birmingham. In which I ask for help with understanding chinese culture
Birmingham Travel Blog› entry 74 of 87 › view all entries
**photos to follow**
Today, I was in Birmingham, with some hours to kill. As it is the last week before pay day, this was harder than normal. I mean, generally, my thoughts on Brum can be summed up in two words. "The Bullring." A great glass shopping centre with a large branch of Selfridges. It's not that I'm that shallow - honestly - it's just that unlike Manchester, or London, or anywhere else really, I've never found anything else to do in the city centre. Today, I thought, I will have to try. My thoughts on Birmingham have subsequently widened considerably.
Actually, I was up taking advantage of the fact I had a date that night and I didn't want to waste the train ticket, and I thought, well, if the date doesn't go well then at least I got to see Birmingham.
Well, first, I went to the Bullring and mooched about. I didn't buy anything - I was very well behaved - but I did look at lots of dresses. I can confirm that if I ever really, really need a dress, Birmingham will come up with the goods. But there is only so long I can look at shops for. So I went up to where I dimly remembered seeing a gallery.
The square where the gallery is, Victoria square, was bedecked in many lanterns, a noodle stall, and a large outdoor broadcast unit. It turned out that they were cellebrating British Chinese culture, which sounded pretty interesting, actually. Alas, it was not really easy to figure out what was going on.
Voice over says "Confucious says there are five elements that make up the world" and then doesn't say anything else. Some dance music comes on.
bunch of cheerful people in green t-shirts did tai chi, in a parade formation, behind really pretty lady wearing white robes, a veil, and carrying willow and some sort of flask
bunch of annoyed looking teenagers danced behind a dragon, a phenix, and some sort of beasty.
Cheerful green people taichi-ed and were surrounded by monsters
pretty lady waved at crowds, was carried away by orange bird rickshaw, got in a platform and waved at crowd.
three fireworks went off.
Now, it was cery pretty, very confusing, adn I am at a total loss to explain the symbolism.
Most of Birmingham city gallery was between displays. There is, however, a lot of Pre-Raphaelite stuff, whihc essentially means very well executed paintings of women swanning about dying tragically in a languide way. Not my thing. There was some good ceramic stuff, though. I passed the square again (the legs of the dragon were now huddling round a cigarette, and very pretty white robe woman was getting photos taken with some south american tourists) and went to the Mailbox for a look-see. And after that, I will draw a veil over procedings, because I am not sure that bloke-from-date really wants it discussed online!