Where people have strange-shaped heads

And they speak an unknown language.

After a degree of dithering, it has been decided that the start-of-term conference will be in Chengdu. Now, when I say “in Chengdu”, I’m being rather generous. “Near Chengdu” would be more accurate and about as accurate as “Wuxi is near Chengdu”. I suspected that we might get dispatched to 石室的 North Lake School, which, I’m informed, is a long way from anywhere; and it seems that my fears were right. We may be in a five-star hotel, but it’s a five-star hotel out beyond the fourth ring road, which places us so far out of the city that I think the area is known as, er, Tibet.

Although the conference won’t give us much time for larks and frolics regardless of our location, I was hoping at least to make the pilgrimage to High Fly, but it seems that the heathens have deprived the faithful of such a chance; and anyone who was hoping to see the sights of Chengdu won’t be seeing much at all.

The weather had reached that uncomfortably humid phase as it goes greenhouse on us. Yesterday morning the cloud was grey but thin enough to reveal the disc of the sun and let the heat through. By some time in the afternoon, the cloud had thickened along with the haze, and the light had turned a dull yellow. It’s done something similar today although at the moment the dullness is less extreme. I’ve decided to go to Ajisen for tea tonight and will not be surprised if it starts raining around the time of my departure. It’s the sort of weather which makes me feel like snoozing.

Recent supercar sightings include a white Lamborghini Gallardo parked down outside the Olympic Museum yesterday, and an Audi R8 on 解放路 at lunchtime. What joy there is in my heart to see such a gross disparity in the distribution of wealth in the Empire. Now I know for sure that it is “the advanced nation”.

The exchange rate is improving again as the cost of music downloads from Presto Classical falls slightly, and the price of some downloads from the Classical Shop or Hyperion Records is getting quite competitive as sterling sinks alongside the Euro. Even so, I’ve stopped buying music for the moment partly because of the price and partly because I’m trying to assimilate what I’ve bought so that I’m not always thinking, I know I’ve heard this before, but…

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