I was lucky; China Customs picked me for a face to face interview. They did not only pick me but a random selection of the passengers on board; they wanted to see all of us at midnight. No kidding, midnight. The problem was most people they selected were asleep at that time. What to do? The Ship’s Purser negotiated to have the face to face interview at 9.00 AM the next morning instead. And what was all this about? A Chinese woman had a list; maybe 30 people were on the list. You step up to her, passport in hand, she looked at the passport, hooked off the name in the list, glanced at you, nodded her head and off you go. Not a word was spoken. A very strange interview! Stranger even to want do this at midnight. Welcome to China.
We docked at Dalian at 11.00 AM but somehow the Chinese Border Security was already on board. Were they on board since Shanghai? After Shanghai we went to Korea, so did they go to Korea with the ship? Did they jump onto the ship like harbor pilots do at each port? When did they come on board? If they wanted a midnight interview they had to be on board, right? Again, very strange to have Chinese border guards on our ship while we are at sea coming from Korea. Stranger still to think we were being watched since we left where? Shanghai? Or even Inchon? Welcome to China. The hidden agendas of China give me the creeps!
|Almost No People About|
|Gates for the Wanda Mansion|
|Of Course the Only Open Entrance is Guarded|
Wanda Mansion Buildings in Background
Not many people have paid attention to this, or to the
|Wall on the Side of the Wanda Complex|
We were only 6 hours in Dalian, not enough time to do much. Since my focus was the Wanda Corporation I did not visit down town nor the parks and or large Squares. Beijing claims Tiananmen Square is the largest public square. Not quite, Dalian’s public square is bigger.
I just took a few pictures of
going up, walked over brand new, but already cracked sidewalks, watched a
Ferrari Testa Rosa drive by and looked at the stunned face of a delivery guy on
a shabby tricycle when he saw the car. There are two levels in China. The ‘have’
level of grandeur and wealth with Ferraris is one level and the level of the
delivery guy who still pedals his bicycle in freezing cold weather to make
deliveries is the other. There really is no middle class. Dalian has both
levels but there seems to be an unusually higher number of the ‘haves’ here. One
can judge by the buildings built and going up, anyhow.
|Delivery By Motorcycle to the Wanda Mansion|
|Really Cold in Dalian|
The visit to Dalian was short. We are off to Beijing now and that is the end of my cruise adventures for a while. Last blog will most likely be from Beijing.