I remember there were certain places in Guangzhou that seemed to have a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. I believe those places were probably sites of Christian activity in the years prior, when open worship was allowed. I looked at a building on the campus of a large university where I taught English and stud-ied Chinese, and wondered what had happened in that place dozens of years ago that left such a presence of God’s peace and joy. Just looking at it gave me an uplifting feeling.
Some of the most interesting places in Canton , a city of ten million people, are the back alleys. Apartment buildings, usually eight stories or taller, are built close together with only a narrow alley between them. The alleys are rather dark because the buildings shade them from the sun and are damp from the high humidity.
Walking through them near mealtime, one can hear the hiss of garlic being thrown into hot peanut oil in a wok. The smell of peanut oil, fresh ginger root and sesame oil is often the dominant scents in these narrow passageways. One can hear conversations in many different dialects that form the sing-song languages of Chinese. During the hour-long break after lunch that everyone takes, you can often hear the click-clack of mahjong tiles being shuffled together. Mahjong is played with tiles similar to dominoes but the game resembles Gin Rummy.