Tuesday, 13 May 2008

I'm in!

Folks, I've crossed the border, over the bridge at the end of the underground line and past the (I've forgotten where my cheek muscles that make me smile) chinese border guard, breezing through customs with a bottle of whisky for my host, and into arrivals to meet Donald and his live-in nurse Yueyueng. I'm writing this post-dinner from Duncan's apartment of the 23rd floor of a block in Shenzen. He's been very kind and has offered to put me up for a night or two before we depart.

But let's take a step back. Today was fantastic - I met the other Chan brother, Donald, his wife Mason and their fantastic daughter Lindsey, and grandson Danny. They were fresh of the plane from Perth, Australia, yet were kind enough to invite me to their immaculate flat, also in the mid-levels (I've yet to meet anyone that lives anywhere else!). We dined at their daughter's house to a lovely meal of fish, noodles, rice and vegetables all prepared by their live-in (Fillipino I think?) helpers.

Then it was back to Donalds where he showed me some real gems - Richard, prepare to get jealous!
I've seen Andrew Chan Chak's KCB/KBE (Knight Commander of the British Empire) medal (this made him a 'Sir'), the bullet on the gold chain that remained in his arm for the first few days of the escape, his pocket watch and his original beautifully hand written diary/account of the escape. Of course the latter is all in Cantonese, but I'm in the process of hopefully transcribing some of it with Duncan...

So, to bring it to life:
1) Donald and I

2)The medals and bullet

3) And finally, a typical page from Sir Andrew Chan Chak's diary

Now all I've got to do is get the twin brothers Chan together in the same place at the same time with me - no mean feat I can tell you!

PS I've been told in no uncertain terms by my host and hostess that "your Mandarin is terrible" - guess I'll just have to point and act... I'll be a mime expert on my return.

No comments: