Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

5th Time Around

Well, I got dragged along to the opening ceremony of the 5th Liuzhou International Fantastic Stone Festival, anyway. I got up early and staggered off to take a bus from the official meeting point in the city centre. The bus then drove straight past my home again and deposited me outside some building on the east side of the river where the government fat cats have built their forbidden city.

I was very near the front (second row) and sat watching the entertainment which everyone else ignored. A few dancers and some gymnasts from a local college bounced about a bit for a while to some rather loud music.

 Dancer

Pyramids

After a while the dancing was over and the top cats wandered in. The top of the top cats, Liuzhou’s Party Secretary, who used to be the mayor, sat right in front of me. Next to him was the Secretary of the Liuzhou’s Peoples’ Congress, whatever that is. To the left was the ex-party secretary who is now No.2 in Guangxi, or something. The current mayor was way down the rankings (even I had a better seat), but after everyone had been introduced, he was the first to make a speech. The Party Secretary and the guy beside him totally ignored the speech and chatted throughout. As did most people.

Hosts

Mayor

This was very sensible. I’ve been to every Stone Festival in Liuzhou (the first was in 1999) and they make the same speech every time. And it was a pile of nonsense the first time round.

Then the party secretary got up and banged a gong to formally open the festival. That was fascinating.

Gong

Then there were some ear-splitting, heart stopping explosions and ticker tape and balloons were shot into the air.

Tape

Then we all wandered off to appreciate stones.

Appreciate

Stone

They don’t do much for me, but I quite liked the one above.

By the way, if you’ve ever wondered what the correct dress for stone appreciating formalities is then here you go!

dress

Then it was time for lunch, after which I escaped.

I do have tickets (and a private invitation) for the F1 Motorboat Grand Prix this afternoon, but frankly I’m not interested in the slightest. If you are, then I sugggest you have a look here.

. This entry was posted on Sunday, October 12th, 2008 at 1:33 pm and is filed under Liuzhou News, Liuzhou Stones. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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