China for the New Year (5): Wuhan

On our two-week trip to China, after three nights in the capital Beijing, we flew – a flight of one hour 40 minutes – to Wuhan, the home town of my Chinese ‘daughter’ Hua.

Wuhan is one of the largest cities in the world of which you have never heard. It lies at the intersection of the Yangtze and Han River and is the capital of the province of Hubei with a population of 10.6 million which makes it the most populous city in central China. One of its current claims to fame is that it has the ninth largest number of skyscrapers in the world (104).

Hua’s parents live in a large flat on the ninth floor of a ten-story apartment block and Hua and her son Joshua are staying with them, while I am accommodated in the nearby International Academic Exchange Centre of the Huazhong Agricultural University where Hua’s father used to be an academic specialising in the treatment of pigs.

I was at the flat for dinner which was attended by seven family members and involved a total of 12 dishes served simultaneously on a revolving circular table. I was pleased to be commended on my chopstick skills.

Afterwards we went out to an empty area where one of the middle-aged members of the family set off a firework display to celebrate the New Year, even though technically it is forbidden to have private fireworks because of the issue of pollution. At regular intervals, we were each issued with two foot-long sparklers so that we could make circular light displays.


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