Day 6 – Shenzhen
We woke up early to start the day. Our initial plan was to go to Splendid China and the Cultural Village. Since the girls worried that Lao Jie might be too packed on weekend to do last minute shopping, we decided to bring forward shopping at Lao Jie to Friday instead and saved the weekend for Splendid China.
We went to have breakfast at Da Ju Yuan and then, went to the bookshop at Book City. Sure Win heard that the prices of the books in this Book City in Shenzhen cost about 50% cheaper than in Malaysia. It’s funny to think that the government of Malaysia, despite encouraging its people to read, imposed high taxes on imported books and expects the people to pay through their noses to acquire knowledge. Probably they are worried that we know too much to question their administration – well, seriously, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out they are up to no good. Let’s not talk politics here.
Since everything is in Mandarin, I had no choice but to goof around a little at the bookshop, taking pics of more and more Bad English examples! This is a book shop for Pete’s sake! Yet, there are wrong spellings everywhere that I couldn’t possibly keep track with my 2G memory card.
Sure Win almost carted the entire bookshop home if I didn’t stop her! CDs were cheap as well. I got my original Gwen Stefani’s at only RM20! And bought Lisa Ono’s as well since it’s only 38 yuan for 3 CDs!
Katak and us parted ways at the bookshop. She didn’t want to explore Shenzhen and was only interested to go shopping at Lao Jie. Sure Win and I were relieved. I think after yesterday’s episode of her went missing in action and remained totally oblivious about other people’s feelings, we all knew better she would better off to go on her own. She asked if we would like to keep the door access card but we were smart enough to have requested for a second card yesterday night after she did the disappearing act on us.
As she happily left for Lao Jie at about 12 pm, we were still contemplating where to go next before we splurge at Lao Jie. We wanted to get to Da Peng but it was about an hour journey there by bus or cab and it would cost at least 200 yuan just to get a cab to Da Peng. Da Peng has an ancient fortress which I find would be a good photography material. We scrapped the thought as 200 yuan would be too pricey and we might be exceeding our limited time.
We decided to go to OCT East instead. We took a bus tour line 1 and paid 10 yuan for a 40 minutes journey. Journey to OCT East was an uncomfortable one. The driver kept jamming the breaks indiscriminately. It was as if you were sitting on a horse. The driver was super sleepy. He would take a few winks of sleep whenever he stopped at the traffic lights. I couldn’t wait to get out from the bus as I was worried for my own safety. He had a scowl on his face. But he is quite cute though. Typical clean cut, fair looking and young Chinese man. Hhmmphhh…
Sleepy Bus Driver
The bus conductor is a lady. She was polite enough to strike a conversation with us and asked us where we were going. After exchanging some pleasantries, we looked outside the window of the bus to check out Shenzhen City.
Since it was a long ride and there weren’t many passengers, the bus conductor sitting idly and started to dig her nostrils in front of me. I think she did it for a good 10 minutes. It made my nose twitched and I felt like I wanted to dig my own nostrils too! I am not kidding. Here’s the proof. This is not a very good picture as I was discretely taking her picture.
Digging nostrils as national past time
When we gotten down at OCT East, it was rather quiet and deserted. I understand that it was an investment place for foreigners on another mega park in Shenzhen consisting of beautiful rocks, windmill and waterfalls, etc. It was not fully ready yet but they already start charging 120 yuan as entrance fees. I believe this would be the next attraction in Shenzhen.
Since we were saving up for some serious shopping later, we didn’t go in and did what our friend did when she was in Disneyland – stand outside OCT East and took some pics! Hey! It’s not ready yet! We would go in if it’s fully functional!
After walking about for 20 minutes, we decided to take the bus back. The bus on line 1 leaves every 30 minutes from 8.30 am to 10.30 pm and will pass by some major tourist attraction points. It was such a hot afternoon that everyone in the bus dozed off. I too dozed off but I kept trying hard to stay awake in order for us not to miss our stop at Lao Jie.
Shopping at Lau Jie is really jaw dropping cheap. We were greeted by price tag of 35 yuan for 2 pairs of shoes and couldn’t believe our eyes! Since it’s already 3.30 pm and we didn’t have our lunch yet, and we weren’t some shopping freak like Katak, we decided to feed ourselves first.
Nice Duck Rice
We had a simple late lunch of duck meat. It’s quite delicious. By 4 pm, the shopping frenzy started. I got my sister a few pair of jeans, some shirts for my brother and the mechanic and my dad. So far for this trip, I just gotten for myself a Bruce Lee T Shirt and two CDs while the rest of the money were splurged on my family members and friends. What to do? No size! Sigh! Sure Win managed to get a nice pair of Le Coq Sportif at 70 yuan and some clothes.
By the time we were on the train to get back to CityInn, we were drained! I somehow had a nagging thought that Katak would be up to no good. Never underestimate a woman’s instincts.
When we got back, we found that Katak had returned to the hotel by 4 pm. She claimed she was broke till the last penny that she had to use half of our pool money – not for emergency – but for her shopping as well! I couldn’t believe that she actually took the pool money to buy extra clothes which she might not need!
She was left penniless – and she even asked the traders in Lao Jie whether they accept credit cards or not. She wanted to buy more things if they have the machine! Hello? This is Lao Jie! Everything is traded in cash unless you buy from the shopping malls! The locals were nice enough to tell her, no, they don’t have the machine. If she were to encounter this in Hong Kong, probably the traders would ask her to swipe her own ass crack.
It’s a lucky thing that from China to Malaysia, there is no air port tax imposed separately. We paid everything when we bought our flight tickets. I asked her – if there is an emergency, what would we do if we do not have enough money? She said she still has some Malaysia Ringgit and asked if she could use them. I was so disgusted by her ignorance. I think we all should know that the trading of Ringgit overseas was prohibited since the Ringgit peg in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis, no thanks to George Soros. If she doesn’t even know who Albert Einstein is.. I think she should just stay home and don’t go out to avoid giving problems to people.
I was left speechless by her irresponsibility. We still have another day to go and we would need the pool money for the whole day’s outing. I was frustrated that she took this matter lightly, as if it was all a joke. She even said, if we gave her pool money of 1,000 yuan, she would have no qualms to spend them all.
Sure Win and I were dumb founded. I could not roll my eyes in disgust anymore as they had already popped out from their sockets. To avoid myself from committing murders in China, Sure Win quickly took our sweaters and ushered me out to have dinner. Katak took 12 yuan from the pool money to have dinner and proudly announced it. Too bad she didn’t choke on her dinner.
The Duck Tongue!
I didn’t have much appetite but we have yet to try the delicacy in Shenzhen – the duck tongue. Sure Win ordered it and I took one bite but couldn’t bring myself to swallow it. I had mostly spicy beef and fried rice all to myself. As we ate and getting annoyed listening to the Scottish dude playing his bagpipe, we contemplated which bank to rob tomorrow.