I was hoping that the hotel in Guangzhou getting back from my tour of the countryside would be situated someplace more interesting, but it’s the same one. Way out at the convention center next to nothing much. Awww. I’ve seen this hotel. It’s boring.
But the bathwater is hot and the towels fluffy.
In the morning BIT is offering me the one-day tour of the city for free. The least they can do after making a mint off me with the cancelled trip. They must be raking it in, these guys, between what westerners expect to pay for a trip and what it actually costs. A guide and a driver for the day are well within the margins.
Somehow in getting ready, I manage to leave my camera outside of my bag. Which is not such a bad thing. Sometimes when you’re touring you spend so much attention getting pictures of stuff that you don’t pay much attention to what’s actually going on. I’m fine with a day of paying more attention to remembering stuff, not counting on having it in pictures for later.
The other effect, though, is to speed things up considerably, which gives us a really fast pace - the other speed factor being that there’s nobody else on this tour. With a group it takes so much longer just to walk down the block for every body added.
We see some things that I wandered past on my own, but they’re on the schedule so we’re going back.
First - the Sun Yat Sen Memorial. Very pretty from the outside. Inside it’s just a big auditorium. A nice one. They’re busy setting up a show for this evening, or we could go up on the stage. Darn.
Sun Yet Sen, though, is more than just a local hero. He’s the father of modern China, the one who got all of the modernization going before Mao. Now that that era is gone, people are getting back to just how great SYS was.
What I find most interesting is not the site itself as the fact that they now know where to look for other sites from the same era, and they’re deliberately not doing it because the stuff they unearthed here degraded instantly when exposed. They want to come up with a way of saving the artifacts before losing them, before opening the next tomb. Which is refreshingly thoughtful in go-go-go China.
on the wind's breath
3 hours ago