January 1-17, 2001
Shenzhen January 1 - January 17
We spent the first part of the month relaxing, finishing up Gerryís final report, and ultimately packing and shipping off things we didnít want to Hong Kong. Every day we tried out a new restaurant and found some that we really liked.
Hong Kong Monday, January 15
Went to Hong Kong and shipped boxes 10, 11, and 12 which together weighed 53 kg. Went to the Vietnamese consulate but failed to get visas ó they needed either four working days or lots of money.
Had lunch at India Today with the Hanneys and Virginia Ng. It will be the last time we see them for quite a while.
Meadís Visit Tuesday, January 16
Spent the afternoon visiting the Di Wang building for the first time ever.
Unfortunately the weather wasnít too clear and so we didnít get great views.
But still it was worth it.
After a wander around Dongmen, we took them back to our room and had a glass of wine and some nibbles and looked at some of our digital photos. At about 6:30 we walked over to the Guangdong hotel for dinner. En route we came across some more Xinjiang hawkers, this time selling leather clothing. Kate and Gerry each bought themselves a nice vest (waistcoat) made of sheep leather and crochet.
Supper at the GD hotel was good. Afterwards we took a taxi to the immigration building said goodbye to the Meads and walked back home in time to catch the last episode of this seasonís Sopranos series. The current series has not been anywhere near as good as the first series.
Guangzhou Wednesday, January 17
We started the day by going for the last time to the Chinese restaurant in Ying Binguan on the second floor to eat dim sum. While there, Gerry was surprised to get a phone call from Teraburst in California. He asked them to call back in an hour and we finished our breakfast in comfort and went back up to the room. As promised they called back and spent maybe half an hour talking to Gerry about his experience and ideas. It seemed to go well and the last question was how much money we wanted. Gerry said $60/hr for me and $170/hr for him. We both wonder if they could possibly agree to such amounts. We also agree that it will take an offer close to that to tempt us from our life of leisure, especially as we have just regained it!
We spent the rest of the morning packing rather furiously and getting more and more horrified at the amount of stuff we have. We have four bags three backpacks and a suitcase. Fortunately, ZTE has promised not only to send a car but also two helpers, Si Xin and Cai An, to help us carry it. They arrive on time at 1:30 p.m. and we are successfully transported to the train station where we are happy to find that the train will leave from platform 1 so we donít have to climb up or down any stairs.
The journey is uneventful, once Gerry has struggled on board with all of our bags and found a place for them all up on the racks. The operation is reversed when we arrive in Guangzhou and complicated by the fact that the train turns around and goes straight back to Shenzhen and the platform is filled with people waiting to get on the train as we get off. Fortunately, the conductress held them back for the most part.
Getting out of the station was the usual hassle as we had to climb down a triple flight of stairs. Then we followed a long corridor to get out of the station and found ourselves in a courtyard with nary a taxi in sight. Even after Gerry had gone scouting for one, none was to be found. At a loss for anything else to do, we trundled our carts across a nearby highway to try and pick up a taxi on the street. We had to jaywalk of course and then found that taxis were being very picky about picking up passengers. After ten minutes and no taker, Gerry was asked for Y50, turned it down but Jan convinced him to change his mind as the competition was pretty strong.
And so in we got and rode to the Xin Ya Hotel. Little did we know it at the time, but the taxi didnít only get a big bonus for the ride (by meter it would have only cost Y20), but he also passed us a dud Y50 note as change.