I1: 全州→广州 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

September 24, 2020

I1: 全州→广州

I hadn't really thought long and hard about it but I think I'd assumed that I was probably going to try and find something to do for High Holydays this year. Particularly for Yom Kippur. So, when the people from the American consulate who deal with the consular liaison volunteers announced both a "Town Hall" event and a training class for us volunteers in roughly the same time range, there was a strong likelihood that no matter how much I disliked my one experience with the Guangzhou Chabad House back in something like 2007, I was probably going there for my yearly religion stuff.

Except that...

Not only is the Guangzhou Chabad the only synagogue in Guangzhou, the rabbi and rebbetzin from that congregation are currently stuck outside the country. 

The American Jew that I know in Guangzhou contacted the Foshan Chabad but they said that there weren't enough Jews left in Guangzhou post-Chabad to even form a minyin let alone to consider asking the Foshan contingent to come up to Guangzhou to pray rather than vice versa.

Going to Chabad rather than an anything else synagogue is something I'd rather not do. Going to Chabad mid-Tour is something I'd even more rather not do. And, no matter how nice the Beijing and Shanghai Houses are, on the basis of that one experience back in 2007, I'd rather skip High Holydays altogether than go to an unfamiliar Chabad House which is associated with one that I found as thoroughly unpleasant as the Guangzhou Chabad.

Both my Mom and my Dad were grassroots politicians and rabble rousers so I think they'd approve of my going and doing stuff with the consulate so, even though I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to be 'surprised' with a formal recognition (though I don't think I did anything special this time) the way they did the last time they strongly hinted that I really ought to consider showing up for an event, it seemed appropriate to take the time and go to Guangzhou.

I successfully bought the sleeper train tickets to Guangzhou myself but, once I was sure of the time for getting back, I had to get Tyra involved because I couldn't find a return ticket (turns out the train I wanted was already booked full) and even she couldn't get me anything. Although the timing on it was still horrible, I was luckily able to purchase something with a transfer at the train station.

Not that I want to do standing room for 5 hours (even if my bad leg would let me) but standing room tickets aren't being sold right now and it's making it a lot harder to get train tickets as people who would have been willing to stand for an earlier train are buying up the seats (and beds) on later ones.

Took a good long time in getting everything ready to leave in storage at the hotel and left around noon. Got a massage, got lunch, and then - lacking anything else to do - went to the train station. Since masks were required to get in the door, the tout that came over to me as I was getting out of my taxi was selling individual masks. Most people at least kept the mask kind of sort of on (though often as a chin bra) while in the station but a good third of the visible people during the time I spent waiting simply didn't bother to have it on at all unless they were somewhere where people were checking.

On the one hand, really annoying.
On the other hand, the occasional blip of domestic cases (that aren't in the closed loop of inbound passengers doing quarantine) is in the single digits per week.
On the gripping hand, them not wearing masks meant that I could also get away with not wearing mine.

Today's ride: 4 km (2 miles)
Total: 1,505 km (935 miles)

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Jean KnopsHi good to see you. I used to read you on crazyguyonabike, but some cranky geezer deleted my account. Doing some google searching I found you here. I currently live in Suzhou, only bike around town, but like to read your longer distance exploits. I don't have tiktok, but do have wechat, please add me jknops2

Cheers, johannes (jean) knops
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Marian RosenbergTo Jean KnopsRequest sent.
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