“…they discovered a steady two-way stream of traffic, with cars jammed nose to tail. There were little vehicles squeezed between big ones, and motorbikes tagging along behind little cars, the whole like a flock of ostrich chicks being taken for a jolly walk by their mother. They all seemed about to crash into each other, and in fact it wouldn’t have taken much for them to do so. They seemed on the verge of butting the vehicle in front of them before somersaulting into the distance.
“Puffs of blue smoke came from each car; the wheels swish-swished along; the horns blared wildly. There were vehicles on every side, far and near, all chugging out blue smoke and whooshing along, and all honking mightily. The whole of this huge street had become an ocean of traffic.”
The above is from Mr Ma and Son by Lao She. It was written in 1929. As I read the above paragraphs on the train last night, I was reminded of Beijing. Apart from the all-encompassing cloud of pollution, it’s a perfect description of my impressions of the busy roads of the Chinese capital.
The only thing is that he is describing Oxford Street in London during his time living here. Extraordinary.
Work today was mostly about updating the Royal Dockyard records on MIMSY…so, a bit dull as far as fodder for blog posts go. Then, in the afternoon, I was tasked with adding all of my previously completed shipping records to a new spreadsheet that Nick (at work) had created. While I enjoyed (and surmounted) the challenges this presented, it’s hardly very exciting.
In fact, the only exciting thing was when I sent an email to Nick (at work) about the location of a sampan on the deck of a junk. In order to explain where it was, I described it in nautical terms without a second thought. When he read the email, he knew exactly where I meant.
Now, that may not sound very exciting except for the fact that he didn’t react at all. No congratulatory comments about my use of (sort of) technical terms, no derision over any incorrect nomenclature. I think it’s just become accepted that I, finally, know what I’m talking about.