Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sound and vision

The city management swooped in, in a matter that could only be coordinated. Two vans shot up next to the roadside and proceeded to take away tables and chairs from the pavement in front of the restaurant we were eating at. The owners and service staff swarmed out onto the street to occupy the ground. Apparently it was not theirs to take. People talked in strong words. The owner struggled to retrieve his plastic chairs from their confiscation. Cameras were always out on the city management side, quickly recording the proceedings, whether to protect themselves later, or for recording identities, who knows. And where were we, sitting at a table that should really have been confiscated too if there were to be any consistency, but we sat there at the tables while the others were take away. One colleague got up in tautoko of the establishment that we regularly ate. The rest of us watched the scene.

"You can't do this, we're Chinese!"

"You aren't Chinese!" such petty name calling. I was off to the bus.


"Blue, Blue, that's the colour of my room, where we will live…"

And the Guangzhou tower glowed red as the bus proceeded home. I had my iPod on giving a tune to the world I observed. The bus was a new thing for me in commuting. I had been loyal to the subway but now it seemed that bus could easily beat the subway. This was something paradoxical: apparently the small transitions in the subway system: from home to station, from station to platform, wait for the train, get out of the train for first line swap, wait for train, board and get off train, cross platform, and board again, get to the station and emerge once more; all of these transitions though seemingly short make it a very long journey, while the bus takes all the changes and swaps out and make a simple long journey. The tortoise wins this race.


"Well, honestly, I don't remember who you are…"

The iPod moved on and I've got off the bus. It was already after ten-thirty but there was a daylights worth of people on the street. Why would the shops shut? I guess no-one looks for real estate at this time. I go into a dairy for a Pokari Sweat. There is a cat on the counter. Miao! I pat it. Miao! I pay for my drink. Miao! I pat it again! Miao! it comments with a big mouth. I head out again. The night sight of people is always a worthy scene in China. I pass a small supermarket. The shifu is still working directing people to the good fruit. He's "solid" as my colleague would have called him. The shifu is the kind of person who'll tell you that there is no fruit ripe enough and to come back another day. We've eaten two durians over the last two weeks and he was right about all of them.


I got home earlier than expected and gladly so; it'd only be then that I'd blog.

1 comment:

Jo said...

I feel like I've just read an amazing poem. :-) Have you considered taking up poetry?