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A retired Aussie programmer from Sydney, I am an ardent traveller, student of things Chinese, and in retirement both an online teacher and online MOOC student. I write mostly about travel and experiences in China, and of interaction with Asian culture and people. Don’t expect controversy because, like a cat in a puddle, I tread carefully - but sometimes I just might throw in a ‘googly’!
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GuoQingJie Approaches - and the Beijing Flower Display    

By LaoGui 老鬼的博客
749 Views | 26 Comments | 9/2/2019 10:56:36 AM

The Beijing Flower Display

One of my students today sent me some photos and youkus from China, to do with the upcoming National holiday and I am giving serious thought to travelling to China for the October celebrations.  Here in Sydney it will be almost Jacaranda time and there will be the wonderful purple jacarandas everywhere, but few people and no crowds.



Twice I was in China in October-November but on both occasions avoided the ren shan ren hai phenomenon.  The first time was 2010 Shanghai shibohui time, at the very end of the exhibition, and I deliberately arrived the week after National holiday.  What would it have been like a week earlier I wonder, given that on October 10th people were queuing 8 hours in the Shanghai sun just to get into one pavilion.  A day and a half queuing for the less popular pavilions and tolerating the teenage queue-jumpers seriously tried my very finite patience.



The second occasion I decided to avoid it altogether and so travelled by express and slow trains from Xi'an to Fuzhou and thence to Taiwan Matsu dao and Jiling by ship - another story.  By chance delayed by typhoons I arrived in Taipei on October 10th, double 10 day, the Taiwan National Day!  Whilst there were no huge crowds there were also no hotel rooms, so I ended up staying the night in a spa sauna centre cubicle within walking distance of the train station.



I don't exactly suffer Enochlophobia or Demophobia as crowd fear is known, I do however feel intensely uncomfortable packed cheek by jowl in the trains or queues where I find Chinese people are totally insensitive of my idea of personal space invasion - I think the phrase 'dont give a stuff' is pretty appropriate, but I understand the pragmatics of having to crush up against bodies regardless of garlic cigarette and body odours.  The following photo from Chongqing Hongqihegou station shows my limit; 5:30pm on a rainy misty November night, the air redolent with wet wool - I turned tail and proceeded on foot to the clocktower at Jiefangbei square.



Shantang jie in Suzhou at the trendy gucheng shopping end on a Saturday afternoon is another disturbingly crowded scene, but I was living on the opposite residential side, where the cobbles were a serious bicycling hazard.  Just once or twice did I dare venture to the other side in paek hours.  Other such crushes I encountered on my homeward journey early this year.  Firstly at Guangzhou Nanzhan on my way to Baiyun Jichang very scary with my bag and backpack in tow in the middle of the Chunjie travel rush, and secondly in Singapore Pagoda street on a friday evening.



Maybe this time I should confront the millions and take a chance, there is someone I would like to meet and spend time with in Beijing, so if I can get an apartment or Airbnb and stay put for the period in suburban Beijing, maybe that's a goer!  Last trip I discovered that too much travel, too many cities, is just too much, and staying put as I did in Suzhou and Kunshan in 2107 is just the ticket! 


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#2019-09-02 10:56:21 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

This blog is reminding me very much of my first day and evening in China, but it's a long story and tonight I am on my tablet. So I will return here in a couple of days when I am back on my computer and relate it to what you have written. I can vouch for everything you have said about the crowds of China and how quickly those of us from large sparsely populated countries, you from Australia and me from Canada, grow weary of them. 

#2019-09-02 17:04:35 by oldghost @oldghost

@JA Any chance you can change my Blog Author name from 'By LaoGui 老贵的博客' as you originally created it to By LaoGui 老鬼的博客 since I am definitely by no means '贵的'  expensive, valuable or noble; certainly on the contrary 反而鬼子的或者老鬼的!

#2019-09-02 17:16:33 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

The crowds in China, especially Beijing, can be very wearing. I was just in BJ and was taken to Tian'amen square in order to visit the mauseleum of Mao. The queue was at least 4-hours long, so we didn't bother.

It's amusing for me because Guo Qing Jie is actually my birthday, so I joke with my students that I am so famous, the whole of China celebrates my birthday, lol.

Good luck going to BJ for that holiday - you must have rocks in your head, lol.

#2019-09-03 13:17:44 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@oldghost - done, as requested.

#2019-09-03 22:13:34 by newbeginning @newbeginning

The only crowds in China that bother me are at airport customs upon arrival and departures. The rest dont bother me much, I find them kind of amusing actually.  I shove and push just as much as the rest which scares the crap out of the locals lol Just carry your personal stuff in a waist wallet in case of pick pockets which are rampent in China. Love the pictures by the way.

 

NB

#2019-09-08 08:02:27 by oldghost @oldghost

@JA

3Q!

#2019-10-18 12:31:26 by oldghost @oldghost

In the Western press reviews of the Beijing Guo Qing jie parade I noticed they focussed almost exclusively on the military aspects of the parade consequently labelling it militaristic, with no mention (as far as I could see) of technological, economic or cultural achievements.  Aspects I watched in the complete video of the parade.

The Western media are heavily biased, and that too is clear in the coverage of the Hong Kong protests.  You'll only get to see one side, the Western populist side.

#2019-10-19 11:49:42 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@oldghost - while I agree that the Western media are heavily biased I can't for the life of me understand how you can accuse them of being "Western populist". The Western MSM are very clearly almost all globalist toadies to their globalist owners. They are all leaning far left and, even in America, coming out in favor of socialism.

But being toadies to the Global Elite, who make much of their trillions out of ongoing wars, the MSM do always take the side of any dispute that will most likely lead to more arms being purchased and used. So of course they are on the side of the Hong Kongese because that could lead to a major war of the West vs China. Imagine how much money could be made by their masters in that war.

But at the same time they are rabidly against leaving the Syrians to sort out their own destiny because that ends the war in Syria which was lining the pockets of those same masters.

How do you see "populism" in any of that?

#2019-10-19 17:57:15 by oldghost @oldghost

@JohnA populism has little or nothing to do with the comment, it is a loose final word. Just add '&' - the Western and populist sides.  The populists rant nonsense loudest, and as we know from schooldays, empty vessels sound loud. The HK protesters are likewise very loud if not very factual.

Your GUI here has no means of editing.  It would be nice to be able to correct typos.

#2019-10-21 12:35:54 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Oldghost 

"The populists rant nonsense loudest, and as we know from schooldays, empty vessels sound loud."

The only people who think that populists "rant nonsense" are the globalists of which you are apparently one. Since by your description of your lifestyle I can assume you are not a member of the Global Elite, who are generally billionaires or close to it, I will therefore assume you are one of the huge majority of globalists who somehow imagine that a New World Order under the complete control of the Global Elite will be a terrific place to be. In other words you are willfully deluded.

Added to that you are guilty of doing exactly what you reproach PaulFox for doing in another blog's comments where you accuse him as follows:

"You argue in the Pauline Hanson/Donald Trump mode - throw out a few derisory and derogatory words and a guffaw, carefully avoiding treading where there might be facts."

Your comment on populists does exactly that and makes you guilty of being what you wrongly attribute to populists - an empty vessel. 

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