Arriving in China

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of China  ,
Sunday, April 2, 2006

Even while you're in Hong Kong you're aware of it. When you walk out of the efficient Lo Wu border crossing you can smell it, and when your bus emerges from between the Shenzhen city centre high rise, you can't miss it. THe sky is falling in, you're surrounded by a grey blanket of ppollution. Although the cloud base is undoubtedly low today, this is worse than I remember it being. You can see the swirls of cloudy vapour at ground level in the residential streets less than 100m away from the motorway.

This is the reality of southern China, but today at least I really don't care. Th familiar journey up the Guanshen Expressway cheers me, knowing that even if I'm not speaking Chinese as well as I'd expected, I'm close to friends who I'll be glad to see. As we arrive in Dongguan there's an unexpected skip of the stomach as we head into the city. I don't like to retrace my steps or go back over old ground when I'm travelling, but I'm genuinely more excited than I realised about meeting so many friends again.

The irony of this is that as soon as I arrive I relax totally and I feel tired. I feel that I'm on holiday. I can't remember work, and my brain feels as if it's being reinflated. Even though the jet lag's kicking around my system, I'm feeling wonderfully happy and I've only been here a couple of hours.
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