ANZIO Digital A Tale Of Two Halves

by Japes, LincsMag Writer.
Date: 03 July 2013

A Tale Of Two Halves - Lincolnshire Magazine -

Once more I stand ajar of the door upon this desolate shore and report to you about the land of Eastern promise. This is also known as Letter From China.

Travelling between 2 small Chinese cities that belong to the slightly larger one of Maoming, here in Guangdong Province today, I was struck by the scale and diversity of (I was struck by something else in the last newsletter but itís okay to repeat a word after a month) this country but also by a regional familiarity where although separate cities in neighbouring counties are distinctive in appearance, atmosphere and spirit, nevertheless you know this is how the Chinese live around here, how their shops appear, how litter is Ďdisposed of í, how they park their motorbikes and how they gaze upon the unfolding scene.

Apologies for the use of the word diversity which has become a euphemism in the West for something else. Like a word that has been stolen from its quiet, useful and innocuous store and corrupted by the latest clamour.

An Enigma

China is an enigma Ė itís known for its status as a rapidly developing superpower and is really established as such in the minds and chambers of political commentators, educators, statesman and the everyday reader but the reality is far from that where I and others live.

Unless they watched the TV, surfed the net or read national newspapers nothing would notify them of this concept, itís like a dream, with the power of a statistic to inform without the tangibility of a real experience.

A perfect illustration of this dilemma is afforded by reference to, on the one hand; Chinaís ability right now to send a space station into orbit for fun and on the other hand the impossibility of finding a bicycle repair shop in the city where I live with the know-how to fix a 3-speed bicycle (most of the bicycles round here are without gears at all), mine has the conventional 3-speed design with the inner workings housed within a barrel going through the centre of the rear wheel but itís Japanese!

I donít know how I got it, it was available for an instant in time and space and then both the shop and the shop owner disappeared to be supplanted by another service.

This phenomenon is quite common actually.

A Tale Of Two Halves - Lincolnshire Magazine -

Recently I determined to have my tea at a restaurant I hadnít been to for a while near where I live and found, not only had it disappeared but the grocery store next to it as well ! I had to blink.

As the twilight lowers its curtain upon another day I reflect on my experience here. This sounds profound and poetical, something weíre all capable of aside from the darker, perhaps more prominent side of human nature. One should never forget as a writer or as anything done in the public eye, who you really are and be careful to avoid creating or sustaining a particular image.

Even at the level of the classroom where young people are scrutinising you, you canít forget your weakness and it helps to be ready to say you were wrong or to be embarrassed. Such fun!

Holiday Plans

The school where I work (itís a college but they refer to every educational institute as a school in China) is closing down its normal activity, classes are being replaced by periodic exams and students and teachers alike are asking questions about holiday plans. The atmosphere is peculiar, special and laced with opportunity for the alert observer but needing the favour of God.

God Bless you

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