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By Mike Brosnon

Girl in Lijiang Yunnan

Home, a wee rest, and off out into the main street to find sucker. Found a new place, again of the “White “ minority where had a couple of “Snow” beers @ eight rmb. ea NZ 1-80 , sat imbibing and, well !!
THE NIGHT OPERA CONTINUES.
This little girl. I would say about six, with the wiles of  twenty . Yes a very “old” little girl. Precocious in the extreme, but handled with style. Attractive and knew it. jealous of any other pretty girl, disdainful of little boys, I was more her meat. I made the mistake of noticing her as I do with all little ones, so she parked herself at my table and while doing complicated lines and graphics with a pencil and ruler, she would look up to be noticed, and bat her eyes at ‘ this old guy”
I tried to ignore her as it was a bit much, so she tried it on another middle aged chap, and although he was fascinated, he had his own little girl to spoil and attend to, so she would strut around with the pencil balanced in her little ear, eventually going to ground deciding no doubt, she was above all of us, found a spare table and appeared to be doing some serious graphics, all the while looking disdainfully around at the more average spoilt ,loud kids. She never once uttered a sound, she didn’t need to, it was all body language and eyes. I kept wondering who her mother was, as the waitresses all looked after her, the old adage “it takes a village to rear a child” applies a lot esp. in the more rural China. Her mother turned out to be the sour faced, manager / or owner of the place.
THINK HAVE MISSED A FEW DAYS ABOVE.
22-7-16
Didn’t sleep well last night. Get so tired in the day time, I am wont to have a snooze, and that has never worked for me as, I then don’t sleep well at night Spent the night going thru Tim's case, and what might come up if I have to take the stand. Covered some good stuff I feel, hoping this might put me to sleep, but no.
About eight in the morn.the power went out, as it is prone to do all over, so popped around the corner for breakfast..Had my great noodle soup in the same place where I am very welcome now Spent some time with the help / or hindrance! of the obliging receptionist ringing my hotel in Kunming. They tried to charge me 250 a night, but i persisted in saying I had booked and as i was a member with their card it was nearer 190. Eventually got it for the original price of 197 rmb.
One o'clock and the b.—-power still not on but can still write and am caught up.
Six pm and power on, so think I got an e-mail to Our Mike. Richard rang and wants to take David Round, and Richard Allison over to “Gloriavale” with us.
    Went back to the same  restaurant and. THE NIGHT OPERA CONTINUES.

First my little fairy / hobgoblin was absent, and the waitresses couldn’t understand my gestures as to where she was. Then, in a flash she just appeared seemingly from under the armpit of the waitress, and it was all on again.
No ruler or pencil behind the ear this time, just the real thing, she knew she had a captive audience in this old fella. So, in the cutest little voice, she started to talk. She would lean into my obviously part deaf ear and, with such a serious communicative face proceed to inform me about the / her world in short version, then run off only to return a minute later with more snippets.
As long as I aquessed and nodded approval, she decided we were in full understanding and friendship. This went on for the duration, to the fascination, or amazement of many of the other diners, and the knowing grins of the waitresses. . She was not adverse to work either as, a waitress would click her fingers and she would jump into action delivering crockery etc. and when later I wanted another Snow beer, I just pointed at the empty bottle, she knew precisely. She would whip to the cabinet, and the right bottle would appear at my table, her with a gracious smile. I asked her mama later her age, she said curtly “seven”
So, where to with an exceptional little individual like her? I wonder how long it would take the system to ‘dumb her down with “school etc “ a little individual who, I could envisage becoming ,, a famous artist, performer, or perhaps, business woman, rather than “work fodder, as grist for the mill.( She reminds me of a tiny Franziska . )
 I should add, that as well as attending opera I did eat, and this meal was one of the best i’ve had, mostly a green, lots of sliced chills, and octopus
A comparison , while walking home after my delightful experience with my little film star, I stopped in wonder as, in the large foyer of a new, big building, were about twenty five young men and a few women lined up in rows, and their superior in front having them perform in unison.They were jumping up and down, clicking their heels etc. like robots, or performing monkeys.
I understand, as there are so many new aspirants coming on “the market” in China, any job is  a JOB. It looked sad and even disgusting to me.  ( Oh for my little fairy )

Richard MacDonald asked me of my favourite impressions. Stuck at the time, I feel it was the alternative education I experienced, especially around Dali, ( which I have written about ) The droves of, often intelligent people, running away from “the progress! “ of China’s Eastern seaboard, from the pollution, stress, and greed, who often see no future in that for their children, and look for a different one, which often involves a freer, more natural and human education, either home schooled or small specialised ones that suit a particular individual, for instance, the six couples I met with down syndrome children.



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