Eighty Eight:


Magun's Compass
Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others


China, October 1988

You really felt like one in a billion
in those days

The big machine was in momentum all around. Many were afraid to speak, the Sino-Chinese summit was still a long way off, and with that the most memorable picture to come out of China; that lone protester standing in the line of an advancing tank column in Tian'men Square.

mahjong.jpg (16280 bytes)
Playing Mahjong
Michel Guntern


The Scribbling foreigner attracts attention.

"What you write?" an old man crouches beside you.

"It's about the scenery."

"Ah," he looks at the notebook more closely. How much can he read of the scrawl, or even understand?

He smiles, and reveals two bottom teeth moulded in gold. Another nugget gleams from the top right-hand side of his mouth. Was the gap in the front the result of two being pawned, or is he still saving?

He smells of beer, is overseas Chinese, and works on the boats. He likes it that your countries are friends, and tells you that the large red sign on the bridge means: 'workers should work hard to build the city'.

A crowd appears. There are nods of approval, and sighs of comprehension. Many of the older people had probably studied when they were not supposed to.

China was, and still is, a very fascinating country. Sadly, the Mao suits are being replaced, and gold teeth cost more.



[Hong Kong]

[A Word of Caution]

Asia Index.

Nomadic Gatherings - Travels in Asia and Australia

Travel on trains and buses in Asia, then jump into cars with complete strangers in Australia and New Zealand as Michel introduces you to a collection of characters that bring Nomadic Gatherings to life.

If you can't afford to buy a copy of Nomadic Gatherings, the chapters are slowly being made available online - for free.

You may even decide that it really is worth having a hard copy in your hands; a useful read for those long bus journeys being written about, and for endless waits at ferry ports.

Nomadic Gatherings - Online Chapters.

Find out more about Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, The Middle East, and The Americas.
Magun's Compass

Originally Hosted on Geocities - in 1996

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