CHINA, SEPTEMBER 2001

Date: 
20/09/2001
Country: 
CHINA

20 September 2001
I am writing in Hong Kong airport on the way to Guangzhou in China to meet up with Chen for a few days. Of course, the latest thing that has happened recently is that on 11 September something very dreadful happened in the United States. Two aeroplanes bombed the Trade Center, one in the Pentagon and another crashed near to the White House. It has given many strange effects. The USA is no longer safe. They think about 5000 people are dead including 300 British people. So now the problem is what is the USA going to do? I just fear that they will do something very stupid as they have done in the past and totally overreact and give them a course for overreacting and tackle countries which do not need that and are completely innocent in it.

I am now in Guangzhou and its Monday. I arrived on Friday and was collected at the airport. All is well; I am in a luxury hotel called the Beaune Hotel. Next Saturday Joan is coming to join me for a few days. The last three days we have been around large farms to see the problems they have. I have never seen animals like it, the cattle are in an terrible state. I would like to see small farms but somehow Chen feels that it is business for him. I am not totally happy with that. He has created a business called Rowetech.

26 September 2001
I am still at Beaune Hotel, Guangzhou. Tonight we went to a party given by the Guangzhou Governor for foreign experts – Chen, Wang and myself. It was a nice party with good food. All is well but I was told that Wang could only pay in Yuan. Anyway not to worry. Last night after dinner, together with Chen and Olga, we went to a foot massage parlour. It was quite something, I have never done that before, but it was very nice. We had a seafood dinner after that. Today with duck tongues and snakes. Joan is coming on Saturday. Still a little unsure as to what to do now that we have a meeting with 100 people on Saturday and Sunday. Cattle here are in a very bad state.

27 September 2001
Today again we went to see some useless farms but now that’s finished. Tomorrow I have to prepare for the next stage which is lecturing on Saturday and Sunday. Wang, Chen and Wang’s wife had dinner with me at the Beaune Hotel. We have a lot to do tomorrow. So Joan is coming on Saturday.

28 September 2001
Today has been taken up with a lot of work to prepare for tomorrow’s seminar. This is going to be a bit of an anticlimax. I simply do not know what is going to happen. Joan is arriving tomorrow. I hope she can find a plane in Hong Kong. I am going to be with Chen again. In fact tonight I had dinner alone for the first time. So now I am off to bed.

29 September 2001
Joan has arrived. Wang and Lin went to the airport to meet her because I was lecturing.

13 October 2001
The days of holidays in Guangzhou were hectic. On Monday we went to visit Chen and then to a flower exhibition. It was fantastic, but so many people were there and it was very hot indeed. Some exhibits, even dwarf trees, were fantastic. In the evening we had a Chinese moon festival as it is the autumn festival with a full moon, everyone eats moon cake, a very sweet Chinese cake always ready for that festivity. The next day we went to Tangun, the same place as I visited last year and we stopped there for the night. In the evening we again had a foot massage, very nice I think. The area is very beautiful. We left to go back to Guangzhou and had a real body massage again at night. We went shopping the next day with Wang and then with Chen and Olga. We came home with a lot of memories of South China.
The problem with China is their materialism. All that matters seems to be money. The USA is still having problems and is now thinking of bombarding Afghanistan to get at Bin Laden where they think he is. My terrible fear is that they will totally overreact and do something very stupid as they have done so often before.