Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another fast week passing me by

OK another weekend has passed me by here in China ! seems time is speeding up now as the countdown is for the trip home.

Last weekend went to Hangzhou, about 1.5hrs train ride from Shanghai, kind of south west. Train booted along at about 140km/hr and i think we peaked out at about 17okm/hr at one point - the ride was smooth !!
The big attraction is West Lake - as usual lots of Chinese tourists - sorry no big shots of the crowds. Did take a cable car up the mountain to local Budhist Temple - no pics allowed inside, though did a walk through and got my fortune told. In the pics you can see West Lake in the distance with the city peaking out in the haze - yes the dang haze killing pics of anything far away.

Its big attraction is a spot for wedding pics - from I have found out most couples will get at least two sets of pics taken.  One being traditional Chinese clothing and style and a second set done Western Style - white dress etc.

Ok I think there is money to be made as a Westerner being a wedding photographer !!

While in Hangzhou , stayed at the Orange Hotel , is a chain in China , an American designed the rooms and style of the place and it shows. this room was 566rmb or $80ca for two nights with continental breakfast.  Would recommend it to anyone, except of course for the typical plywood covered matress, that seems to be the norm here.

Rooms come with a Rubiks cube and a fish - this one was named Peter. The card suggested trying the Rubiks Cube first and if not successful that Peter would gladly listen to your troubles.

heres a view out the hotel window - nothing like seeing your Grandparents underwear drying when you open the curtains first thing in the morning LOL. Hanging laundry to dry is a very Chinese thing, most people do not have a dryer in their apt.

OK so big fun for the staff here (they are all young 30ish and under) is Karaoke.  There is a chain in China called KTV , and its full of private rooms , that you book in advance. From small rooms for 2-4 people to larger party rooms. There is a 'store' in the place where you can buy food, snacks and drinks, that they deliver to the room. The place is  a sea of mirror, lights, large screens, speakers and microphones.

The control panel where you can select all the songs to play and control the lighting, sound etc very high tech
there are small lasers in the ceiling projecting onto the floor, plus your usual disco light stuff hanging from the ceiling. Not to many western songs on the list, so alot of traditional well known stuff gets played with the occasional chinese pop stuff for good measure.

last night headed into the city for diner, had to go to my favourite store Ikea. Like waking up in Toronto, Ikea filled with Asian people lol even had an Indian Family so was just like home lol.

long time exposure with the Canon G11 - for a country that has energy issues trying to keep the lights on Shanghai is lit up like Vegas at night.

My new model Linas,origionally from Tanzania, she calls Shanghai home now. Has been in China for 5 yrs now. Fabulous girl , funny and life of the party.  We share a small office. and she is a poser all i gotta do is swing the lens her way and she is striking a pose.

Will tell everyone that I have not been that homesick - strange as it may sound. Till I got some email saying how I missed at some event or two. Made me realize i have missed alot of summer in London.
Still am ready to come back to Shanghai and China, still lots to see, still lots of work for me here.  I need to learn Chinese now. Going to be a sad day when I leave,  the folks (kids) have been great. Am going to have to figure out how to eat at home, since i have bene on Chinese food only, and not that slop we have in Canada, real Chinese food. Stlil get comments about my choptsick skills lol, I have graduated to be ing able to pick up tofu with them, ok its slow but I'm able to.

Next week am on the road to Fujian and Goangdong provinces to visit customers. Fujian will be with Shelly the sales chick - funny girl who talks to me in Chinese like i know what she is saying lol. Cracks me up, talks non stop , I figure her customers buy from her just to keep her quiet !  She is now challenging me to learn Chinese while she learns English.  Everyone conversation starts with "Douger" (rough spelling) and then minutes of fast Chinese. if you have ever watched "Lost in Translation" with Bill Murray and the scene while he is filming the commercial. If not watch it you will get it lol.
Goangdong is farthest south that I will be going, different look and feel should be interesting.
So am figuring at least one more update before I hit the happy highway home. The Shanghai Ranch will be shutdown soon. Much sadness

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