Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Three Gorges - Day 1

The Emporer's New Clothes

semi-overcast 30 °C
                      
We were flown by Dragon Air in the early afternoon and arrived Yichang (宜昌) - a city of Hubei Province (湖北) - in the late afternoon. For Chinese history bluff, Yichang is made famous by the Warring States Period, and the Three Kingdoms Era. And just when my bums are nicely tenderised from all the seating, we get on a coach that took us from Yichang to the capital city of Hubei - Wuhan (武汉). The coach wasn't the top of the line, but it was kind enough to my backside and the rump area for me to last about 5 hours when we reached Wuhan at the wee hours in the morning.
This is where we boarded Victoria Anna on the Yangtze. This is also not so far from where Emperor Mao took his historic swim - a piece of theatre he performed during the onset of the Cultural Revolution - to show that he was still in tiptop shape and still can run the country (into the ground, one more time) at the age of 72 in 1966. In short, to show that he still got it - the right stuff. A show that he pulled off to fire up the testosterone of the adolescent suckers that otherwise better known as the Red Guards into doing some killings and shaming spree of their elders, between the demolition of priceless cultural relics, and arson rampage. The country went nuts because some people just didn't know the art of retiring gracefully and enjoy their twilight years in some tropical idyllic island like Hainan, sipping a colourful glass of pina colada or oolong tea.

"A man's got to know his limitations" - Dirty Harry in Magnum Force (1973).

Yes, I'm mad at the madness. Livid with bulging veins that ready to pop and short out the keyboard! Ummm...it's good to get that diatribe out of the system.

Mao.jpg
Look at him stand there like a Mount Tai, so imposing and larger than life. I can't stay mad at him. It's all forgotten and forgiven. Truly, from the bottom of my fickle heart.

Red_Guard.jpg

Look at that cute baby face, my heart has just melted. Who can get angry at a face like that? I love the Red Guards.

One noted event of the Cultural Revolution was the Wuhan Incident that was the closest thing to a civil war. These two cities are full of interesting histories, both ancient and modern (all Chinese kids know about the stories of The Three Kingdoms). Not that we can see much in this light, or have the opportunity to do so. It's a shame.

I'm totally knackered from the whole day of resting on plane and coach, I'm so relieved I can finally stretch my body out flat as nature intended me to rest, not in a 'L', or 'C' or 'V' shape, or other letters in the alphabets

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