Sydney, NSW: Kovac Publishing is proud to announce the release of Three Hours to Kaiping: the misadventures of an Aussie in Rural China, the latest book from author Rob Harvey.
It takes three hours to travel by bus from Shenzhen at the Hong Kong border, to the rural county and city of Kaiping.
“We got on the bus and everything I touched seemed to break. I tried to put my mobile phone in the netting seat pocket in front of me and it fell straight to the floor. I tried to adjust the seat, but the lever broke off so I put in in the seat pocket. It hit my foot on the way to the floor. I gently pushed the curtain away from the window and the piece I touched disintegrated. I tried to open the window – the handle didn’t come off, but it didn’t do anything, simply going around and around with no result.
“Several different officials came through the bus. One walked through the aisle of the bus checking tickets. Another came on board to do a head count. Yet another came through and took a photo of every passenger. It really hadn’t been a happy entry to the country after the issues I’d had at the border and now this dilapidated bus. It seemed as though everything I had seen or heard about China from the media was coming true. I just crossed my fingers that the most important parts of the bus – like the wheels and the engine – would hold together for the trip to Kaiping.”
What follows is Rob’s comical “fish out of water tale” through rural China as he visits the little known city of Kaiping and the villages of Kaiping county, and in particular, the village of Niu Lu Tao, the childhood home of his wife, Shuk.
As unknown as Kaiping might be to anyone outside of Kaiping, history tells us that it was the major source of Chinese labour for the gold rush days of Australia, Canada and the USA. It’s also famous for its fortress architecture, “Diaolou”. Every village worth its salt has a Diaolou. Except Niu Lu Tao, that is.
Amongst many of Rob’s discoveries,
• The remarkable simplicity and beauty of Cantonese cuisine
• The splendor of the street markets
• A decaying village kitchen – an old relic to the days of the Great Leap Forward
• An ancient funeral procession
• The Qingming festival or “Tomb Sweeping Day”
• The discovery of the final resting place of his great-grandfather, a fruitless search after the barbarity of Jiang Qing, Chairman Mao’s disgraced wife
• Lots of firecrackers
• An old and dying dragon as it rots away in a lonely concrete bunker
• A proven method for crossing the roads in the big cities
• And those, um, toilets…
With very little in the way of language skills, Rob finds a way to go from the intimidation of the constant staring at the “Gweilo” (white man) to developing a warm relationship with all of the locals and even finds another very lonely local
Aussie right in the heart of Kaiping.
You’ll love Three Hours to Kaiping!
About Rob Harvey
Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, Rob Harvey is a Sydney based writer with Three Hours to Kaiping his second release.
His travels to China’s lesser known regions prompted him to share his love affair with the country.
He’s written extensively for the stage with Perth’s Patch Theatre and for various print and online publications. His first publication was the comedy fiction Bringing the Cows Home.
Three Hours to Kaiping is enhanced by much of the imagery taken during Rob’s travels which appears on his blog www.kaping.com.au. Pick up a recipe or two while you trek up the mountain and dodge the firecrackers.
About Kovac Publishing
Kovac Publishing is an independent book publisher based in Sydney, Australia. Established in 1998, Kovac Publishing has been involved in web development, ecommerce and online marketing for eighteen years. Despite continuing to command a presence at the forefront of online marketing, Kovac Publishing is busily establishing a foothold in the book publishing world, both in print and eBook format.
Three Hours to Kaiping retails for $US12.99 for the paperback version and $US2.99 for the Kindle version. (Prices in different regions will vary according to the currency rate at the time.) Both are available through Amazon:
• Australia: Amazon.com
• UK: Amazon.co.uk
• USA: Amazon.com
Amazon Kindle (digital):
• Australia: Amazon.com.au
• UK: Amazon.co.uk
• USA: Amazon.com