Transportation Issue 1. I would like to say that we are spending a quiet day ruminating on our time in China, but that would be a lie. This afternoon, apparently, the Chinese Air Force has decided to do some test flights over our apartment – or should I say JUST over our apartment. I thought one was going to land on us. They spent about an hour doing their flights which were every 1-2 minutes. It is quite noisy.
Transportation Issue 2.The last day we were in Guilin, we wandered through the central square. It was huge (Think floor of BC Place) and half of it was covered with these tents which were selling these e-bikes. They cost about $350.00 and require no driver’s or vehicle license – just buy it, have the mechanic set it up for you and away you go. No helmet required. They go about 25 km. on a charge if you use the headlight at night and 29 km. if you don’t use the headlight. I think I have seen one headlight on in the eight months we have been here. They do come in many pretty colours, though, don’t you think?
Transportation Issue 3. In most parts of the world, this would be called, oh, I don’t know – a MAP. Not at the Guilin Airport, though.
Transportation Issue 4. Now this. Terry and I have had a – let’s call it an intense debate this week about some of my actions lately. Terry contends that I am trying to change China – I contend that I am only dealing with people who directly interfere with me – the people around me at the concert who take away my enjoyment by talking (I turn and stare), the woman who steps on my right toe while I’m in sandals and doesn’t apologize (my left foot responds automatically in defense of its sibling making “incidental” contact with her leg), the guy who tries to force his way past me and 1000 others in the lineup leaving the outdoor theatre (my arm reaches out and grabs him). (Ed. Note: Terry’s convinced I am going to get bopped in the nose before we are done here.) However, this morning I did enter into a discussion, which, to be perfectly honest, had nothing whatsoever to do with me.
We were down at Moon River and resting on a bench next to the parking lot. In front of us is a space with a sign that says “Buses”. This SUV shows up, a kid about ten gets out and goes to move the sign. The guard comes over and says “No, this area is for buses” (Yes, my Chinese is getting quite good). The driver, who turns out to be a woman, gets into a 5 minute conversation with him. She’s saying she paid 5rmb to park and by all that is holy she is going to park there. He says no you’re not. Finally, she gets out of the car and goes to move the sign. What can I say – memories of Parkside Place come flooding back. I say “No – No Parking – for buses”. She says “I paid 5 rmb (in English)” “Go get your money back – this is for buses”. She says “Speak Chinese” (Ed. Note: honestly, that is exactly what she said) and then moves the sign out of the way and gets back in to the SVU to back in. However, she is not quick enough – I get up, go over and put the sign back. Now she sits there and I stand there – a Mexican standoff – or maybe a Canadian/Chinese standoff. Finally a few more people show up and some spots open up and she moves on. As the guard passes me by, he gives me the big thumbs up – but as the woman and her son pass me by, she won’t make eye contact. Don’t know why not…
Okay, Tacky Tourist photo time. These are photos of photos we have had taken – and paid for. They are a bit blurry because of the reproduction, but you get the idea. The caption will explain. Enjoy
For those who think these are fake backdrops and we were just in front of a green screen, trust me, I was really there. Although, now that I look again at Tacky Tourist Photo #6, I’m thinking that it might be a good representation of how I felt Sunday night/Monday morning…
Until next time.