Attracting a Crowd

Nomadic Gatherings by Michel Guntern

Chinese Passtime
Passing The Time in China by Zhang Kaiyv on Unsplash.

Chapter Four: Colonial Gateway - Attracting a Crowd.

Our talking attracted another crowd.

There were nods of approval and sighs of comprehension. I was sure that the older people understood a lot more than they were prepared to let on.

Many had probably studied when they were not supposed to.

When I told the 58 year-old foreign Chinese man that I was heading for Shanghai, one of the onlookers changed his stare to a smile and stepped a little nearer.

"I am from Shanghai," he offered.

He broke off to speak to the old man; a courtesy for interrupting his claim to fame; talking in the tongue of the foreigner.

"Can you understand Chinese?" Shanghai returned to me.

I apologised and said that I was trying. I certainly wouldn't master the character drawing though. Everyone laughed; so they did understand.

The first man felt a little shunted, he thanked me for the conversation and said that he always enjoyed speaking to foreigners.

Shanghai moved my camera bag a little and sat down beside me. He had learnt his English mainly from the radio station.

He was in Canton to visit some friends, had spent 69 hours on the boat and would travel back by train. He had spent all day queuing at the station and still didn't have a seat.

"On the train I am always looking," he said. "Maybe I find no-one somewhere and I have a place."

This was highly unlikely though and he was prepared to roll out some newspaper and claim a space on the floor.

He spread out my map and helped me to plan my tour of China, advising me to stay away from the cities and to see the country.

"When you get home, you can read your tour books about the sights. It is better to see more of the country when you are here," he said.

"Maybe spend a week in Beijing; there is a lot to see there and now in Autumn is the best time."

Nomadic Gatherings

Buy The Book From Amazon Nomadic Gatherings available on Kindle

Travel Map More From Travel Notes

Travel Notes Online Guide to Travel

The Travel Notes Online Guide to Travel helps visitors plan their trip with country and city travel guides, local tourist information, reviewed web sites, and regular travel articles.

Become a Travel Guide on Meta-Travel Join Michel on Meta-Travel.

NextTurn The Page: The Foreign Bookstore.

Cookies Travel Notes > Meta-Travel Tourism Association


Travel and Tourism promotion and online Destination Marketing.

Travel writers and photographers seeking to expand their local contacts and travel networks can easily connect with others interested in travel or living abroad.

Verified Members can even create and manage their own Social Group.


Owners with Business Listings on Meta-Travel can add events, embed videos, send out news to their registered fans, and encourage discussion in their own dedicated forum.


All Accommodation Entries have their own integrated forum where owners can interact with fans. Potential guests can also make an inquiry direct from the lodging listing page.

Tourist Info

Add value to your destination by sharing cool travel tips about hot tourist attractions, places to visit and how to travel around your Favourite Places.

Travel Sites

Connecting some of the best Travel and Tourism websites and Travel Blogs with travel fans through social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

If you enjoy Nomadic Gatherings, please take a moment to share it with your friends on social media.

Travel and Tourism with Industry Professionals

Travel Twip

Travel and Tourism Websites and Blogs