Wednesday, 5 June 2013

China's Venice


Sailing along this canal in Souzo, which is about two hours out of Shanghai, was curious. At the village shown in this picture, all the Chinese started photographing the small band of Westerner tourists on the boat. We were more of an attraction than the locality. This didn't stop here. 

In Shanghai itself, which is an ultra modern city, people would come up and stand next to me to have their pictures taken. In a subway, one family tried desperately to get their shy nine year old son to come and have his picture taken with the strange looking Westerner. I did my best to encourage the young lad, but he was too scared of this particular white man. 

China is still a closed country to Westerners in many parts, and I think it's the people who come from out of town rather than the sophisticated city dwellers, that are the most curious. In a small way I had a glimpse of the way celebrities must feel, constantly having their pictures taken wherever they go. Fun, but in a weird kind of way. Perhaps they believed me when I pointed at myself and said, 'David Beckham'. After all, we all look pretty much alike to them.

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