We've been watching the Chinese version of Britain's got Talent, and its called (in English) China's got talent., the layout is the same, 3 judges and lots of silly contestants, and they say "Yes" instead of the Chinese for yes! (must be in the contract). A few weeks ago in one of your backstreet's I saw this guy standing on his head playing the guitar and singing, a couple of weeks later he appears on this show and gets through the audition! The show to me is a lot funnier than the UK or US versions as everyone comes out of the woodwork to perform, they have had a one legged man and a one armed woman dancing together, this week they had a man whose talent was telling chickens to go to sleep????? a singing dog that cant sing and there are a lot of very poor people on just trying to make their way the best they can, some of these are seen in the street begging in normal circumstances. They have quite a few 'Susan Boyle' types on and a lot singing Italian opera! One woman was on doing an opera but she didn't know the Italian words so she sang the names of vegetables instead! she was a veggie saleswoman anyway. Some of the poorer folk have the audience in tears, supporting their young brothers or someone who is very ill in the family, some maybe just doing it for the sympathy vote. The 'Simon Cowell' of china is a bloke called Mr Zhou (pronounced Mr Joe) he is big here and has his own show that is on just about every channel that they have, and they have a lot. Rose tells me he gets away with criticising the regime in all sorts of ways, but because he is basically a comedian they seem to let him get away with it. They maybe think he isn't serious. They have a female on the panel who wears nail ornaments, like crowns and things on her nails, very strange, they had to replace one of the judges last week because he got jailed for drink driving! I wait to see what talent appears this week!!!
Well, it could have been painful but wasn't only a little bit of embarrassment. I was at home in my usual state of dress (none) with Rose out, there was a knock at the door, I thought she had forgotten her keys so go over to the door, and just in case it wasn't here I just stuck my head round and low and behold two Chinese police officers are there who immediately start asking question in Chinese. So I ask them to wait (yes I know how to say wait in Chinese) while I grab a towel and the phone to ring Rose, well as usual when I ring... No answer... the cops then come in and keep speaking, me not understanding when one then comes over to me and points to a line in his little book. and on the line is..... my name..... he points at me and says 'You?", I say "Yes", so I then think they need to see my passport to prove who I am, I go to get it but when I return they are halfway out the door already end of encounter. I still don't really know what they wanted, I can only assume that they were doing an alien check to see if I was where I was recorded as being. Something the UK doesn't sound like its doing at the moment. At least they were friendly and didn't beat me up or drug me. Still, I have found them to be quite polite here in this town anyway. As regular readers will know, we do have some Police friends anyway.
I met a Dutchman yesterday on his bike (of all things) When I realised he was from the Netherlands I spoke to him in his own language (I lived there for 2 and half years a long time ago!) (everything s a long time ago now!) He also lives here married to a Chinese national and said it sounded quite odd now to hear his own language again. Not many folk speak Dutch here!
The rainy season has started again and its been tipping down, we get in one day what you would get in about a month. Luckily they are used to it and the drains cope, well in this city anyway, they have gone from drought to floods in some parts of the country.
Everywhere here is being 'done up' at the moment in preparation for the Universiade that is occurring later in the year, most of the roads are being relaid, all the pavements around us are being replaced and the traffic is in total chaos, driving at the moment is quicker to walk. We have dust everywhere while all this is going on, so hopefully it will soon be over and at least we wont be tripping over the old holes in the pavement we had before. The city is also painting lots of buildings which is starting to confuse Rose, when we drive anywhere she says turn by the green building, well its now a yellow building so her sense of direction is now worse till she gets used to the colour change. I think she is a bit colour blind anyway, she is always telling me something is green when its blue and she is due to renew her driving licence soon as well. Mine is due up here next year as they only last 6 years here. The good thing we have is that Road Tax is no in the petrol. which is cheap (so far) anyway. Gradually prices are starting to rise and will soon be equal to the rest of the world.
And finally, Rose is well on the mend and being back to her old self again.
Mostly this is all I did on the trip, wait for things to happen. We originally flew to Chengdu and stayed with a relative, that ended in a family argument and we had to move to a local hotel. This was more comfortable anyway. As soon as we got to the hotel Rose wanted to go to her home town of Zigong, so next day we packed bags again and another cousin took us in his car to Zigong, His car was a bit full already with his business stuff and I ended up cramped in the back with the luggage, I did however get to drive half the way as the new cousin was a bit knackered after his trip.
In Zigong we were booked into a hotel where Rose's sister used to work, it was quite a crap hotel, we went to our allotted room which was at the end of this 100 metre or so corridor, Rose complained it was to far for her to walk and so after we got to the room, she got it exchanged for one nearer the lift on the floor below, This she said was perfect. Packed bags again and moved to the new room, got into bed started to sleep. Got woken by Rose complaining that the toilet smelt. After much protestation from me we moved back to the original room. I only had shorts on at this stage, the hotel staff looked a little puzzled. Got to the original room again, started to settle and this one she now complained smelt of smoke. I refused to budge after that and we stayed the night and then next day we moved into her cousins house. for a couple of days.
The cousin was a nice guy, he cant speak English and my Chinese is crap, but his son 'Sparky' (I know) did speak it, we got on OK and while Rose was messing around with her relatives getting all sorts of Chinese medicine (her big sister is a nationally famous Chinese medical practitioner). the cousin took me 'up the mountain' this is a tourist spot where we were just about the only tourists there. very run down, but at least it had good views even though it was a bit foggy and the walk was needed.
It was at his house that I discovered that my ipod had gone missing somewhere in all these moves. It has all my music on and I wasn't keen to loose it, plus then I had nothing to listen to.
We took the bus back to Chengdu and back to the hotel we stayed at, we had dinner with the lady surgeon who did her operation and her daughter and the next day Rose when for her routine checkup which went well. We then went back to the airport and flew home again. Not the most enjoyable trip I have ever been on, but its always different!
At least while we were there everyone told here things I've been telling her, and that is to get on with life and stop being afraid of moving all the time, they all told her to lead a normal life, which she is now starting to do, while consuming oodles of Chinese medicine in the process. Still that only last about a month and normal food will be resumed. Oh and the ipod turned up in the boot of his
The blog of a retired old git