Another two weekends, another two parties!!

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March 29th 2009
Published: April 6th 2009
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Once again, two weekends in a row. Lisa was host to food fests that continued into the evening. I tried to pace myself with the food to no avail. There is always too much and it is always too good. Earlier in the day, last Saturday, Nancy and I were treated to a great lunch at a wonderful Chinese restaurant in downtown Hankou. One of our Chinese friends picked us up at our place to take us to a PR show that was organized by her husband, who works for one of the major papers in town. It was rained out so we ended up being wined and dined instead.

During the car ride to the show, we had a great conversation about the Chinese media and what it is like to work for a major Chinese daily. I think I will leave the details of that conversation out of this blog, but it was very interesting to hear the inside scoop.

It has been a week since the party happened but I have gone ahead and posted the pics anyways. And this past weekend, same place, different party. For reasons, I won't go into, no pictures emerged from that one.

The warm weather is back again. It got up into the 20s today and is supposed to stick around. Great weather for zipping around on the scooter. Speaking of which.....lets delve into the two-wheeled industry here for a bit.

One of our friends wanted to pick up a scooter similar to ours the other night. We went on a little shopping jaunt to the local scooter shop where he was told. "You do realize you need a license plate to go any distance on these things?" We had a Chinese friend in tow who translated for us, that English sentence dd not really occur as described above, Well. the poor guy was not impressed since he did want to "go some distance" now and again. Unlike another friend and myself, both with unlicensed scooters and not worried. he wanted to do the right thing and get something with a licence plate.

So...upon asking around, he was told where to go to purchase a "black market" machine complete with plates. Yep, you guessed it. Stolen bike, stolen plates, no motorcycle driving license but able to go anywhere. The black market is alive and well here in Wuhan. So for about the equivalent of $500 Canadian later after a trip down a narrow alley to wheel and deal with the black market tycoons, he emerged with a fairly new 125cc real motorcycle with only 2000km of mileage. Meanwhile. woosy little yours truly is going the legal route but it is taking a lot longer! Apparently the theft of motorcycles here is a pretty big problem and the sale of them is a big enough business that everyone in town knows where to go to buy one!!

It's a little like the wild west around here. Lots of laws but not a lot of enforcement. 90% of the DVDs available are pirated, 5 out of every 6 Yamahas you see riding down the road are counterfeits, and I suppose a good chunk of the rest are stolen. And people wonder why everything is so cheap to purchase. I think it would be pretty hard to find a legitimate anything in this country. Maybe all the real stuff is exported!

Anyway, that's about it for now. Term 3 is coming to end and the summer is approaching fast. We will be flying back to Canada on July 19 for about three weeks, but spending our time in the eastern part of the country.

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