Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Beixin Chinese New Year Chronicles: Day One.

Here are some other links you may want to check out before proceeding to the Chronicles of Time Wasted:
This is the first entry of the Beixin (北新) Kaulins Family 2011 Chinese New Year Chronicles.  Not having had access to a computer or even a hand-held device where I could type notes, I had to resort to the primitive way of journalizing with a pen and a notebook -- I know Orwell did this sort of thing when he was fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and the work he came up with (Homage to Catalonia) was eternally cool.  So why not? 
So, I have transcribed from the notebooks to the blog.

Day One, February 1, the K family took the bus from Wuxi to Beixin, passing Jiangyin along the way.  We arrived in Beixin about eleven a.m.

  • Phoned taxi to pick us up from Casa K.  Good Service.
  • We got on the bus no probs.
  • A news sports centre is being built in Jiangyin, I noticed.
  • Roads were very crowded in the countryside as people bought whatever they needed for the upcoming CNY.  The bus had to creep through the crowds carefully.
  • While on the bus, I saw a woman stopped her bike quickly so that the front tire buckled and her child fell to the pavement.
  • I saw a group of men with Dragon Dance gear - a first.  Contrary to Western conceptions, it is not easy to see Dragon Dances in China during the CNY.
  • Carrying Tony on my shoulders as I took a walk through Beixin Town, Tony said "sleepy", and then maneuvered himself down so he could rest his head on my shoulders.  That was a first. That is, the first time he told me that he was about to fall asleep.
  • In the afternoon, I met a student studying for his PhD. in micro-laser engineering in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He was in Beixin for the Chinese New Year.  I got to drink some Grant's  Whiskey and smoke some Marlborughs brought all the way from Scotland.  The student told me he was on a scholarship from the Scottish government which I found hard to believe -- I asked him several times if he wasn't getting a scholarship from the Chinese government but he said he was getting it from the Scots.  Scotland, he said, was a clean country with wonderful blue skies.  Scots, he noted, liked to drink and watch football.  His English was good but not great.
  • For the first time, Tony and I were able to walk on these long boats that are ubiquitous on the canals of Jiangsu.  I took photo and video.  Interesting though these boats are to a casual observer, I couldn't imagine living and working on those things -- space is narrow.  One detail that I never picked up on till I walked in the cabin was that a ten foot ladder leads to a basement where people sleep.
  • The Inlaws' compound is close to the road.  Trucks speeding down the outside road are but ten feet from the head of the beds.
  • The In-laws now have a chicken coop in their compound, which means they have fresh eggs and later, fresh meat。



No comments: