Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Take me on a trip 2

Around 23,000 km in less than two weeks. By car, bus, train, boat and plane. I’m exhausted but back in sunny Liuzhou safely.

I left on the Friday evening for the overnight bus to Shenzhen on the border with Hong Kong, nipped across, scuttled down to Kowloon and jumped on the Star Ferry to the island, dropped my bag into the left luggage at Central Station and went walkabout.

En route, I met these lovely ladies.

Hong Kong Ladies

Of course, I’m not the type to waste all day staring at manikins and the buildings of our imperial past, so I head off to do something much more important. An old friend is waiting for me. Once more, I cross on the ferry and head for a bar. Not any old bar. I know exactly where I’m going.

Sure enough, my old friend awaits me.

Guinness

Having devoured a few of these, I stagger off happily and fall into HMV where I rashly buy a CD. I’ve been looking for this for a while, but non-mainstream Chinese music is almost impossible to find on the mainland.

One thing I did notice in HK before heading to the airport was that, just as on the mainland, the whole place was something of a building site. Everywhere I went there were road works or major construction going on.

Hong Kong Roadworks

Happily full(ish) of Guinness and the proud owner of a new CD, I head for the airport and fly to London, 13 hours later arriving at some ridiculously early hour on the Sunday morning. I am then met and driven to my home for the next few days.

Well, it would be except that I have to shoot up to Scotland for a brief visit. So, on Monday morning, I’m off again. At least the flight is only one hour this time. Again I’m met and driven the half hour to my Scottish home. A quick visit to my parents and then I’m on a train back to London.

Clever things these trains. They’ve gone all hi-tech since I last used one (outside of China).

Wireless Internet

Of course, they are still not a patch on Chinese trains. Where are the trolleys selling chicken’s feet?

Back in London, I spend a day being a tourist and visiting old haunts. (I lived in London for over 20 years.) Nothing much has changed.

I decide to wander past the British Museum (I lived next door for a while) and to my shock I find that the Chinese are following me! Well, actually, they got here before me.

Terracotta Warriors in London

One thing has changed. For some reason, they have banned the sale of eggs to minors!

Egg ban

Eggsplanations to the usual address, please.

At some point, I fulfilled the reason for my journey and went to a wedding. A great time was had but I will spare you the photos. Is there anything more dull than looking at wedding photos of people you don’t know?

Then it was time to head back.

I had another

Guinness

while watching this

Departure Board

then this big fella carried me back to Hong Kong

Plane

When I arrived at HK, I immediately shot over to Shenzhen and back into mainland China to be met by an old friend. She had arranged a hotel room for me and bought my ticket back to Liuzhou for the next evening. Not only that, but she had charged the hotel room and ticket to her company!

After a jetlagged fitful sleep, I awoke at noon and had lunch with my friend. Then we spent the afternoon wandering around Shenzhen’s Lychee Park.

Lychees are grown all over Guangdong province and are almost the national fruit. Here is a lychee tree.

Lychee Tree

The park is very tranquil, but you are never far away from the modern money mad city.

Park and City

The apparent contrast between old and new is an illusion. The old is as new as the new behind it.

Old and New

The park is opposite Shenzhen Grand Theatre or, as the local Chinglish expert prefers:

 Big Showplace

Anyway, I only have time to say good bye to Deng Xiaoping (who started his reforms here and who founded Shenzhen as it is today) and head to the bus station.

I climb aboard and settle down for the night. After about three hours the bus stops and the conductress orders everyone off. She then locks the bus door and heads off with the driver for their supper. Now, I don’t begrudge the bus staff a bit of nourishment, but they have abandoned us outside the filthiest, most disgusting dump I have ever seen (and there is a lot of competition). There is nowhere to wait, rather than stand around the bus. The twenty minutes she suggested it would take to satisfy her inner needs stretches out to around forty then we all climb back on board. I know I’m back in China.

 Deng Xiaoping

Normal service will now be resumed.

. This entry was posted on Friday, October 26th, 2007 at 8:42 am and is filed under Chinglish, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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