Transportation and Tacky Tourists

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?

These scooters are very cool - they are actually called e-bikes and are silent assassins, since you don't hear them coming.

These scooters are very cool – they are  silent assassins, since you don’t hear them coming.

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.

No words necessary

No words necessary

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…

"I paid 5rmb (80 cents) and I'm going to park - forget the lesson I am giving my 10 year old about following rules...

“I paid 5rmb (80 cents) and I’m going to park – forget the lesson I am giving my 10 year old about not having to follow  rules…

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

All aboard - don't know if I posted this before, but if we are posting Tacky Tourist Photos, this is No. 1

All aboard – don’t know if I posted this before, but if we are posting Tacky Tourist Photos, this is No. 1

The excitement was still flowing after our amazing ride down the 30 inch rapids just behind us.

The adrenaline was still flowing after our amazing ride down the white water rapids just behind us.

Radiant, don't you think?

Check out the size of that waist!

"It's off to work I go, I go..."

“It’s off to work I go, I go…”

On the edge of the Reflecting Pool in Reed Flute Cave.

On the edge of the Reflecting Pool in Reed Flute Cave.

Speechless - and they give you a key fob and a 1" square photo to insert into the key fob so you can always have this with you.

Speechless – and they give you a key fob and a 1″ square photo to insert into the key fob so you can always have this with you. We have no idea what the white globe is or why it is there…

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.

5 thoughts on “Transportation and Tacky Tourists

  1. Val Goodridge

    Love them and hardly tacky at all! I have a few like them of Bob and me. I’ll have to find and send our elephant one from Thailand. Terry as ethnic princess is still the winner.
    I think those scooters are a great deal at that price. They would be a just the thing to use to get around our park in Arizona – better than a bike and so much quieter than a regular motorcycle that everyone seems to love down there.
    You will let us know when you get punched….

    Reply
  2. lois marsden

    When we hear the news report of Canadian male mauled by angry Chinese female over parking rights and obligations….we will know you have made the big time…just avoid jail…understand it is not the Hilton. …so stop kicking people.

    Reply
  3. Peter Therrien

    Hey Geoff! If you’re going to get Chinese people pissed off at you, you’d better put some of that weight back on so you look too big to mess with. Stick with it! If they’re going to take over the world, at least they can do it by following the rules!

    Reply
  4. joan

    I agree with Peter! Hey, if you see those tents again, checkout the manufacturer, we need a new supplier!

    Reply

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