I was in Mac Donalds in Tian Fu Square in Chengdu having orange juice and some chicken pieces for breakfast when I saw a butterfly by the window. The Mac Donalds there was on the first floor and had no opening windows so it was very unlikely this butterfly would be able to find his way to the stairs, fly down and escape through the doors. So I dried out my orange juice cardboard cup with some tissue, and caught the butterfly in my cup putting a piece of Mac Donald’s publicity cardboard over the end to keep the butterfly safely in place. I then took the cup downstairs and released it into the air by the plants which grace Tian Fu Square. This square is dominated by a massive statue of Chairman Mao and it is quite near to my hotel so when I get a taxi from the airport at Chengdu and want to get to my hotel I always ask the driver in my best Pinyin to take me to Chairman Mao as this was easier than giving him details of the hotel. Some taxi drivers are completely mystified by this but others, having benefitted with a little more wit from their parents, accept it with a big smile.


One time I was in Xiamen on the south coast of China in Fujian Province. Xiamen is a fishing port with many fishermen selling their catches along the sea shore. At one place I saw a magnificent fish for sale about 2 feet long with a very large head and very much alive. So I bought it and set it free back into the sea nearby, much to the astonishment of the local Chinese people.