Bookends

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Enter the Dragon

Dragons heads, HK.jpgThe Dragon dance in my mind, has long since been associated with China and being Chinese for me at least. The Dragon, represents good fortune and prosperity. Traditionally the dance is performed around Chinese New Year. But since coming to Guangzhou, Dragon dances have become commonplace.

Dragon dance in the street.jpgPeople, the local Guangzhou-ites want good luck for everything. If a new store opens (just down the road from my apartment as it happens) then a dragon dance maybe performed. I’m sure there are different interpretations on the dragon dance. But, the one the one that I’ve seen is where the dragon is ‘tamed’ by a dragon gladiator. Armed with a fan (and headgear too), the gladiator dances with the dragon. To what end, I’m not sure but the dances can be done be danced by a dance troupe, especially trained in this art. And art, it is. I recently visited a Dragon’s head exhibit in Hong Kong and some of the stories of how long it takes to make a dragon’s head is just staggering. 1 year in some cases.Yellow dragon.jpg

Planes, tardy and aquaphobic

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Rain does mean it gets a wee bit wet

For some reason, the romance and mystic of air travel has eluded me. It used to be nice and fanciful, but now I see it as just another flying bus, with very small windows. Perhaps it’s the wrong crowd I’m rubbing shoulders. Literally. In China there’s no such thing as a nice crowd. To be fair the same might go for that in South Korea, too. A mad dash for the door even though we haven’t docked at the terminal. Why the rush? This ain’t no game of Rugby. I’m not sure that channeling the All Blacks (past or present) would help.

But, the one thing that bakes your cake is that the planes are almost always late. Flying in China is problematic. The fact the military owns most of the usable airspace is a further problem. I have proof. The BBC wrote about this sort of thing not so long ago, so it must be true. I’ve seen a lot of angry and irate passengers having a yell at the Flight attendants who, can reply with great honesty that they don’t know when the plane is leaving, or is late, or has in fact arrived at the jet way. CSA or, China Southern Airlines acronyms had early on taken on a more apt meaning. China’s Slowest Airline. There’s another one that also deals with poo.
But, at times, in dealing with my travel woes, the company of my work colleagues, and entertainment, make the waiting all the more comfortable. Still, it’s a small miracle when the plane does finally take off, if not the restrictive amount of airspace to fly, it’s the weather. One of my colleagues and friend once quipped back to me after my question of his planes departure. “I don’t suppose it’ll take off in the rain in case the wings get wet”. He’s not predisposed to making comments like that. He is in fact, Welsh. The circumstances made him say it but, I could hardly laugh, as my flight was leaving soon after his.