Professor Wayne Ackerson
Survey of World History
16 February, 2015
Daily Life In China
February 16th, 2015: A team of scientist and journalist recently tested out the newest technology of time travel. They have chosen to send themselves to a random location in the years between 1250 and 1276. The following are journal entries of their experiences.
January 10th, 1275 City of Quinsai: After an intense ride in the time machine we have just landed in an absolutely beautiful city named Quinsai. After a brief look around it looks very similar to the idea of paradise. There were plenty of extravagant buildings which were restaurants, hotels, taverns, and houses of singing girls (pg. 49). We took note of the intense commercial activity and extreme density of the population. We figured the high population was due to trade. This was true in a sense because in the centre of the city there were shops that had luxurious goods from all over China, India, and the Middle East. A member of our team noticed that a lake called “The West Lake” was heavily guarded by military members. The reason being was so that civilians would not throw garbage in the lake. This lake had beautiful boats of all shapes and sizes. These boats were worked by men using his feet on a large oar fixed to the stern and had names like ‘Hundred Flowers’, ‘Golden Lion’, and ‘Yellow Boat’. It seemed as though some boats were for transporting goods and net-fishing and other boats there were people partying and having a good time (pg. 53-55). Quinsai seemed as a prime example of the beauty we were about to experience on our journey in time travel.
January 25th, 1275 10:30 AM, Hangchow (Hangchow’s living standards): Our team of scientist and journalist have just taken another ride in the time machine and have landed in Hangchow. A team member of the journalist crew took note of the inhabitants and noticed how beggars and people who didn’t have shelter were provided with temporary accommodations. These temporary accommodations were provided due to the frequent fire outbreaks in the community. Military barracks, boats on the lake, and monasteries were shelters the victims could stay at (pg. 113). We also took note of the way poor people lived as opposed to rich people. Surprisingly there was not much of a difference in terms of the construction of their homes. All buildings were rectangular in shape and the construction was of wooden pillars resting on stone support and sunk 10 to 20 inches in the ground. The size was measured by the space between pillars and the whole structure was light so that the base could be mobile to another area if necessary (pg. 114). The construction of the buildings were extremely similar but the outlay was different in poorer districts. In poorer districts the buildings were laid to form a U for sake of a courtyard. On the roofs of the buildings we took note that the curves of the roofs were not nice and pretty. We asked a local on why this is and his reply was that nice and upward curved roofs were preserved for higher class individuals and government buildings. There was no need to waste the money for that asset. Peasants were noticed selling quantities of cryptomeria-wood to merchants on the side of the roads which were made of stone. It was also noted that stone was a valuable material because it was used for their bridges, ramparts, and dykes as well.
January 25th, 1275 12:37PM, (King Fanfurs palace): As our team of journalist and scientist continued on our time travel experiment we ran into what we believe to be King Fanfurs palace. The exterior was incredible and reminded us of the city Quinsai. The palace had very high walls and it divided into three sections. We asked permission to tour the palace and King Fanfur gladly accepted. As we entered through the large gate we noticed large columns painted gold and fine azure supporting the main roof. When we entered the palace the ceiling had strong golden ornaments and the