Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In a very big country

Today I'm blogging from Guangzhou, a very large city in south-eastern China. This is the first time I've been anywhere near this part of the world - and despite the horrendous lack of sleep (I think I've had about 1 hr in the last 30 or so) I'm enjoying the adventure. I'm here for work - vi sting a local University - but I'm happy not to be a full blown tourist and get a chance to talk to people who actually live here.

I flew into Hong Kong and then got the high speed train to the city centre, a short taxi ride (in distance, not in time, the traffic was pretty much stationary) later I had transferred to Hung Hom station to catch the train to the mainland and Guangzhou. Through immigration (again) and then 1hr 45mins to look at the Chinese scenery.

So today on my travels I have seen.....

1) A man carrying about a dozen live chickens in a crate strapped to the back of his bicycle.
2) More 50+ storey apartment blocks than I ever thought existed. I was expecting these to cover Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, but they also stretched into the New Territories and over into Dongguan and Guangzhou.
3) Lots and lots of factories and their dormitories - a large proportion of people live where they work here. Some were in varying states of decay, some had big towers belching fumes, some were clean and tidy... but they were everywhere, wherever there weren't 50 storey apartment blocks.
4) Immobile rain... I think its a new category I've identified, somewhere between mist and rain... that hangs around (and falls at the same time) around Mount Baiyun.
5) A black cat.
6) The biggest container port I've ever seen - with containers stacked six high and cranes bigger than my office building.

Right, I'd better go before my brain collapses completely. I promise more ponderings, particularly on the nature of the social and cultural construction of reality...

1 comment:

AdventuringJen said...

oooh, yay, you're there! sounds great! Hope you have a fascinating time (and of course useful, productive etc etc...!)
Looking forward to hearing all about it.