Lost In Translation

Hi. I am back in one piece.. and lighter in terms of weight and also my pocket. The moment I got home, my cousins complimented that I looked as if I had lost some weight and was a little tanned. (They probably said that because I bought them so many goodies! Hmmph!!) With almost 10 hours of walking and standing everyday in 8 days, I bet anyone would lose weight even if one tend to stuff his or her face the same time. My feet are still killing me!

Day 1 – Shenzhen

One of our travel mates stood us up last minute. She only told Ms Sure Win that she couldn’t make it within a few hours before flight. I guess she didn’t even bother to tell us if Ms Sure Win didn’t text her to bring more warm clothes as we were expecting cold weather. Talk about being irresponsible and such a dickhead.

The three of us reached Shenzhen on the dot at 11.15 am. Shenzhen GMT is the same as Kuala Lumpur’s, just that it would be bright by 6.30 am and dark by 6 pm. When a colleague found out I am going to Shenzhen, she gave me advice without being asked.

“The people are so rude! They push you away from the line when you are in immigration! Never bother to even queue up! Gawd! It’s hell! I swear I will never go to Shenzhen again!”

My aunt then offered her advice too. “Don’t try to change money in Shenzhen! The people there are scoundrels! The moment you gave them money, they would short change you and run away.”

Another friend said, “Shenzhen? Nothing there! A lot of rude people spitting all over the place.”

*Gulp* I was very worried.

I told Ms Sure Win about it and she was worried too. But I guess we just have to be extra careful.

When we reached Shenzhen, there was this sign board welcoming us.

Visa for Aliens??? LOL. Shenzhen has a big fan base for X Files, I believe.

We expected a stampede madness, imagining the worst of people pushing their ways to the immigration counter but was surprised there was none. In fact, everyone was so cultured and civilized that we were all queuing up in a line to wait for our turn. We were relieved that “the land of rude people” as coined by the colleague was baseless.

Later, we went out from the airport to hail a cab. It costs only RMB71 (approximately RM35) to get to our hotel, CityInn which is just next to one of Shenzhen’s major attraction, Window of the World. CityInn is only about 25 km from the airport so we got to our hotel within 30 minutes. Since it was a Sunday, the journey was a breeze. I expected incessant honking but was disappointed again. It was a quiet and peaceful journey to the hotel.

When I got to the hotel, I was unable to open one of the locks to my backpack. The stupid fuckers in LCCT must have tampered with the locks again. I had no choice but to ask for assistance from the hotel staff.

One nice elderly gentleman came with a tool box and helped to break open the lock.

Nice man: Yao meh chu pou hai yap pin?

(Translation in Cantonese: What family jewels you have inside?)

Me: Mou chu pou lah. Ngor keh tai sam tai foo chek!

(Translation in Cantonese: Nothing expensive, just my underwear)

The entire room broke in hearty laughs.

After that, we took a stroll along Shen Nan Road where our hotel is situated to check out places of interests to visit. We came across this makan shop about 8 minutes walk from our hotel and found it to be really cheap and tasty. It serves mainly Shenzhen local dishes and most of them are pretty oily. I guess it’s because of the cold weather that people here tend to take more oily food to keep them warm.

As the menu is purely in Mandarin, I had no idea how to order. I let the two girls decide.

A lunch such as these only costs RMB48 (RM24).

Clear soup with egg and tomatos

Fried Kueh Teow (I think)

San Yu (a type of fish)

After a nice lunch, we went to Window of the World. If you are patron of CityInn, you may purchase the tickets to Window of the World for RMB18 (approx. RM9) cheaper than the usual RMB120 (approx. RM60). You get to go in twice within 24 hours too!

When we got into Window of the World, we have no freaking idea that it was a huge park! The replicas usually in ratio of 1:15 were breath-taking. It boasts many historical and ancient monuments all over the world. We took quite awhile to stop and admire every replica found. We knew we didn’t have much time to loiter around the area that we decided to come again the next day. My favorites were the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower.

Our day at Window of the World ended with a spectacular show. We didn’t expect the show to be full fledged costumes. Since we sat quite far away from the stadium, we didn’t quite get to see the beautiful dancers with bodies as smooth as eels up close but there were two giant screen broadcasting at the same time to let us have a clearer picture. We were dog tired because of early flight (6.50 am!) and walking about too much that we dozed off occasionally during the show. It was freezing! We sat there for almost 1.5 hours with our bodies exposed to China wind. It was extremely cold. We somehow managed to stay till the end and were lucky that we didn’t miss a full 2-minutes spectacular fireworks! We found out that there will be fireworks only on weekends.

The night ended with a good dinner nearby our hotel. We had the local specialty, the duck neck. We hit the sack as soon as we finished taking our baths and couldn’t wait to start another day.

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10 Responses to “Lost In Translation”

  1. ml Says:

    visa for aliens??? this is ‘stunning’, man!!! i was already laughing my head off, at a glance of the 1st pic, before even reading any single word from the post. ahahaha… :D

  2. zing Says:

    Welcome back! First day there, and no shopping ah?? :P

  3. asme Says:

    Welcome back. Your first day sounds pleasant!

  4. zewt Says:

    it takes a lot to eat in shenzhen… guts i mean… cos most of the stuff is fake.

  5. jk Says:

    I heard a couple negative comments about SZ before, too. I guess the China goverment has decided to improve that to prepare for 2008 Olympic kua.

    Alien huh? I was surprised to read that on my first trip to U.S., but after a while , it seems like a standard word used in all international airport and imigration offices. So, nothing weird liao.

    Your first day seemed fruitful with cheap spending and great show! Hmm… maybe I should go someday… and pick a weekend as well.

  6. wai2403 Says:

    Welcome back. My aunt told my dad the same thing about the people in Shenzhen and other places in China. She said that most of the people there are swindlers that cheat tourists. She told us never to buy things from there as the things they pack for you are usually different from the ones you see at the display. Well, your first day looks nice and pleasent. I’m anxious to read about your 2nd day at there. Do they speak using cantonese at there? I thought they use Mandarin to speak.

  7. Gina Says:

    ml: That was the first thing that made us laugh. My first picture in Shenzhen.

    zing: Wah lao! You think all girls like to shop one meh? I think you enjoy shopping, do you!!

    asme: Yeah! It was good! Got more stories to come.

    zewt: *Gulp* I dunno.. but everything look pretty genuine to me. You should stop reading e-mails spreading lies about China. Hahahha!

    JK: I think so too. Not many people like Shenzhen or any parts of China for that matter… but they were quite hospitable to us. No worr… in Hong Kong immigration, they use the word – Foreigners.

    wai2403:
    My first day in Shenzhen was pleasant.. so are the rest of my days in Shenzhen really. I think China is really brushing up to be the next best tourist destination. Shenzhen is like a meeting point for Hong Kong and China. Everyone speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and even Hokkien!!

  8. eddie Says:

    buggar that convesation of chu bou and tai sam foo made really laugh till i roll off my bed…
    how was his reaction???

    good foood wo!!!

  9. Simple American Says:

    Window of the World looks intersting. Can you go inside those structures?

    People ain’t no damn good. I tell you everyone always tries to frighten others to death when they do something new. When I went to High School I was promised daily fighting. Did not happen. They said Korea was so horrible and I fell in love with it instead. Life needs to be experienced. Others opinions are not worth a dead fly most times.

  10. Gina Says:

    Eddie: Yeah. I didn’t know why I said that when the nice man asked me. Hahhaha! It just blurted out from my mouth!! Everyone just laughed like mad, including the maid who came in to set up our detachable bed. Hahahha!

    SA: Cannot go in lah. Hahahhaha. The structure is reduced to 15x its original size.. unless you are a tooth fairy, then you may go inside the structure! Hehe. Except the Eiffel Tower – where you could climb up or take a lift up by paying 10 yuan. Yes. everyone should experience for themselves.

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