The canal is lit up at night and is the destination of the cheapest form of date, walking along the paths and looking at the lights.
Okay, I am not really sailing away, but we were on a boat.
Last weekend Krista, myself, and a few of our foreign friends decided to adventure up one of the small canals that zigzags through the heart of the city. For some bizarre reason, the boat was empty for the first half of the trip.
That was fine with us.
We yelled and lauged and made spectacles of ourselves as hundreds of Chinese people sat on the bank and waved back at us. It was almost as if we were on a one-float waterborne parade. We saw no less than four weddings taking place as we floated by. Seriously, it is that scenic around the canals.
By the time we landed at the halfway point, I had decided to do something that was perhaps a little foolish. A block away from the pier was a kite shop where I purchased the cheapest piece of garbage kite I could find. Just in case it fell in the water. Then, when we got back on the boat, this time with several Chinese passengers as well I proceeded to unfurl the kite.
They were excited and awed. Never before had they seen a foreigner fly a kite off of a boat before. My friends laughed and took some video. This was far and away a bad idea though.
Within five minutes we approached one of the dozens of bridges that span the canals. It was getting dark out and it was not until one of my friends pointed out the danger to my kite that I noticed. Looking back I realized I only had about thirty seconds to reel in my line before losing my kite and possibly causing a car accident.
I gave the winder to my friend Brad and told him to start rolling up the line. Without waiting for him to answer, I started hauling the kite out of the sky. The entire time people were laughing at our plight.
I can’t get any respect.
We saved the kite and put it away. Some powers are just not meant to be in the hands of mortals. I did have a nice chat with a four-year-old girl on the way back to our docking point, though. She sang us the ABCs and played with the kite.
We all had a good time and despite my efforts, no one got thrown into the water.
» Alex Murray and his girlfriend Krista Mills are spending a year teaching English in China. They're filing regular dispatches back to their hometown paper.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 6, 2012