30 Oct Guangzhou, wholesale haven
Budget planes dont serve food, I know, but denying water to thirsty passengers just seem plain rude. It feels like you’re being discriminated for not being able to splurge on flights–Cebu Pacific’s “It’s time everyone flies” apparently doesnt mean they do so in relative comfort.
I’m normally patriotic but I can’t help but wish that our airport could at least be half as efficient, not to mention comfortable as that of China. I mean it’s not even Beijing pr Shanghai Ive landed on, It’s Guangzhou and already , the gap between this renowned business city is a far cry from Manila’s best, NAIA.
To be fair, we have more hygienic restrooms than they ever will, maybe it has something to do with their habits, and the amount of herbs they ingest that causes for the stench.
Despite China’s soar as world power, the culture is still predominantly closed. In a city as prosperous and as heavily visited as Shenzen and Guangzhou, majority are sill English illiterate.
Perhaps this is simply China’s way of telling us, “Learn our tongue.”
If only it were easy, Mandarin is ranked as the world toughest language. Neverthless, Imagine the potential of speaking it, with an audience of more than 1.7 billion people worldwide, it’s an advertising haven.
Seeing as how I plan to eventually migrate in Shanghai, it’s imperative that I make an effort to speak it. I did study for a few months, but like everything else, with no one to use it on in Manila–where Fukien stands as the local dialect of Chinoys–I barely got by beyond simple phrases.
For the night I’ve decided to stay in an all-nighter spa for 350 Yuan, a price comparative to a standard room in a three star hotel in the area. But what the heck, I needed the massage, and I wanted to experience the Chinese way of R&R. Apart from their spacious lobby and massage rooms, compared to Manila, they really have a long way to go in terms of hospitality, treatments and service competence.
The Chinese massage I had didnt relax me at all, the masseuse was hardly gentle, in fact I felt like she was rearranging my bones. I wonder if thats supposed to be therapeutic for the locals.
They offer a buffet for those who would stay overnight. The food was not really anything one would look forward to. It was just typical Chinese table food–Congee and a select array of toppings that includes pork, mushroom and whatnot. There were also poorly baked cookies, bad cofee and some steamed vegetables.
I should have opted for a standard room.
Everything just seems larger than life in China, and I’m not just talking about their roads and infrastructures, but their side walk parks as well. This is definitely something I’m gonna be missing when I come home to Manila. I just relish the idea of people just leisurely strolling at the sidewalk, with a view that allows serenity to just pass through their senses.
I love train rides. It’s like watching life pass-by in slow motion. It also allows me to be alone with my thoughts.
I think a country’s economy can be distinctly correlated to their railway system. I’ve yet to see a nation which is considered a worldwide force to have bad trains.
From the station, we were picked up by our supplier’s designated driver. Curious thing, he needs to log the KM to accurately monitor fuel consumption. There’s a lot of things I appriciate about Chinese work ethic, but extreme stinginess on the employer’s part is not one of them.
In a country where 1.6 billion people compete for resources, the powerful can really get-away with greed.
The supplier visit was productive, I got to meet their president, Thomas Wang, who was coincidentally visiting from Shanghai. Having been educated in the US, the Shanghainese–Newyorker gave a vibe that is uncommonly displayed so bouyantly by his counterparts–Charm and wit.
I must admit I have a lil crush on him, I mean seriously. Vice President of a multi-national company at 26? Talk about over-achieving. And he really went out of his way to talk to me, he even escorted me all the way out while carrying my luggage–he did all these even though he was already running late for an executive meeting.
[Later on I would run into him in Hong Kong’s lighting fair, where we, unfortunately would only have a few minutes to catch up because as usual, he has to rush off.]
After the factory visit, we made our way to the center of wholesaling in Guangzhou. This did not happen though until three hours later of getting lost. Getting lost anywhere in China, unlike HK, SG or Manila cannot be remedied by a simple cab ride–it is simply not small enough to be so.
After hours of walking, asking around and being conned by unscrupulous cab and tricycle drivers, we finally got to our place of destination.
Whole sale haven. It had everything from textile to plastic ware, kitchenware, as well as packaging materials. Honestly the place reminded me of that movie Wally, wherein the world was reduced to nothing more than a junk shop–yes, from my point of view, all these materialism stocked conveniently in one are just seem like junk we are all better to live without.
Tired and spent from a day of “treasure” hunting. We found nourishment later on in the heart of the city sidewalk vendors.
I dont think you cant really get intimate with Guangzhou in just a month much less three days, so Im confident that my succeeding stops here will still unveil a lot of interesting finds and discoveries.
Till my next visa stamp.