Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I know you like them

February 2003

Once we crossed the Chinese border, the coach pulled over into a car park. The guide, speaking to us in Cantonese, told us that we had to change coach.

‘I knew we would not be taking this coach’ said Maggie, ‘much too deluxe’

Our new coach was pretty awful, it was impossible for me to get sufficient leg room. We sat near the back. Behind us was a young couple, who had a large bag of snack food. It wasn’t long before, they started asking Maggie about me. I was the only white face on the coach.

Our seat wasn’t connected to its frame, and therefore sliding forward, but it was too late to change.

After passport control, we drove for about an hour and a half before stopping at what looked like a derelict building. ‘We are here to see the garden’ said Maggie. It was small, but fairly pretty, we walked around it in a few minutes and took some photographs.

Next stop was a souvenir shop, selling jade, jade and more jade. After that, we stopped for lunch. ‘The guide says that we will have the birds nest soup’ Maggie told me, ‘so we have to get to the table first or the others will eat it all’

The lunch was ok, and I did get a little of the birds nest. Next to the restaurant was another souvenir shop. We were invited to go in. Maggie bought some snack food.

We drove on, this time to playground, where Maggie and I chose to do some grass skiing. The skates were incredibly heavy, and Maggie screamed the whole time, even though I held her hand down the slope.

I took the skates back whilst Maggie went to the toilet, when she returned two young Chinese girls were stood in front of me. I’d hardly noticed them, they weren’t pretty. ‘Those girls interesting to you, honey?’ she asked.
‘What girls?’
‘The girls you are staring at. Are they pretty to you?’
‘I wasn’t staring. I was daydreaming.’
‘Honey, I know you like them’