A thing of beauty. “No” votes in red; “Yes” in green
It has been a roller-coaster few days. I’ve gone from anxiety, through trepidation to elation. Then to loss and sadness.
Thursday-Friday night I couldn’t sleep for worrying that my home country was about to commit suicide.
I haven’t lived there for decades, but I still care.
All day Friday, I was on Twitter and the BBC, mapping each result as they came in, electoral district by district. By the time 26 of the 32 had declared it looked highly unlikely the the independence voters would win. By the 31st declaration it became impossible for them to win, even if the last district voted 100% for independence, which was never going to happen – they voted “No”
Only four districts voted “Yes”. One was Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city where 75% of the population is permanently drunk. Of that 75%, one third thought they were voting for their favourite football team, another third thought the question was “Would you like another pint, Jimmy” and the remainder were just anti-English bigots.
To be fair, some of the “No” voters weren’t entirely sure what they were voting for either or what question they were answering. A substantial number thought they were entering pleas. Do you plead “Guilty”?
Two other districts voted “Yes” because they secretly think they are part of Glasgow anyway.
The city of Dundee also voted “Yes”, but Dundee isn’t just another city; it’s another planet, so forget about them.
So Friday night I slept better, but not perfectly.
I have known for months that, at noon on Saturday, I had to have lunch with my best friend in Liuzhou. That is usually a very good thing, but this time it was a farewell lunch. She is off to the USA to study and I’m going to miss her so much. I’m happy she has the opportunity to go and I’m proud of her, but…
Bizarrely, for a Chinese girl woman, she chose Japanese as her last lunch (for a while). So we hit the nearest conveyor belt, but when she wasn’t paying attention (she was on her phone) I ordered a big plate load of sashimi.
At 12 o’clock we have raw Scallops, then moving clockwise, Surf Clam (Hokkigai), Herring*, Salmon, Octopus, and Shrimp. In the lower centre is Mackerel and above it Crab Roe served in a half lemon shell. All raw.
We also had small plates of raw tuna sashimi, baby squid in a gingery sauce, red snapper sushi, crab sushi, goose liver sushi and unidentified frying object sushi from the conveyor belt. And pickled ginger as a between item taste cleanser. Oh, and tea.
We then said a sad goodbye. Tears were shed.
One thing expatriates get used to is saying “goodbye’. People come and go. But until recently, Chinese friends mostly stayed. Not so much now. I’ve had three friends leave this month. Was it something I said?
*The company website describes this as ‘herring’, but I’m far from sure. The Chinese (希鲮鱼 ) translates as ‘rare dace’, but I don’t think it’s that either. It was good whatever it was.