Monday, September 17, 2007
Canadian Ambassador to China
Today we were guests at the opening ceremonies of the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute. This was a welcoming of the new freshman students to the school as well as the international students. Check out the outfits on these students. They are required to do compulsory military service. We were paraded in to the stadium in front of them looking like American artists do- all different and all laid back. The students all smiled and waved. We sat in the heat listening to all the dignitaries speeches of which I understood nadda, zilitch, zip.
We then went on about an 8 hour bus trip into the countryside to visit some caves and visit some old potteries. The old lady at the caves offered me fresh wild kiwis and sold nuts and candies to everyone. I gave her a Canadian flag for her blouse and she was most pleased. Everyone laughs at me handing out flags to the working people that treat us right. The ladies in the kitchen each have one , the beer man at the JCI gate and the friends that I am meeting.
We witnessed the end of an era today. The dragon kilns that used to produce pots for needs are being closed. The worker told us people would rather work in restaurants than do the hard labour of pottery.
There is so much construction happening here in China. They seem to start things but don’t finish them. I must have seen a thousand brick or stone houses I’d luv to have as a studio/house. I haven’t seen people that are house proud. The houses have no adornment, flowers or ornamental trees. They just seem to be places to work and use. It’s early for me to draw that conclusion but so far I have seen a lot of garbage and filth.