© 2009 xiao Airport Flag

Xiao’s First Article in China

First, sorry everyone for our slow updates. We were busy moving from city to city and didn’t really want to slow down for a day to make a website. But today, being on the bus alone made me think more and I felt like writing tonight, with a bit of help from a fine bottle of 0.00001% Chinese beer that’s making me violently hungry. (Besides, we didn’t want to rush it and end up with our website looking like seaninchina.com. What Sean, what!) Joke, and lol at “Easy Joy” station. What I want to write about is this half-masted flag. Once we have a bit of break, we’ll start writing about our journey from the beginning in Vancouver.

Airport FlagOn the shuttle from the city to the airport, the sun was setting behind a typical 桂林 (Guilin) karst mountain scenery. On the shuttle speakers, a broadcasting from China’s central radio station was playing loudly and a pimp looking young Chinese dude behind me is cutting some business deal in English and talking about f(x) and market return models.  The content of the broadcast, like most other TV and radio broadcasts since last week, is about the earthquake from the 12th of May. As of now, 320 000 deaths. Since the beginning of the week, local stations have been constantly telling stories of teachers risking lives to save students only to forget that his wife is still helpless at home and volunteer rescue staff that travel in from far provinces and work continuously shifts for 50 hours only to take short intermissions to cry about the lives he couldn’t save. Sure, it is a lot of propaganda and turns the people’s focus away from thinking about who to blame for underfunded structural maintenance for schools etc but nationalism and a strong sense of camaraderie at this time of need isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it invokes a wave of national support for the disaster area.

Airport FlagGuilin Airport

The radio goes on to broadcast live recordings of the national mourning day where everyone held 3 minutes of silence while ship horns, car horns and air raid sirens blasted in every city of China. We actually heard the air raid sounds but Adam and I were busy getting a foot (inner thigh) massage and didn’t understand what the sounds were about at that time. At this point the guy behind me removed his glasses and pulled a Kleenex to clean his tears as the woman next to me wiped her tears with the back of her arms. The bus was quiet for the rest of the way as the sun disappeared behind the hills.

k, more photography, less text next time! Plane’s here, gotta go!

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