There are streets full of Christmas decorations of various…accuracy. But all self-respecting hotel lobbies have a saxophone-playing Santa Claus with wildly gyrating hat.
Before leaving Hong Kong I was a little concerned that we wouldn’t be able to find proper Sichuan food (after all, two towns in Guangdong province suffer from this most terrible affliction: A lack of Sichuan restaurants) but fortunately on Hainan Island Sichuan food is as popular as it ought to be. Culinarily, we’re laughing!
Then we arrived in weird town Lok Dong where all the buildings were spanking new but the people looked like they were pulled out of the earth in the year 1972. Was it symbolic that the inflatable Santa Claus was facing the modest and unassuming government highquarters?
In Lok Dong the receptionists at the International Business Hotel had to call the manager away from his well-earned rest and drive over to the hotel to deal with our passports. We were just about to ask whether there were many foreigners swinging around that town, so yes then. Packed with Outside Country people.
Is going stronger than ever. In Haikou, capital of Hainan Province (Island) for example, there’s a whole street dedicated to Christmas paraphernalia including two life-size plush horses – or should that be donkeys? Hopping, wriggling, saxophone-playing Santa Clauses are everywhere and any shop assistant worth his/her salt wears a Santa hat artfully embedded in their hair.
Now we’re suddenly in a southern town called Lok Dong and must be full of criminals. At least there are two major police stations and some kind of booking/holding pen in a radius of 20 meters. We saw two different guys in handcuffs being manhandled into various stations in just a few minutes. Law! Love it.
Hainan at first impression seems Wild West, anything goes. On second impression it really is.
12-year-olds are speeding down the road on motorised vehicles.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I suppose we should get some kind of candle. Or portable neon light!
Talking about light! I finally found a police uniform-shop and could replace the police badge I lost in a thicket (shrubbery) in Santa Fe. We were walking down the street in a seaside town called Dongfang and I asked a policeman if I could buy his badge and if no, where. “You can’t buy those anywhere”, he said, omitting to mention that he must have got it from somewhere. Less than two minutes later I saw the shop and soon held the glorious object in my hand.
Why are the Chinese so fascinated with rocks? This specimen is longer than me, just sitting there in an exhibition room in a park in Guangzhou, Tea Art something or other where the yam cha charged minimum 25 yuan per person so that’s what I had to pay for a hugely inferior taro cake as that was all I could eat because I was already full from a terrible yam cha in the Jianguo Hotel a couple of hours earlier.
But why the rocks thing? I can’t understand it.
Anyway, soon after we were on a train heading for Hainan Island. China Travel in Queen’s Rd told me you can’t buy train tickets in China with just a copy of a passport (to counteract scalping, or just because they like to control people, the Chinese government several years ago decreed that train tickets can only be bought by showing each passenger’s ID) but that was of course a lie. I wish people would say “I don’t know” when they don’t know…
So after the fateful stay in Jianguo Hotel Guangzhou, with the worst and most expensive dim sum north of Hollywood road, the next night saw us on the train to Haikou. Unfortunately the starting point of that train was Harbin so most people on it had had little or no contact with water for three days.
And they were all Mandohooligans. As were the people performing in The People’s Park in Haikou the next day. The Chinese government has done an absolutely brilliant job of eradicating Cantonese from the surface of the earth. Another goal reached! Mars next.
Today, or was it yesterday? it’s been a year since I had my last cigarette ever. I had tried and tried to stop smoking before for many years, but this time I did it right (I recommend this method): Cold turkey in China.
It was easy: I just went on a Christmas trip to freezing Guizhou with two guys who don’t smoke, and spent the evenings drinking beer without smoking. And since then I’ve only thought fleetingly about cigarettes. Just like that Allen Carr geezer said. Free from the yoke of fags!
Unfortunately, that’s all. Nothing else happened. I had been thinking stuff like “Oh, if I can only stop smoking, my whole life will change” but no – nothing. The only thing that’s different is that I don’t have to waste time thinking that particular thought. Everything else is the same with possibly even fewer things to look forward to. (One of the great things about cigarettes is that smoking them is something to look forward to of an evening.)
Oh well, it’s done now. And to celebrate, I’ve embarked on a trip to Hainan Island! With one of the two guys from last Christmas, even. Yep, we’re taking off from Guangzhou East on the 21:52 train. Knowing Chinese geezers there will be no shortage of smoke the whole way…
I’m not a fan of Canto food – too bland. Beige on beige, fish on rice with white sauce. Boring! But yam cha is something completely different. Oh, hungry, gotta go. Going to Tung Chung by bus to have me some dim sam. Travel 20 minutes to eat; who in Hong Kong has ever heard such a thing?
The other day I had a nasty shock in my local Filipino shop: The peanuts I’ve been enjoying for a year, I think the brand is called Happy, have become halal. I had a look around the shop, and there it was, on coffee, butter, crisps and even Snickers: The little Arabic mark that says “this product has been certified safe for Muslims to eat”.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter” said the shopkeeper when I voiced my concern and disappointment over another thing I like taken away from me. “It just means that the product doesn’t contain pork.”
Whenever those islamists/jihadists (who are really just devout Muslims following their book to the letter) get up to something awful, in other words every single day, apologists all over the western world stand ready with the tired old explanations: They are oppressed by western imperialism. The Americans are worse. And the most loved: They misunderstand their own religion. And so it is with the halal thing too. For guess what? In the koran it says that muslims can ‘cleanse’ food they suspect has been contaminated by an infidel touching it, a Jew walking past it on the pavement outside or an unclean woman sneezing on the other side of town, by chanting “Bismillah” over it three times.
But that would be actually following their religion, so they can’t do that. Instead a huge industry has sprung up to cater to muslims not versed in the Koran: The halal certification scam. I wonder what muslims living in infidel lands did before the early 80s? Yes, that’s how recently the certification scam started.
This has nothing to do with the animal – like peanuts – being slaughtered according to the rules (with as much pain and spilling of blood as possible) and everything to do with money and ‘soft’ world jihad. Company managers thinking they can increase their revenue no end by sticking a halal certification mark on their product so 1.5 muslims will buy it are forking out thousands of dollars to hire muslim certifiers to oversee that the peanuts and coffee don’t get into contact with something awful like an infidel. And guess who has to pay? You, the consumer.
Hong Kong is not an islamic town, so why do we have any “halal” (permissible) products at all?
Halal certification businesses are run by and finance terror organisations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Every time you support them, you are hastening your own demise.
Halal certification increases the price of the product.
It is a scam and completely unnecessary and is nothing but a hidden islamic ‘goods and services’ tax.
It’s funny how muslims think peanuts must be cleansed before their consumption, yet they don’t mind handling dirty infidel money at all?