One road journey etched in memory is the wedding procession from Taizhou* to a village nearby. I have visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Zhujiajiao but here was an unknown place, a village.
The traditional wedding had already taken place and we were there for the wedding reception at a five-star hotel in Taizhou. In the morning the groom’s relatives and friends were going to escort the bride from her village, and we accepted the invitation to be part of the wedding procession. According to custom the groom and his parents stayed back in the city, giving finishing touches to the welcome-function for the bride in her new home.
Five BMW’s drove through village roads, a different face of China of cultivated fields, slimy ponds with ducks, village homes festooned with drying clothes, women and children sitting on steps basking in the afternoon sun and few strays.
The boom and bang of crackers signaled the return journey and we brought the bride home. It is a different story that it was one of the most auspices wedding days and we passed eight similar processions in the city. There must have been more.
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*Taizhou, formerly T’ai-chow, is a new-kid-on the block, an emerging industrial city situated south of Ningbo on the eastern coast of Zhejiang province facing the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean to the east