Monday, February 18, 2008

TIANANMEN SQUARE - The Giant Mincing Machine?


On their visit to China to see the Baiji Dolphin, Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine visited Tiananmen Square in Beijing. They joined the queue to enter the mausoleum and filed past the body of Chairman Mao...
We joined the line after some hesitation, half-expecting that we might be there all day, but we were kept constantly on the move by the barking marshals, and even found that we were accelerating as we got closer to the front. Less than three hours after we had tagged on to the end of the line we were hurried into the red-pile-carpeted inner sanctum and ran past the tiny, plump, waxy body as respectfully as we could.

The queue which had been so tightly and rigorously controlled as it was lined up to be fed into the mausoleum, disintegrated amongst the souvenir stalls as it emerged from the other side. I imagined that from the air the building must resemble a giant mincing machine.

This map from shows that Douglas was absolutely right...

Click here for a larger view

1 comment:

D.B. Echo said...

It took me a minute to relize that the black line at the top is the line of people waiting to file in!