The Wisdom of Age

Large view here

I found this bunch of contented old men relaxing beside a lake in Hangzhou.

Shame I can’t speak Chinese as I bet they had some great stories to tell.


Star Ferry

Large view here

This is the old Star Ferry on its way back to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island. It was a great way to watch the skyline while bobbing across.

I am currently reading the above book and I thought it deserved a recommendation.

The early stages of the book start off in post Mao China during the 80s in the slums of Chongqing.

It provides an interesting insight into a time and place that is not often covered in Chinese literature.

The book is an autobiography of a young Chinese girl who finds her life becoming increasingly politicised as she tries to escape the poverty of her surroundings.

I think I will go back and read some more of it now.

Zhao Gang, 32, from Chongqing city has persuaded his new wife to have plastic surgery to make her look like his first wife.

He lost his first wife Lu in a car smash three years ago..

“I recovered after staying in hospital for half a year and I wish I could have died with her,” he said.

About six months ago, under pressure from his parents, Zhao Gang got married to his new wife, Cai.

“I got married only because she looks a bit like her and I want to have a chance to make up for my mistakes,” says Zhao.

Now Cai has agreed to plastic surgery to look like Zhao’s former wife after a lot of persuading.

“I feel conflicted. I don’t want to become another’s shadow, but I also don’t want to lose the family. Now I only hope the surgery will not make me look ugly,” she said.

Zhao added: “Maybe it’s more or less unfair to her, but she has agreed and I will embrace her with all my love.”

The Chinese government is planning to implement new adoption laws that will include the following rules (from the BBC)

  • Each parent must be between 30 and 50 years of age

  • Only married couples are eligible

  • The total number of divorces/annulments per couple is two

  • Families whose income is derived from retirement, disability, or insurance settlement are disqualified

  • No family can have more than five children in the home

  • Both parents must have BMI’s under 40

  • Either parent taking medication for anxiety or depression are disqualified

This will rule out all Hollywood couples and most of the U.S bible belt.

One adoption agency in the US said that 25% of its clients could be affected but I am sure it would be higher.

China is currently the first choice for most American couples seeking to adopt.

This solution must have involved a good bit of lateral thinking.  

Chinese veterinarians from an aquarium in Fushun were faced with a dilemma when dolphins in their care swallowed plastic used around their pool.

Their mechanical tools failed to successfully remove the dangerous plastic shards.

So they called in Mongolian herdsman Bao Xishun to help.

Bao is currently listed as the world’s tallest man by the Guinness Book of records at 2m 36.1cm (7ft 8.95in).

The heads of the dolphins were held back and towels wrapped around their teeth so Mr Bao could not be bitten.

He then extended his arm length of 1.06m into the mammals’ stomachs.

Chen Lujun, manager of Royal Jidi Ocean World, said Mr Bao was successful and the dolphins were “in very good condition now.

The BBC has a report on a 1Km stretch of the yellow river that has been polluted twice in a month from a heating station close to Lanzhou.

The plant had added a red dye to its water to prevent people from siphoning off the hot water from the pipes it used, officials were quoted by Chinese media as saying.

Officials are saying it is non-toxic but the fish may disagree.   

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