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Full Circle

Day 72: Guiyang to Nanning

Guiyang, China 
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'Sooner or later the revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph.' With Mao and his thoughts in Guiyang.
Michael Palin - Full CircleJohn pours me a local Wanshi beer. 'In China the food is very important. Especially for peasants, you know. If they can eat well it means they have a really good life. I think that's their thinking.'

John, who's particularly partial to a bit of stomach, admits that the Chinese will eat most things if they're cooked properly.


He nods emphatically.

'Oh yes, mountain rat. A delicacy.'

When I ask how mountain rat is cooked he has to consult fellow diners. The consensus seems to be that braised rat is best.

I talk to John of what I've seen in China and the sense I feel of tremendous national resurgence. He cautions against thinking that society has changed much. Overseas travel is still the privilege of a tiny minority and the old communist 'unit' is very much alive and well as the basis of social organization. Everyone in China is expected to belong to a social unit, and to report to that unit regularly.

As we turn in for bed we are flung round steep curves at a heart-stopping pace, only to jerk suddenly to a screeching halt. Not a peaceful night as we are hauled over the mountains from Guizhou into Guangxi Province.
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  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 72
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Guiyang
  • Book page no: 106

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