Greetings from Shenzhen

So here I am at Shenzhen, China – standing in front of the Spring Cocoon which is a big sports centre that obviously looks like a cocoon.

dressed-for-the-squats

cocoon

I don’t always wear socks and nikes with my dresses but this was day three of our trip and I knew well and truly by then that you weren’t always going to open the door to the ladies and find a toilet sitting there. I was well over the shock of seeing a hole in the ground or a grate in the floor no matter how fancy the neon sign outside is and if I can give you one bit of advice about travelling to Asia ladies it would be to strengthen your thighs and to pack dresses. Because its a hell of a lot easier to use a public squat toilet in a dress than it is trying to wrestle your jeans and undies around your knees while keeping your shoes clean while there is a line of people waiting just outside the door.

Shenzhen was an interesting place. It’s just over the border from hong Kong, about an hours drive. We went through customs and immigration and met up with our guide who spent the day with us. She was so open in talking about life as a young women in China and she had such a great sense of humour. It must be hard to talk up a place that offers you such restricted freedom as a citizen but you could tell she loved her home even though it frustrated her and her knowledge of the history and customs made it a really interesting day.

It’s hard to believe that just 29 years ago this place was a fishing village, now it’s all high rise and financial centres.

135

400-848

buildings

Deng-Xiaoping

dentist

I asked her about the cars everyone was driving, how they were so new and where were all the old bombs and she said that people only started driving cars there ten years ago, she laughed and said they called it The Peoples Republic of Bicycle. Still plenty of them around.

Peoples-republic-of-bicycle

M

Viagra anyone?

Viagra

Here we are taking a break outside the Lo Wu shopping centre.

Lo-Wu

It looks harmless enough from the outside

Lo-wu-outside

But don’t be fooled, this shopping centre is not for the faint hearted, oh no, this centre rates shopping as an extreme sport. Five levels and almost two thousand shops – be prepared to be followed and badgered and touched and asked about five hundred times if you’d like a rolex or a handbag. But oh my, do they have some handbags.

Lo-Wu-shopping-centre

Not that I like handbags. I’m not much of a shopper at all so once we’d had a look around we went for a walk about outside. We tried to buy some KFC but they wouldn’t take hong kong dollars.

KFC

Which was why we were hanging around on the street with Daz waving his $10 about saying he needed a drink which immediately attracted the attention of the one armed beggar. He made a beeline straight for us and then they started arguing and I just stood looking over the railing at the promenade. It was part of the train station and everyone was getting off with cardboard boxes, not suitcases. Some people had five or six boxes packed and strapped. All those brown things people have are packed boxes.

promenade

Anyway I heard Daz say – No man, I need it and I thought – really? you really need that $1.20 more than his homeless armless man, but then the police turned up and made him go away anyway. There were a few people begging but you see way way more in Sydney.

I think China is somewhere I’d like to see more of – such an interesting history. I’ll add it to my list.

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12 thoughts on “Greetings from Shenzhen

  1. this is so awesome! two of my friends are in beijing right now, and they are hoping to move to shenzhen very soon to teach english. something about the company they are there with has messed up the dates so it may be a little while for them yet but i’m about to email this post to them! maybe you guys can get in contact 😉 great pics! x

    • You’ll have to tell them to get over to Hong Kong while they’re there. It’s only about an hour from Shenzhen. People living in Shenzhen really look to Hong Kong as somewhere they’d like to live due to the freedom and progressive ways. And tell them to get to the silk factory in Shenzhen and buy a silk quilt and quilt cover – that’s one thing I regret not doing.

    • I hope he has a great time. I might go in a few years, I think I’d want to go on an organised tour though. He should duck over the border to Hong Kong while he’s there.

    • Well you need about three kids, two dogs and four cats to help resolve that problem. lol. I can just block it all out, it’s like I was walking around with the cone of silence over me, just show them the hand and keep walking.

  2. Asia is such a mix of extreme poverty and wealth…I’ve travelled there quite a bit but not to China I would like to go to Kumming though and the petrified forest. Great trip you’re having!

    • So many interetsing things to see there – such an old culture. I mean we think somethings old here if it’s been around for a couple of hundred years! I would have liked to have seen the Teracotta Warriors – there was an exhibition in Hong Kong at the History Museum but it was sold out. So I missed them when they were in Australia and I missed them in Hong Kong so I guess I’ll have to go to Xian in China to see them.

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