So it’s been a very long time since I posted anything here, and it is not from apathy. Since returning from Norway I decided that I wanted to go to Asia, and so after a lot of hard work renewing passports and obtaining visas, I am now living in Guangzhou, the third largest city in China.
I was very much hoping that China would be relatively free of the whole Christmas mania that blights everywhere in the West, but it seems not. In fact, the Christmas experience is heightened with the high pitched warbles of some child screeching Christmas songs out in every shop that are loud enough to do permanent damage to ears. Everyone seems oblivious to it apart from me. My ‘favourite’ was the adaptation of Jingle Bells:
Good every day
So why Guangzhou? Well, it’s certainly not for the clean and pollution free environment, but it is a big city with many advantages, the biggest being its vicinity to Hong Kong. Apparently Guangzhou is over 2000 years old, and is famed for it’s food (another name for the city is Canton, home of the Cantonese language and cuisine). The name itself apparently means ‘Goat Town’. Nice.
The weather averages a pleasant 20 degrees in winter, but it sure does feel cold at night with no heating.
And life in China? Very, very, strange. It’s a whole different world. I am constantly amazed by the amount of money that flows through the city. Restaurants and shops are always full to bursting, car dealers are selling 500 new cars a day, construction sites appear daily, and the whole place is alive. The eating experience is something that requires more details. Back home I’m used to restaurants and cafes being fairly small places, maybe serving 20 or 30 people. Restaurants here serve 1000’s at a time, over several floors, full of noise, chaos, and confusion (for me anyway). Need a table for two? No problem, the table folds down. Need a table for 20? Staff appear from nowhere rolling a giant table-top that fits over the smaller table.
It’s going to take a long time to fit everything inside my head.
(and I will get round to replying to all questions eventually).