On October 1st, I took the shuttle bus to the Subway Station. It was the first leg of my trip to the countryside to see my relatives and to reunite with my wife Jenny & son Tony who had gone there earlier in the week. As the shuttle drove pass the Hui Shan District government complex, I saw a crowd by the entrance. Half of the crowd consisted of civilians, who I presume were protesting. The other half consisted of black-uniformed security guards and blue-shirted policemen. In the center of the crowd, I could see two men engaged in a very animated conversation. One of them, I presume was from the government; the other was a citizen. Another bus load of security guards was just pulling in as my shuttle bus passed out of view.
The train I then caught took me to the bus station which was of course crowded with holiday travelers. The bus station was so crowded that many sat on the stairs between the bus station's two levels.
Having to wait, I walked around the bus station to see what I could see, and I did see a young man wearing a denim fabric jacket and matching pants which had a flowery pattern that I would normally see on old Chinese woman's dress. For footwear, he wore black pointy ended dress shoes.
I saw heavy holiday traffic on the freeway on 10/1.
The evening of October 1st, my relatives took us to an outdoor lantern show which covered an area bigger than a few football fields. One of the displays celebrated the war against the Japanese and depicted a scene where a Japanese soldier was pointing a gun at an unarmed Chinese person.
On October 2nd, I was taken to Taizhou (TZ). I saw that Taizhou had its own version of the Oriental Pearl Tower in its skyline. (I subsequently learned from students, who had been to TZ, that it was a television tower.) Jenny & Tony & I went to the Mei Lan Feng Park. Mei Lan Fang was a famous Chinese opera performer who could perform both male and female roles. In the museum dedicated to his career, there was a display where a wax Sergei Eisenstein was directing a wax Fang in a movie.
Earlier that day in TZ, I spent some time in the drabbest apartment I had seen in a while. I took in a dreary view of other crumbling apartments and dirty green vegetation.
On a dusty street in TZ, I saw a women sitting on a stool cleaning vegetables in a basin she had sitting on the pavement. A cigarette, half ashes, dangled from her mouth.
In TZ, I see a young man dressed spiffy. He wore a white shirt, a black dress jacket, a pair of tight white cotton knee-length shorts, and a pair of black dress shoes while not wearing socks.
I see, at a TZ retail walk street, a tall thin local man, older than me but not by much, proceeding at a slow shuffling place. I wondered if I was looking at the Chinese version of me.
Near the Wuxi train station, at one corner of an intersection, I saw two man holding the ends of an eight foot long piece of string festooned with tiny one-colored flags. The string was meant to block pedestrians who might want to cross the road to get to another corner while ignoring traffic signals telling them couldn't. The men holding the strings looked to be civilians who had been made to do community service punishment by acting as crossing guards. I have never seen pedestrians heed these Shanghaied crossing guards in all my time in Wuxi so I was curious to see how pedestrians would deal with string, but the taxi I was in pulled away before I could witness the amount of success of the string in accomplishing it purpose.
October 5th I was taking the shuttle bus to the subway station and saw on the video screen, footage about the goings on in Hong Kong. There was first a reporter in front of a graphic showing the Chinese and Hong Kong flags. Then, I saw video of some guy in a suit making a statement followed by footage of calm street scenes in Hong Kong.
My In-laws compound in Beixin is right next to a road, which in Canada would be said to be the main drag of the town. It always concerns me when I am in Beixin or more importantly when Tony is in Beixin, to see the cars and trucks go at a good clip of speed past our compound. For cars are racing at 50 km/h or more, merely ten feet from where my in-laws are sleeping. During the October holiday, I witnessed a semi-truck pulling a tanker trailer come to a quick stop in front of the compound. The semi's tires and brakes jerk rather mightily in front of me.
On a Friday, I see another crowd of people by the entrance to the Hui Shan District Government Compound. I could see the crowd from the front of my apartment complex entrance which is about half a kilometer from the Government compound. Riding past the scene on the shuttle bus, I saw that it was a crowd of protestors and I took a photo but it didn't show much other than a bunch of people. With my naked eyes, I did get a glance of two men in the center of the crowd having an intense discussion.
I saw the X-ray machine operators at a Wuxi Metro station actually make some travelers open up their luggage. These people, who were probably going to the train station, had to open up a big suitcase. Beside the suitcase, I was able to see a kitchen knife, still in a package that the security people had spotted. As if these people were going to use the knife.....
I was standing on the corner of the intersection of Xueqian and Zhongshan Roads when I saw a young gentleman on an e-bike stop right beside me. I couldn't understand why he would be doing this. He was sitting there placidly not moving even though there were green lights in his favor. His placid stare in the direction of where I was standing, while I was waiting for the a green pedestrian signal, was making me nervous. But after about ten seconds, a woman sat behind him on the bike. I then understood what had been taking place. If e-bikes are carrying passengers as they approach the intersection they will be stopped by the traffic cops and security types. I would guess the pair often had to have the passenger get off their e-bike before going through the intersection and then have the passenger get back on afterward This time when I saw them, the woman had boarded the e-bike while still on a corner of the intersection within sight of the traffic officials who were looking the other way for e-bikes approaching.
On a Friday afternoon, I went to a company located near the Wuxi Airport – yes, Wuxi has an airport. I saw a Chinese military plane, a Chinese AWAC, with pedestal on its top, taking off. I would have taken a photo if I hadn't been busy watching a student giving a presentation.
I saw two foreigners at that company. I think that they were the first foreigners I had seen this month other then my colleagues at my school.
Standing at the Shuttle Bus Spot at my apartment complex, I saw an e-bike dash across the road in front of three side-by-side oncoming vehicles.
I saw a taxi trying to make a right turn through a gap between two moving buses that were going straight, one after another, through an intersection. The taxi had to skid to a stop as it had gotten too close to the driver side front of the second bus. As soon as that bus got past, the taxi quickly skidded as it got moving again.
On a Friday evening, I saw that one of the businesses that had attempted to open in the Nanchang Subway Station was moving out all its fixtures.
As I said in the experienced things entry for this month, there were numerous things to be seen in the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza on a particular Saturday night. Tony & I together saw a man with very big bubble wands. The bubble man had placed soap in a bin that was about three feet in diameter. He would place a small child in the center of the bin and then put a three feet wide wand around the child into the bin of soap bubbles. Pulling up the wand, the child would be encased in a very tall and wide bubble. Tony, watching this, was beside himself in excitement.
I then saw three foreigners, twenty or thirty somethings, standing beside the stage where the bubble man was performing. I wondered why they were there. They did a show themselves, it turned out, and I thought "Good! They weren't moving into the neighborhood."
At the other end of the mall, there were new cars on display (I mentioned how Tony was jumping in and out of the driver's seats.). As I stood by waiting for Tony to have jumped in all the cars, I saw some female models come out. The first set were two Chinese girls with long hair, short silvery sequined dresses, high heels, and nice long legs. The second set were these foreign girls, Caucasians, who were wearing these ridiculous looking bikinis with angel wings.
I should have taken a photo of this car that had stopped right on the corner sidewalk at Xueqian and Zhongshan Roads. It was stopped diagonally at the corner of the intersection on a spot that I would have thought was always meant for pedestrians.
On a Thursday morning from the 637 shuttle bus stop near Casa K, I saw a lineup of hundreds of people, ten wide, bearing signs and long banners, walking or marching from the direction of the Hui Shan District government building. They made a turn at the corner at which the Hui Shan Ramada Plaza stands. I assume that the demonstration was government approved.
Office space on the first level of a building on Zhongshan Road had been occupied by a bank. The bank had abandoned the office space and and the space was being cleared out by workmen who were using a front end loader which was driven into the space to remove rubble from fixtures and displays.
I saw the driver of a motorcycle wagon – a motorcycle that had been modified so as to have a wagon attached to it – pushing his vehicle, which was not functioning through an intersection. And just as he would have, had his vehicle been working, he was ignoring the traffic signals and so oncoming cars were swerving to avoid him and his vehicular contraption.
Walking down Zhongshan Road, I see a turd on a red carpet placed in front of a shop.