Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dragon Power

After the Gorges shenanigans of the day, Harry persuaded everyone to indulge in karaoke that night. The English language songlist stretched to a page, and half the songs on that were just music videos with no words shown onscreen. It was a little strange to see songs, written for movies, being shown to videos of other movies (for example, Starship's 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us' from 'Mannequin' being shown to 'True Lies'). Nothing could disquise the quality or absence thereof, and when I saw Chinese passengers performing ballet to some of the tracks (a thin Chinese grandfather, for instance), I felt like I was at a bad wedding. Perhaps it wasn't the most sociable thing to do, but I begged off sick and had an early night.

The next day, Harry suggested Dragon Racing! To the beat of a drum we would row a dragon prowed boat against another dragon prowed boat manned by tourists. The others went to the local temple beforehand, presumably to beg the gods for good fortune. I stuck by the boats and stared at the refuse floating around. I know we have people who litter back home, but it pains me to see Chinese carelessly soil their great river. A fat tracksuited idiot flicked his water bottle over his should and into the Yangtse while I watched. He then threw some more plastic at his girlfriend and missed. I felt heartened when I saw her go over to the plastic. Unfortunately it was only so she could kick it into the water. Meanwhile the toilets by the jetty flushed into the rubbish.

Eventually we got into our dragon boat. I had Ger behind me and a Chinese guy in front and no one could really paddle to the drumbeat. We paddled forth nevertheless wondering to ourselves whether this was a practice run. The other boat was evidently on a practice run too, and before we knew it the beat had quickened and we were winning the race! In fact, we won, easily, too easily. The other boat came in ten minutes later. It was all over far too quickly.


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