vvChina 2007
vThree Stars Accompanying The Moon




We go with Hai-Xiang's parents and their woman doctor friend the Major General (“I like that in a woman”, Joe says) to the bus station to catch a bus south to visit Mrs. Hai-Xiang’s brother and extended family.

We get out of the taxi and immediately we are surrounded by several shouting gesturing people.  Much debate ensues, and then we are herded off to the side to wait for a jitney bus that takes us to a different bus station.

Turns out that there are many bus companies, and they aggressively go after each and every customer.  The group that surrounded us had been representatives from different bus companies, all wild for our business.

Finally we got underway.  Joe and I were put in the front two seats, being two old foreigners.  They seated Hai-Xiang behind us, “our interpreter”. I am not sure who got moved where to seat us, but everyone heartily enjoyed getting a good look at us.

We arrived in Luzhou and were picked up and whisked off to…..lunch of course.  Lunch, and fabulous suites of rooms in a lovely 4 star hotel.  We had bedroom, living room, and bathroom bigger than most hotel rooms we have had on out trip…..very nice indeed.  And lunch was wonderful.  The extended family has done very well for themselves over the past years and Hai-Xiang's mother had helped them get started in business when they were young, thus the fancy accommodations.

After lunch and a nap we go to visit the brother’s office, which is in the downstairs of a high-rise apartment building they built, own and live in. In the very nice offices we noticed some beautiful rocks which we ran our hands over.  Seeing we were interested in rocks they invited us upstairs to see two of the brother’s rock collections.  Fabulous rocks…..they are all avid collectors and are successful enough now in their business that they have the time to go hunt for rocks in the Yangtze riverbed.

We had several wonderful days with the Huey brothers, seeing the sights and eating great meal after great meal.  With them we drank heavily.  At both lunch and dinner there were endless toasts.  Luckily for us we had Joe on our side, and he was able to hold him own and be the last man still standing….. the last man who was not visibly drunk at the end of meals.

Luzhou is at the confluence of the Yangtze and T'o Rivers.  All along the riverbanks they have built lovely parks for the people to enjoy, and enjoy they do.  This really is the People’s Republic.  Everyone is out and about walking along the riverbanks in the evening, eating noodles, iced fruit popsicles, or a round fruit whose name I never learned.

We went to visit a building just where the rivers meet to look at some undeveloped real estate the brothers owned…or sort of owned.  The developer of the high-rise building sold most of it two times.  When this came to light the developer was thrown into jail, and somehow ownership of the upper floors was settled and people moved into the apartments.  The two lowest floors, however, two of the floors the brothers bought and paid for, sit empty and unfinished.  The two parties who both bought and paid for the space have not reached any settlement, and neither side wants to budge….this has gone on now for five years, each side hoping to hold out longer than the other.  Time will tell.  The fast pace of real estate development in China seems to be filled with many mysteries.


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