Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

This afternoon Snow and I went on a scavenger hunt for the old diplomatic missions from the treaty port days. At first Snow was not exactly sure what I was up to, but after we found the first one, she caught on pretty quickly and got into the game. Good thing I had her with me; she was a big help. The old German consulate is now a kindergarten. The British consulate is inside the grounds of a middle school. We could see it, but we couldn't get close, because the composition section of the National College Entrance Examination is being held today. Security was tight; they absolutely would not let us in the gate.

We found the French consulate inside the compound of a hotel complex. That one we might be able to see if we come back on a week day--doesn't look like it is being used for anything else. Snow said she thought there was another one on the grounds of People's Hospital, so we went there. I was a bit puzzled by that one, because there was no plaque in English, and the building we were looking at (pictured) was identified as having something to do with the Anglican Church. It sure didn't look like a church building, so some kind of office or something, but I can't imagine why in the world the Archbishop of Canterbury would have an emissary in a small time treaty port. I'll have to try to research that one.

Well, three down and five more to go. But that's only the consulates themselves. I have heard that there are about 15 buildings remaining in Beihai from that period. Could keep me busy for some time, if I had it. That's the trouble with history, you know. So much of it.

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