Diwali by the Pearl River

It was Diwali night, and cities in China were all going to be lit up in celebration. Of course, they are lit up on all nights, but that is a minor incidental detail.

We sat down in a relaxed restaurant on a promenade next to the Zhujiang river. Lanterns hung from trees, and dim LED lamps on the tables cycled through the spectrum. I thought it looked enchanting, and The Family agreed that this was a nice place to enjoy a Diwali sundowner. We sat down for a Tsingtao. The Family asked “Is it only in India that you get some nibbles when you order drinks?” Spain was another place that came to mind. It is not the custom in Guangzhou. We ordered a basket of squid to go with the beer. It took a while to come, so we ordered a beer to go with the squid. Diwali is a time to be happy, to let go of little concerns.

As it got darker, the number of cruise boats on the river increased. This made the place look even more enchanting. Lights came on simultaneously in the buildings across the river. The high-rises seemed to be mainly dark, except for the bright synchronized LEDs playing through the exterior. I don’t know whether the video that you see above gives you the sense of calm and unhurried charm that enveloped us. There were no firecrackers, and we were far away from friends and family, but it was an enchanting evening. The mellow winter of Guangzhou suited us to a tee (now I know what that means!). We walked back content with our first day in Guangzhou.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


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