1983 CHINA TOUR
Up early for misty morning walk marked by looming figures of Tai Chi practicians and the usual students walking up to speak English, one even offering me a cigaret which I politely refused.
Took a whole film of color slides and recorded all kinds of sounds on tape-recorder (must try and find these sometime!).
Noticed cross-nets, people washing clothes and brushing teeth in the "creek", workers demolishing picturesque old houses to replace them with dull concrete barracks.
Enjoyed seeing flowers, waterfalls, fish and spectracular pine trees. Less enjoyable was the view of some greenhouses and the stink of the buckets of "nightsoil" waiting to be stockpiled and applied.
Took Chinese breakfast with Ed Lum, after which we packed up and set our luggage outside. During our trip to the People Store with our friendly guide Huang, I escaped to the street to take picts and buy some cheap comics books; gave away balloons after blowing them up, which kids loved!
Next. a visit to the Porcelain Factory, very interesting and culminating in the artists' decorating share. Some otherworldly beautiful girls were concentrating, while lesser beauties proved quite flirtatious.
When it looked like we'd already filled a whole day, i.e. at 10 a.m., we embarked on a pleasure boat, complete with sweets and "greenspot" or equivalent soft drinks, for a fabulous cruise on the Grand Canal. I took dozens of photographs, collected on this separate page.
Accustomed to boat-trips through Amsterdam canals, I was happy to see kids being pushed by their moms to wave at us, and in general everyone was happy, hardworking, careful, considerate and not prone to spitting down or dropping pebbles or junk from bridges...
To my great regret, there was very little variety in types of junks and sampans as existed say 100 years ago and so beautifully illustrated in my favorite tome: G.R.G. Worcester: "The Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze River"....but I did see the use of the fascinating and very effective yuloh .
SOME ADDITIONAL LINKS ON SAMPANS: