Dirty Money

Day 7 – Shenzhen

Saturday was the last day we would be in Shenzhen so we wanted to make the most of it. Since the pool money was not sufficient to buy 3 entrance tickets to Splendid China, I mentioned to Sure Win that Katak should stay in the hotel, watch some nonsense on tv and drink tap water till we go home on Sunday morning. Hahaha.

Of course we didn’t let that happened. We are nice people, too nice in fact till I couldn’t believe myself.

We had simple breakfast consisting of chu cheong fan, a bowl of beef noodles and the bland paos with 3 cups of soya milk. It cost us only 13 yuan for everything – I can’t believe it’s this DIRT CHEAP! Even luck is on our side when we were freaking broke. I still have 400 yuan left and I made it clear that the money is only meant for myself.

Sure Win brought a USD100 bill with her so we decided to go to the bank to exchange the money. Unfortunately, her USD100 bill had little stains on the bill and could not do so. Alarm was written all over her face as she didn’t have much cash on her either.

I had no choice but to take out my emergency USD70 to exchange for some yuan. While waiting for Sure Win to change the money, Katak still managed to laugh and slapped me on my back saying – “We are so desperate! This is the first time traveling like a beggar!”

I wanted to slap her on her face and tell her, it’s because of her, we had to be reduced in this state. I have money to last me till tomorrow and she didn’t and had to use our pool money. Don’t make me go there again.

I ignored her trying-to-be-funny remarks and gave her the silent treatment.

Rule #7 – Don’t ever bring stained or tainted money (Dirty money) when you travel overseas.

I text my family to let them know I would be back tomorrow. I got the news that the traffic in KL was horrendous because Anwar is having a meeting. Anwar? Having a meeting? This should be the BERSIH rally that got the whole blog community buzzing. I hope nobody gets hurt.

To save some money, we walked to Splendid China from our hotel. It was about 15 minutes walk from CityInn. The weather was just nice and we didn’t sweat much. This is the first time I go on a trip without breaking a sweat, even if I almost broke my back and legs walking it.

To sum Splendid China – I would leave some pictures for you to see. I was too tired because of yesterday’s shopping and also, in no mood to really see this place after yesterday’s episode.

I had the honeyed cra-apples. We couldn’t finish it. The three of us shared one stick.

The highlight of the visit is probably the live horseman show depicting the battle of Genghis Khan. It was quite good.

Here are some of the random shots taken in Splendid China.

I saw this fat rooster walking about this village house searching for food and decided to make it subject of my photos.. since Sure Win didn’t want me to take her pictures.

I was quite fascinated by this certain tribe who uses witch craft to climb a ladder of swords, overlooking this pagoda.

You don’t really need to visit other parts of China anymore when you get to see this replica. It’s quite intricately done.

After walking for a good solid 5 hours, I didn’t want to walk anymore and decided it’s time to hit the road and back to the hotel to pack.

We went to the shop that sells cheap and good food along Shennan Road for dinner. I don’t know how to read the sign board – but you may try this shop when you go to Shenzhen.

We went to the Metro station to get some food for tomorrow’s breakfast and saw they sell chicken claws as snacks at the convenient shop. Yucks! They even sell pork knuckles as snacks! I didn’t snap a picture of the pork knuckle as the shopkeeper was looking at me suspiciously. Katak, despite having zero money on her, still loitered from shops to shops to touch or look at the goods offered. Both of us shook our heads and felt sorry for Katak for being so hopeless.

The flight back to Kuala Lumpur was a bumpy one. Katak asked me if we need to complete the immigration form as handed out by the stewardess. I said, “It’s up to you!” and quickly pretended to sleep. We landed in KL on a Sunday, and it was a relief to be back after so many chaotic moments. I enjoyed it nevertheless and I am sure most of you enjoy reading the posts (especially about Katak) as much as I enjoyed trashing her… I mean, writing them.

Robbing the Bank

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.

The Invisible Woman

Day 5 – Hong Kong/Shenzhen

I was barking at people in office because they couldn’t deliver what I wanted. When I went to confront the person in charge, I was shocked that he was selling “bak kua” like the “bak kua” seller in Macau. The peddlers would hold a piece of BBQ minced meat in one hand and scissors in another, cutting the meat into small pieces for customers to try. I scolded him for not knowing how to set his priorities while he remained oblivious.

Then I woke up. Must be too much scenes from yesterday’s outing. We tried to sleep our weariness away as we didn’t plan to go to Lantau Island but was unsuccessful. We woke up at 7.30 am and took our own sweet time at the bathroom and packing.

Katak looked agitated and dropped strong hints that she wanted to go back to Shenzhen that instant to indulge on a shopping spree.

We walked about the streets of Hong Kong for the last time and to look for breakfast. At almost 9 am, there were not many shops offering food and the street was somewhat deserted. We wanted to go back to Eat Together for some good food but it was not opened. We ended up having breakfast at the most expensive place. I don’t know what the name is, but this place is somehow famous too.

We tried their recommended noodles – the “Che Chai Meen” but it was somewhat bland. I think my usual cintan noodles -and-throw -everything -inside dish whenever my mom is not at home tastes better. The noodles didn’t somewhat absorb the flavor of the meat or vegetable and hence, it was tasteless. The wanton is good though. typical succulent minced pork with whole fresh prawn. Yum! The tab came up to HKD230. Yes, you see it right. That is RM115 for breakfast! I think the most expensive breakfast I had was in Mandarin Oriental for its delicious dim sum and that is a 5 star hotel, mind you.

Anyway, no regrets since we don’t have anywhere else to spend our remaining HKD, we decided to eat a good meal.

I dreaded the thought of taking my 70L backpack to Shenzhen. I hope this time, we don’t get lost again.

It was a smooth ride from Hong Kong’s Kowloon to Lo Wu Interchange. When we got down at the station Lo Wu Interchange, Sure Win helped us to return our Octopus Card to get our deposit back. I was relieved that the place was quiet and peaceful and is not chaotic as described by friends who had been to Shenzhen via train.

My contentment short-lived when I heard a sound of loud stampede running towards us; as if there was a herd of buffalos running for their lives from predators, as what you could see on National Geographics. The sound got louder and louder. My jaw dropped at the sight of a group of people running towards us. Was there a fire?? Was there a robbery? A terrorist threat? I stood there with my mouth agape.

I gestured Katak to step aside to let the group of people pass first. It was a relief that the group of people in a hurry suddenly detoured and headed to other lanes to the immigration counter specific for mainlanders and Hong Kong Residents only. I was glad that we were in the “alien” lane. Phew! To illustrate, here’s the cartoon version.

When we got to Lo Wu, Sure Win went to the money changer and changed all her Hong Kong dollars into Renmenbi. While waiting for her, a Chinese dude approached me.

Him: Na li you de huan ling chien?

Me: Errr… (then pointed to the foreign exchange)

Him: Da mei you ling chien.

Me: Err… (totally lost).

Fortunately, Sure Win came to the rescue.

Ling chien means small change. DUH!! I thought it was supposed to be called “san chien” as spoken by Malaysian Chinese. I added a vocabulary to my limited Mandarin that day.

When we got back to Shi Jie Zhi Chuang, I was already anxious to go back to the hotel to unload my heavy backpack. Our friend, the chronic shopaholic aka Katak, took her own sweet time, doing rounds in all the shops found at the train station while holding onto her trolley bag and small backpack. This woman could really shop.

This time round, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes to show my utter disgust as I find she did not have any consideration for other people to indulge herself for mindless shopping. I told Sure Win I would go back to the hotel myself. Sure Win shook her head in disbelief that Katak is suffering from chronic shopaholic syndrome and tagged along with me back to the hotel. Seeing that we couldn’t be bothered to wait for her, Katak reluctantly followed us back to the hotel.

What a relief to be back in Shenzhen! Despite it’s bad English!

At the hotel, Katak did the unbelievable again. She paid for the three night stay including an extra night deposit as security with her limited cash. When she told us she paid cash and expected us to pay her back, we looked at her and asked; has she ever heard of a thing called the credit card?

She was bewildered and rushed to the counter to take her cash back and used her credit card. DUH? Gawd… memang katak. Sure Win and I were speechless.

Once she got her cash back, she was already itching to go shopping. She was all bouncy and giddy and hurried us to drop our bags to get to Lao Jie immediately; Shenzhen’s version of our Petaling Street.

We took a train to Lao Jie and it cost only 5 yuan per person. Once we gotten out from the train, there were hordes of people walking about. The price tags for the goods in Lao Jie were beguiling. 25 yuan to 30 yuan for a hand bag! 35 yuan for boots! Our eyes were blurred by the numerous price tags as we kept walking. Remember to mind your belongings when you were there.

Katak did her famous disappearing act again and I told Sure Win that we gotta do something about this. I couldn’t stand Katak for walking in and out of EVERY SINGLE shop. I wanted to go shopping on my own. Sure Win chose to go with me. When we finally saw Katak bargaining for some belts, we told her that we will see her at the Metro entrance at 5 pm sharp.

Sure Win and I walked about Lao Jie to check out the buildings surrounding it as well as delicacies offered. There seemed to be food skewered on sticks like fish cakes, squids, octopus tentacles, chicken claws, etc everywhere.

We then headed to less crowded area to shop and were lucky enough to have bumped into 50 yuan (RM25) for 2 blouses deal. It was so dirt cheap that we didn’t even have to bargain. I started to pick some blouses for my sister and cousins while Sure Win picked some for herself. Jeans came as cheap as 50 yuan for two!

We were quite happy with our purchase that we made way to the Metro entrance at 4.53 pm. As expected, Katak was nowhere to be seen. While waiting for her, we sat at a café overlooking the entrance and had some mango dessert. It tasted so much better than the one we had in Hong Kong (costs HKD12) and this cost only 5 yuan and ate some lotus roots and beef balls as well at 3 yuan each. By 5.30 pm, our patience was growing thin and she was nowhere to be seen. I am very positive that she couldn’t and shouldn’t have missed me! There is NO PERSON in Shenzhen as BIG as me! Their biggest waist size for women is 32 inches!!!

I told Sure Win to sit while I went around to look for Katak. I even went upstairs because I had to go to the loo. When I got back, Sure Win said she saw Katak went into a CD shop just a few seconds ago. I quickly rushed to the CD shop in front of us and Katak did her Houdini act again! She escaped into thin air!

By 6.15 pm, after waiting 1 hour and 15 minutes, the ever calm Sure Win lost her patience. We took the train back.

Katak was already at the hotel just a few minutes before we arrived. It’s a miracle that she – yet and again slipped past us at the Metro Entrance without looking at us. She claimed she was there at 4.40 pm waiting for us and we didn’t show up. I told her 5 pm! Now I am convinced that she; other than being partially blind, she is partially deaf as well.

Katak, delighted with her purchases; squealed gleefully like a 3 years old girl, showing us her purchases, totally oblivious that we were very, very upset with her.

View from our dinner place

We were not interested. I suggested dinner and Katak said she had eaten. But we suspected that she wanted to save her money for her shopping. She just ate some 1 yuan bread at Lao Jie while “waiting” for us.

During dinner, Sure Win was still grumbling about Katak’s oblivion and ignorance. We consoled ourselves and patted our own backs for being saintly patient and toasted the night away with a mug of Paul Laner.

Lei Wan Yeh Ah??

Day 2 – Shenzhen/Hong Kong

We started our day having a typical Shenzhen breakfast consisting of small paos. They tasted rather bland but locals seemed to love them. We found there was surely at least a small basket of paos on every table, so we decided to try it.

We went on to the Window of the World again to finish whatever we didn’t manage to see the day before. We were awed by more and more replicas and amused by more and more bad English.

By noon, we packed our belongings and headed to the subway to catch a train to Hong Kong.

It is quite convenient to travel to Hong Kong from Shenzhen. The subway station is situated near City Inn, so we only need to walk a few minutes to the Shi Jie Zhi Chuang station (Window of the World’s station). A single ticket to Lo Wu, the interchange station to Hong Kong, costs only 5 yuan.

There were about 14 stations away from Shi Jie Zhi Chuang to Lo Wu. Contrary to what most of my friends encountered, I find going to Hong Kong via the Metro (the subway) is a breeze. I was told of horror stories of being pushed and sandwiched, this and that, but it didn’t happen. Perhaps, we went during lunch hour when it was not rush hour.

It took about 30 minutes to get to Lo Wu. At Lo Wu, we were greeted by equally humorous sign board. Please leave the country by lift. Wish things could be that simple!

We went to the counter to get hold of some immigration card. One of our travel mates, Mdm Katak (as in “Katak di bawah tempurung”, a Malay idiom for a frog who lives in a coconut shell and thinks this is the world..details later) was starting to get onto my nerves.

Mdm Katak: Must fill form one meh ah? Why have to fill forms so many times one?

Me: If you are from Tai Lok (China) or a Hongki, you don’t have to.

She quietly completed the form.

We bought an Octopus card at HKD150 with value HKD100 to use. HKD 50 is used as deposit where we could get back after deducting HKD7 for administration fees when we surrender the card.

We took the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) to Kowloon and stop at the interchange to get to Mongkok where Ms Sure Win had made a booking at Dragon Hostel. It was crazy as the streets are so damn confusing. How to pronounce this: Argyle Street? Ugly Street? I don’t know.

We had to walk about for almost 20 freaking minutes to look for the secluded hostel with heavy bags. To our horror – most of their train station use staircases instead of escalators. No wonder fellow Hong Kong people are so slim and fit. I almost broke my back carrying my 70L bag negotiating the staircases. I am just not a good backpacker.

I thought to myself. Rule No. 1 – Never ever rely on someone who only knows how to get from home to work and back to be the navigator.”

I refrained myself from cursing and followed closely as the locals led us to yet another wrong place. When we finally found the place, the other travel mate nicknamed Mdm Katak asked a ridiculous question on how to get up to the building.

An elderly lady in her 50s retorted. “Tap lip lah! Lei wan yeh ah, Jer Jer??”

(Translation in Cantonese: Take the lift! Are you kidding me, sister??)

We choked in laughter and then, the statement – “Lei Wan Yeh ah, Jer Jer!” became the mostly used sentence throughout the entire trip.

At Dragon Hostel, we get to experience staying in a narrow and cramped place like every other middle income earners in Hong Kong. It was not comfortable but I was glad that it was clean. Check out the view from the hostel. “Breath-taking nya!”

Since one of the travel mate stood us up last minute, we had to make a different arrangement for the place to stay. Instead of paying HKD220 for a room for two, we opted for a room for 3 persons at HKD300. Mr Fan, the person who runs the hostel is a nice and courteous person. A very rare finding in Hong Kong – stories later.

Mdm Katak complained at the size of the bathroom. You practically can’t even move about in the bathroom. I imagined the worst with my huge size. I hope I just don’t get stuck in the toilet and had to be rescued by the fire department. I asked Ms Sure Win, who recommended this God’s forsaken place to stay. She mentioned Ms Sure Lose – one of our ex housemates who is very well known for being super thrifty and always being a suspected nun. We came up together with Rule No. 2 – “Never ever ask for traveling advice or recommendation from someone who only took pictures outside Disney Land Hong Kong and pretended that she had been there.”

When we finally settle our bags and rooms issues, it was already close to 5 pm. We were exhausted from the 20 minutes of getting lost in the maze of people in small and packed lanes. The weather was chilly when we set foot out from the hostel. We walked about the lane where we got lost earlier to familiarize ourselves. We were greeted by a faint odor of dog shit.

“Gawd! Did someone just step on dog shit?” I pinched my nose.

Ms Sure Win beamed when the smell reached her nostrils. She was elated that it was the Hong Kong’s famous Chow Tau Foo (Fermented bean curd) and urged me to try it. I didn’t want to get diarrhea on the first day in Hong Kong and made a pass.

We settled for a restaurant with the most people inside after going around Sai Yee Street and Tung Choi Street, named Eat Together. We checked out the newspapers cutting which recommend their best dishes and settled for this Ham Choy Noodles. I don’t know how is it called in Cantonese, but you could see local celebrities’ faces plastered all over the wall with this recommended dish. You guys should try this shop if you have the chance.

After a hearty dinner, we went to Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street. Earlier, we were exhausted because we took about 20 minutes to locate the obscure hostel. Everyone looked dog tired. At the sight of Ladies’ Market, Mdm Katak who said she was tired earlier, spring to life. My instincts told me, trouble is looming.

Lost In Translation

Hi. I am back in one piece.. and lighter in terms of weight and also my pocket. The moment I got home, my cousins complimented that I looked as if I had lost some weight and was a little tanned. (They probably said that because I bought them so many goodies! Hmmph!!) With almost 10 hours of walking and standing everyday in 8 days, I bet anyone would lose weight even if one tend to stuff his or her face the same time. My feet are still killing me!

Day 1 – Shenzhen

One of our travel mates stood us up last minute. She only told Ms Sure Win that she couldn’t make it within a few hours before flight. I guess she didn’t even bother to tell us if Ms Sure Win didn’t text her to bring more warm clothes as we were expecting cold weather. Talk about being irresponsible and such a dickhead.

The three of us reached Shenzhen on the dot at 11.15 am. Shenzhen GMT is the same as Kuala Lumpur’s, just that it would be bright by 6.30 am and dark by 6 pm. When a colleague found out I am going to Shenzhen, she gave me advice without being asked.

“The people are so rude! They push you away from the line when you are in immigration! Never bother to even queue up! Gawd! It’s hell! I swear I will never go to Shenzhen again!”

My aunt then offered her advice too. “Don’t try to change money in Shenzhen! The people there are scoundrels! The moment you gave them money, they would short change you and run away.”

Another friend said, “Shenzhen? Nothing there! A lot of rude people spitting all over the place.”

*Gulp* I was very worried.

I told Ms Sure Win about it and she was worried too. But I guess we just have to be extra careful.

When we reached Shenzhen, there was this sign board welcoming us.

Visa for Aliens??? LOL. Shenzhen has a big fan base for X Files, I believe.

We expected a stampede madness, imagining the worst of people pushing their ways to the immigration counter but was surprised there was none. In fact, everyone was so cultured and civilized that we were all queuing up in a line to wait for our turn. We were relieved that “the land of rude people” as coined by the colleague was baseless.

Later, we went out from the airport to hail a cab. It costs only RMB71 (approximately RM35) to get to our hotel, CityInn which is just next to one of Shenzhen’s major attraction, Window of the World. CityInn is only about 25 km from the airport so we got to our hotel within 30 minutes. Since it was a Sunday, the journey was a breeze. I expected incessant honking but was disappointed again. It was a quiet and peaceful journey to the hotel.

When I got to the hotel, I was unable to open one of the locks to my backpack. The stupid fuckers in LCCT must have tampered with the locks again. I had no choice but to ask for assistance from the hotel staff.

One nice elderly gentleman came with a tool box and helped to break open the lock.

Nice man: Yao meh chu pou hai yap pin?

(Translation in Cantonese: What family jewels you have inside?)

Me: Mou chu pou lah. Ngor keh tai sam tai foo chek!

(Translation in Cantonese: Nothing expensive, just my underwear)

The entire room broke in hearty laughs.

After that, we took a stroll along Shen Nan Road where our hotel is situated to check out places of interests to visit. We came across this makan shop about 8 minutes walk from our hotel and found it to be really cheap and tasty. It serves mainly Shenzhen local dishes and most of them are pretty oily. I guess it’s because of the cold weather that people here tend to take more oily food to keep them warm.

As the menu is purely in Mandarin, I had no idea how to order. I let the two girls decide.

A lunch such as these only costs RMB48 (RM24).

Clear soup with egg and tomatos

Fried Kueh Teow (I think)

San Yu (a type of fish)

After a nice lunch, we went to Window of the World. If you are patron of CityInn, you may purchase the tickets to Window of the World for RMB18 (approx. RM9) cheaper than the usual RMB120 (approx. RM60). You get to go in twice within 24 hours too!

When we got into Window of the World, we have no freaking idea that it was a huge park! The replicas usually in ratio of 1:15 were breath-taking. It boasts many historical and ancient monuments all over the world. We took quite awhile to stop and admire every replica found. We knew we didn’t have much time to loiter around the area that we decided to come again the next day. My favorites were the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower.

Our day at Window of the World ended with a spectacular show. We didn’t expect the show to be full fledged costumes. Since we sat quite far away from the stadium, we didn’t quite get to see the beautiful dancers with bodies as smooth as eels up close but there were two giant screen broadcasting at the same time to let us have a clearer picture. We were dog tired because of early flight (6.50 am!) and walking about too much that we dozed off occasionally during the show. It was freezing! We sat there for almost 1.5 hours with our bodies exposed to China wind. It was extremely cold. We somehow managed to stay till the end and were lucky that we didn’t miss a full 2-minutes spectacular fireworks! We found out that there will be fireworks only on weekends.

The night ended with a good dinner nearby our hotel. We had the local specialty, the duck neck. We hit the sack as soon as we finished taking our baths and couldn’t wait to start another day.