As always the last week in Wudang has come all too quickly. The first few of painful weeks are long gone, leaving the muscles and joints open to a new point of balance, and unbelievably getting up at 5.10am has become almost effortless.
The temple is now indeed full of people, and for this reason alone I will not be too upset to be heading home next week. There is word that it will be closed again for another 6 months for more work but presently training is coloured by groups of tourists getting in the way. My favourite was struggling on my 15th pressup and having someone crouch down and take a picture almost directly in my face. I almost punched a stranger for the first time in my life. But luckily I was too tired to be truly angry and managed to laugh at my self-importance and accept being a temporary tourist attraction. On a positive note the temple is going to be the home of a huge Daoist gathering in Wudang this week, and it has been amazing to see monks, nuns, priests and scholars from all the other daoist mountains in China arriving in town.
Aside from training, I had the very great honour of being Master Yuan's nephew's maid of honour at a wedding
last week. I cannot explain the fun, madness, hilarity and sheer noise volume of a chinese wedding but it was an unforgettable experience that started at 7am. We went from the groom's house with
a group of musicians/large number of fireworks and people to the bride's house and broke down the door, where the groom put her over his shoulder and carried her to the wedding car. We then drove
around town for an hour with the whole wedding party and then went back to the groom's house, where the bride was again carried up 8 flights of stairs and then on to the ceremony at a big hotel
in Wudang where a man in a glittery suit opened the ceremony with karaoke and the vows were said in 5 minutes as bubbles blew from a machine with 'romantic' music playing. Apparently the best man
and I (also a westerner) were supposed to do a whole bunch of duties that noone explained to us but overall it seemed to go very well and was a fascinating insight into china.