Saturday, June 27, 2009

A night on the Yangtze.


D
inner was served around 6:30p. Nothing special, nothing memorable. Lucky I wasn't very hungry.


After dinner, we went for a walk around the town of Fenjie where we had docked. Back up on the funicular to street level.



On the funicular ride, I could look back and see our boat. Definitely not the luxury liner :-)







The overcast day was turning into an overcast night and even though it was sunset, it was just as hot and humid as mid day. Ugh....


On our walk through Fenjie, Jenny told us that many of the towns that are now alongside the river were built in just the past several years. From the looks of it, I think Fenjie is one such town. Most of the buildings in these new towns were erected by the Chinese government to house families displaced by flooded lands resulting from the construction of the Yangtze River dam. I saw quite a few of the towns as we cruised up and down the river – all very nondescript with no distinguishing charm or character. So sad that a country with so much interesting cultural heritage is not putting any of that to use when constructing these new villages.

We took advantage of our walk through Fenjie to buy supplies for our overnight train trip the next day. We entered a grocery store where there was a family sitting down to eat dinner just inside the entrance. They basically picked up and moved their table and stools to the sidewalk. We did our purchases and as I was standing on the sidewalk waiting for the rest of the group to exit, Jenny told me that one of the family members was offering me a piece of duck to taste. How could I say “no” to such a generous offer? I graciously obliged and nibbled on the piece. I have to say....it was very tasty!


After we got our supplies, we retraced our steps back to the boat....and not a moment too soon as lighten was striking in the near distance and thunder was cracking. We managed to make it back to the boat just before the deluge began. It rained hard.

Earlier that afternoon, Jenny had told us that there would be after dinner entertainment put on by the ship’s crew. The show would be put on in the bar so we all congregated there. The show started with a couple of folk dancing performances by the crew.

Then, there was a game of musical chairs. They wanted two participants from our group. Since Robbie and Bernd were sitting the closest to the stage, they were *volunteered* to play the game. In addition to Robbie and Bernd, there were three other more players – two Chinese women and a Chinese man. The rules were then explained to us.... there was a twist to how the game was played. When the music stops, the emcee shouts out the name of an article and the participants have to rush back to their friends, retrieve the article and then claim one of the seats. Whoever did not get a seat would be out. The first two rounds were pretty straightforward in terms of the items they had to retrieve – a shoe and a camera. The first two rounds eliminated the women. Round 3 got tricky – the guys had to retrieve a necklace. I was filming the game the entire time so I’m not sure who supplied the necklaces to Robbie and Bernd but they beat out the Chinese guy. The last round was down to Robbie and Bernd. The item they had to retrieve as a tee shirt. The video shows how creative they got with getting this item and who won the final round!

 

Bernd’s prize for winning the game was two bottles of beer which he shared with the group that helped him win. :-)

When the game was over, there were a few folk dance performances by the crew....and oh yeah, there was a person or two who was brave enough to do a karaoke performance!

After the *entertainment* ended, the bar cleared out – everyone headed back to their cabins for the night.

For me, the day ended with a cold shower (no hot water) and then straight into bed. As I fell asleep, I thought back on the day. It had been a great day on the river!