from a room window.)
THE CENTRAL COURTYARD
One can enter the tourist zone through the back door of the hotel.
However there is security to see that you have purchased a pass for the day.

There is a fee, for non-residents, to enter the historic part of the town.

(Boats on a canal.)
SEVERAL BRIDGES CROSS THE MANY CANALS.
For an additional charge one can enjoy a one hour tour of the canals, by boat.
(An ancient street.)
BEIDA STREET
The streets are lined with vendors and seafood restaurants.

Some scenic spots are included in the gate price but the two temples are not.

(Main temple courtyard.)
TOWN GOD'S TEMPLE
(A large urn in the temple courtyard.)
TOURISTS TRY TO TOSS COINS INTO THE TOP OF THE URN
(A building in the temple courtyard.)
YAUNJIN MONASTIC
Built in 1341 it is also known as the Empress Temple.

(Two people swinging a long log supported by ropes.)
RINGING A BELL IN A TEMPLE THREE STRIKES FOR $1.00
One must climb several flights of stairs to reach this room but the view is spectacular.

The town is a labyrinth of canals. One needs a map to avoid getting lost.

Maps can be obtained from the desk in the lobby of the hotel.

(Boats tied up, on canal.)
CRUISERS DOCK
Photo taken from the room with the bell.
(Canal)


XI HU STREET
A rare moment, virtually no tourists.

(Entrance gate in long wall.)
WANG CHANG MEMORIAL HALL
(Sign on wall at entrance.)

(Bust of Wang Chang.)
WANG CHANG
Qing Dynasty.
(Central courtyard.)

(A box on wheels to carry important people.)
?
(Jin Mei in the box.)
Jin Mei waiting for the people, or horse, to pull the carriage.

( Jin Mei in the box, close up.)
BEAR
They said I was too big to fit through the door.
( Jin Mei in the box, close up.)
( Lee and Jin Mei in the box.)
BEAR, and JIN MEI

(Jin Mei and I standing on a bridge, cuddling.)
KEEPING EACH OTHER WARM.
THE WIND WAS CHILLY, OVER THE WATER
(A canal lined with old houses.)
A TOWN OF MANY MAN MADE CANALS

(A modern bridge.)
BACK TO SHANGHAI, ON THE NEW, LU PU BRIDGE OVER THE HUANG PU RIVER

So, now, my ex-wife is my sister-in-law, my ex-sister-in-law is my wife, my ex-step-son is my nephew and my ex-nephew is my step-son. Confusing?, but all in the family.

( a palm roofed cabin.)
AND NEXT WINTER I WILL TAKE JIN MEI TO ZIHU
AND WE WILL STAY IN THE BAMBOO CABANA
OVERLOOKING LA BAHIA ZIHUATANEJO
(Two rainbows over the bay of Zihuatanejo.)
SUN SHOWER SEEN FROM THE CABANA AT MI CASITA
WE DID MAKE TO ZIHU THE NEXT YEAR BUT
UNFORTUNATELY MI CASITA WAS BOOKED UP

END

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