Friday, September 18, 2015

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow (David Bowie)

My eldest son and his partner (Diya) are in China for a few weeks. This is part of his first message back to friends and family. I thought it needed a wider audience - he's a talented writer!

We went straight from Hong Kong airport to some kind of bus depot. You walk around a corner and get smacked in the face by a bunch of women standing at kiosks shouting at you to go to them for tickets. When you're jet lagged that's kind of confronting. 
We got a couple of tickets to Guangzhou via Shenzhen. There are dozens of custom points where I checked in my visa to enter China. The queue for "foreigners' Was suspiciously empty.  
We got on another bus (the third by the this point) and continued through Shenzhen. Shenzhen is one of those immense industrial cities that sprung up in the 1980s. Row upon row of gigantic apartment blocks and buildings emblazoned with giant neon corporate signage. Many of them had no lights on - empty. I honestly have no words for how massive and sprawling these structures are. They seem to extend endlessly.  
So I'm staring out the windows of this rundown bus. A woman at some point asked something. I heard "lao wai" followed by some laughter. If anyone claims to have a high level of perspicacity, it will be sorely tested by travelling into China. Most of the time I'm dumbfounded by these little interactions. 
After a two hour bus ride with a driver that treated this vehicle like a 15 year old would a shit box Toyota hatchback, we got to Guangzhou. 
So far I haven't really done much here. We've walked around a little. Went to a supermarket that sells western food products - kind of a Walmart/Warehouse affair. You can buy crocodile meat for 130RMB/kg. A portion of one was sticking out of a bed of ice with one leg intact. I got some frosties and other regular food.  
Last night we went for a walk. We could hear a football game from the colossal Tianhe Stadium (everything at this point can be described as such so I may as well drop it - just read everything as Brobdingnagian). Pretty much everyone looks, stares or glances at me. I'm in two minds about it. Mostly I'm surprised by how little I care. Sometimes it bothers me when I'm all shitty and sweaty (it's hot here, naturally).  
Around the stadium there are facilities for table tennis and badminton. Everyone seems very active, I suppose because the sun goes down and work is done. Cops were sitting around idly with helmets and night sticks. Either riots are common after football games or it's protocol. Seemed like over kill.  
Love and peace - Abu Keegan

BTW - this is my 600th post on this blog!! A pretty cool milestone.

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