Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Trip to Guangzhou

So, yesterday we needed to take a quick overnight trip down to Guangzhou so that Tina could visit her friends at the Canadian consulate. She is down to only one empty page for entry/exit stamps and her passport expires soon, so off we go with a wad of cash and stacks of paperwork so that we can get a new one without having to fly back home to Canada.

We get into Guangzhou later then we expected last night, I think airline delays are a standard thing, and went straight to bed after a quick dinner. It was nice just to have a silence instead of the constant construction noise we are now used to.

First thing in the morning we are up and at the consulate, things there go smoothly and in 90 minutes we are finished, only having to return in 2-3 weeks to pick up Tina's new passport and have her current one cancelled. From there we are walking back through the hotel when we see two girls in "I Love China" shirts with Chinese flag stickers on their faces, then we notice the people outside lining up on the streets.

Ah, what a coincidence, the Olympic torch is running through Guangzhou at the same time we are here. Great, we have about three hours before we need to leave for the airport. A quick stop at a Starbucks for coffee and we are outside with a good viewpoint on the corner.

All sorts of people waiting and waving flags, a guy next to us told us that the torch was due to come by in an hour. An hour later the crowds we a little deeper and there was some police now stationed at various intervals along the street, but no torch. The one police near us said something to some of the people near us, I thought I understood him to say "10, 20 minutes", Tina thought she understood "After lunch", and the couple next to us gave up their space and walked away....

Huh, well that's OK, we still had an hour before we needed to leave to catch our flight - we can wait. An hour later we left to go to the airport, the crowd was bigger but we still had no idea as to how close the torch was to passing.

We don't know how close or far away the torch was, but we made it to the airport just in time to find out that our flight was two hours delayed...

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