Coming through the Hong Kong/China border was quite the experience. We hopped the train for a 45 minute ride into China. The rail system here is excellent, on time and extremely clean, reminds me so much of the rail in Paris. As I stepped onto the line and said hello to the Customs officer behind the glass my heart was beating a million miles per hour. I said hello and as expected, he said, nothing. He then proceeded to speak a complete sentence to me in Chinese, which being Japanese I had no clue-come on, as far as I was concerned he was saying, “no you may not enter”. But then I realized he was saying that I neglected to write my first name -shishhhhh… I was in….
Then we were greeted at the other end, here in China, by Julie’s grandparents driver. Nice guy, but not a word of English. Fortunate for us he speaks both Cantonese & Mandarin as Julie’s family only speaks Cantonese. We had our first taste of driving, well, being driven here on the freeways and byways of China. One word – WOW!!! There are lanes, but, no rules, it’s a free for all, you may merge into any lane at any time, or simply create your own lane if you’d like, no problem, we have some excellent footage caught on tape, so, you’ll see…
I’ve simply been soaking it all in, the experience thus far has been extraordinary.
The difference is quite obvious here, you have the rich & then you have the poor. You have business men & women in 2500 square footage apt wth high rises and security guards and marble sidewalks and palm trees and water fountains, then you have women and their children standing in the middle of the road in mid traffic begging. Drivers who make $1400 Chinese dollars a month, that is about $150 US dollars. Imagine living on $150.00 a month. This experience has really helped put things into perspective, makes you realize that it could be worse and that you should never take for granted what you have..
Anyways, we are off to dim sum and then to Julies, families zoo & waterpark… Stay tuned..
Posted from China:
posted Tuesday May 2007