Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Old Liuzhou in Pictures No. 2

A group of newly graduated middle school students / red guards gather for a picture with the Chairman. All clutching their Little Red Books.

Like the first in this series, this was taken in Liuzhou People’s Square, but earlier. 1968

Ironman Ironwoman Results

My immaculate sources inform me that the Ironman Triathlon held in Liuzhou and which I mentioned earlier has been won. Twice?

The Ironman man winner is a British person named Alistair Brownlee while the Ironman Ironwoman was a Polish person named Agnieszka Jerzyk.

I have no idea what any of this actually means, but for those who can work out what an Ironman Woman might be, the dull* results are here in incomprehensible detail. If you want to cross the river there is a perfectly good bus and taxi system and these new things called bridges!

* I meant to type ‘full results’ but my fingers came up with a better idea!

Down By The Riverside (And Out)

For many years now, a number of homeless Liuzhou people have camped out in the riverside area under the northern end of Liujiang Bridge and in the environs. Recently,  a few (about 10) have been sleeping out on 滨江西路 where this building at No. 9 affords an overhanging projection offering some, if little, protection from any rain.

In recent days efforts have been made to move them away by installing these ridiculously numerous bollards.

Of course, they are just going to move somewhere else. Many of these people are suffering from alcohol and drug dependency problems as well as mental health issues. Just shunting them away helps no one and cures nothing.

These bollards are an eyesore; not the people. Solve the problem; don’t just move it.

Old Liuzhou in Pictures No. 1

青年上山下乡动员大会
Young People’s Go and Work in the Countryside and Mountain Areas Mobilisation Mass Meeting

This photograph was taken in 1973, during Mao’s cultural revolution when the youth was running out of control led by the “Red Guards”. It shows a mass meeting of young people about to be sent to the countryside to “learn from the peasants”.

A lucky few were sent within Guangxi, but many were sent to the ends of China. Many never returned.

The location for the rally was the People’s Square in central Liuzhou (opposite Bubugao now).  The building was on the southern edge of the square, but has long gone.

Click on the image for an enlargement. 3Mb (opens in new window).

Update Update

Tiangong-1 entered the atmosphere at 8:15 this morning and, although most of it was burned up on re-entry, some wreckage did land in the Southern Pacific, NW of Tahiti.

So it’s safe to go out again, but keep your eyes on that launch site in Sichuan.

Falling Objects Update

It appears the bus is late. The South Korea’s National Space Situational Awareness Organisation has said that it is due to enter the upper atmosphere between 4:00 am and 12 noon on Monday.

The debris from the abandoned eight-tonne craft could land anywhere between the latitudes of 43º north and 43º south – from New Zealand to the American Midwest. Liuzhou is 24º north. But that latitude range is one-quarter of the planet so not very helpful unless you are well outside it.

The Chinese media have promised a ‘splendid fireball’  and the government line is still maintaining silence on whether or not the craft is out of control, while simultaneously saying any such suggestion is the invention of the foreign press.

Oh! So they were just organizing a free firework show but can’t tell us where or when!

Pull the other one.

Beware of Falling Objects

Tiangong – 1

当心落物 – Beware of Falling Objects

The world is watching for signs of being hit on the head by the out of control Chinese space station, Tiangong 1 due to crash land somewhere on our planet this weekend. From what I’ve read, scientists are unsure how much of the thing will burn up on re-entry and no one knows where any debris may land.

But don’t think that when it is all over, that you can relax. Back in January, a village near Baise in Guangxi was hit by a discarded booster stage from a Chinese rocket landed in a massive fireball. Amazingly there were no casualties.

The booster came from a rocket fired from the nearby Xichang Satellite Launch Center (西昌卫星发射中心) in Sichuan. This place has a reputation. In 1996,  several people were killed when a launch failed and the rocket crashed into Xichang town. Official figures say 6 were killed and dozens injured, although the  death rate is disputed, with townsfolk believing it was considerably higher.

We actually had a lucky escape just three days ago, when another rocket was launched from the same site. It managed to go off without incident.

So, if you are venturing out today, carry an umbrella! (Actually, Tiangong is likely to re-enter sometime during the night China time so perhaps sleep under the bed.)

Random Photograph 95 – Snail Travel

Random Picture No. 95 is one in a series of pictures, taken in Liuzhou, which amuse, baffle or otherwise interest me.

Ever wonder who organised that “Slow Boat To China”? I reckon I’ve found out.

The English is a direct translation of the Chinese but ‘snail’ has the same metaphoric connotation in Chinese – slow, slow, slow. – so it seems just as odd a choice in both languages. I might use them when there is somewhere I don’t want to get to.

Ironman 70.3

If you are like me, you probably thought what does Ironman 70.3 mean. That source of all human knowledge (not) Wikipedia informs me that

An Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The “70.3” refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run

Apparently, it is coming to Liuzhou on April 14th.

Swim Course

Bike Course

Run Course

I have no idea who drew the maps, but that island (萝卜洲 or Radish Islet) to the north of Wenchang Bridge is nowhere near that size! Here is a better illustration.

Anyway more on the event here.

The Welsh Have Come

Following my recent mention that the Welsh football team were to arrive in Nanning, I can now tell you that they have duly done so.

These exclusive photos are from my spy in Nanning’s Wanda Hotel, where the team is staying.

The team was met as usual by some of the more alluring female staff members dressing up in “traditional” costumes and pretending to members of various local ethnic minorities.

My spy, a friend, is one of the more alluring of the more alluring. She is in the picture above, but I won’t embarrass her.

None of these women actually normally work as reception staff. My friend, for example, is a catering manager. Still, they enjoyed it. And, no doubt, so did the team.


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