Below is the city of Wanxian. You can see the water is high. The prior year they had the worst flooding they'd had in about 50 years. It was a real problem because all the flood plains, where they could allow some of the water to run off to, had started to be occupied by people looking for a place to live. Last year, all these people had to be evacuated before they could use these plains. This year, the flooding was very nearly as severe as the prior year, but since they had the flood plains to make use of, there wasn't a crisis going on yet. As far as the flooding of this city for the damming of the Yangtze, if you look to the left side of this picture you can see sort of a clock tower. This city will be flooded up to the height of the bottom of that clock tower. Being a port city most of the activity seems to be below that height, so many buildings will have to be destroyed (so as not to damage ships) as the river is flooded for the huge hydro electric project. 1.5 million people will be displaced by the dam. People work 24 hours a day in three shifts to complete the dam.

After we got off our cruise ships, we walked up these stairs and got on a bus. As we waited there at the top of the stairs, things were confused and chaotic, and the real China peeked through the cracks of the tour that we were on.

Right near those stairs, to the left, was this building, with people hanging out on the second floor, flooded below.

Below you can see the young acrobats setting up the unbalanced, flimsy cardboard rings.

You can see what might have been a successful leap through the rings. I'm not sure though, this could have been a time that they all fell down. They had all the rings on some mechanical turning device, that made the feat harder, and also made it harder to keep the cardboard rings standing on each other, even without the wind caused by an acrobat flying through them.

 

OK, so, this is a terrible picture, I know, but it at least give you some idea of this young woman contortionist. I believe in this photo she's on her chest on the table, and one of her legs is right above her head. The dark smudge is her head facing us, and to the right of the dark smudge are her two pinkish arms, holding her leg above the top of her head from behind.. It was painful to watch her.

Below is a saint or deity of wine who represents Wanxian. She's got a container of wine in her right hand. You can see the construction crane here, one of the most common sights in any city we visited in China.


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