Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rain on the mountains near Paotow

1936, by Pickens Jr., Rev. Claude L.
Eastern Suiyuan (绥远). Rain on the mountains near Paotow (包头).

In his diary dated June 22nd, Monday (1936), he wrote:"

Here we changed from the tenth to the 20th century and took a bus.
We bought an inside ticket for three dollars for a 400 li ride. Tickets
for the top of the bus would have been $2.00. Our bus was filled with
camel hair and wool with only Laurie and me inside. It was an eight to
nine hour ride over rather bumpt roads at what seemed flying speed. At
the first hundred li place was PA TS?(Z) PU LUNG in the site of a C. & ?.
??(As) experiment, similar to the R.C one in Norther Ningsia, but with much
less success. Most of the trip was over semidesert and grassland with
very little sedentary life. The last 300 li was South of the TA CH'ING
SHAN. Every now and then at a distance we could see a lamasary. Half
way we stopped at KUNG MIAO where we had lunch: boiled eggs and bitter
water. Finally we a strong wind behind us we reached Paotow.

PAOTOW, SUIYUAN. Just as we reached the city it started to rain.
Had this happened anywhere else our journey would have stopped until
the sun came out to dry things. They say that this is the first good
rain in 6 months. We went directly to the Swedish Mission where mail
was awaiting us. Mr. and Mrs. Swenson took us in and treated us kindly.
This town is very large and the center of much trade with Inner Mongolia
and Sinkiang. It was formerly one of the centers of trade with
?rga, but this is now stopped. One wonders what will happen when Japan
takes Inner Mongolia. Of course, it is also the beginning of the camel
caravans that go to and from Ningsia and Kansu. There are huge and
impressive inns and shops with Mongolian and Chinese characters on them.
There are two mosques here, but I was too tired to look for them."

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