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Archive for the 'Shenzhen City' Category

Taxi roulette

Question: Which poses a greater threat to pedestrians, a loaded or an un-loaded taxi?

The answer is a loaded taxi. If I'm crossing the road (or even near the road) an empty taxi will drive somewhat sensibly, slow down and even crane their neck to see if the foreigner that he's spotted is after a taxi. Invariably they are disappointed. If I'm crossing the road and a taxi with a passenger comes by then the shackles are cast off. He will drive very quickly, on the wrong side of the road, make illegal turns, toot his horn and plough through a row of pedestrians and expect them to get out of the way. After all, he has a fare to collect…

The Shenzhen T-Shirt

Shenzhen T-Shirt

Living in Shenzhen, particularly in the Luo Hu area, means a semi-regular stream of people offering you all kinds of things. These range from people handing out flyers or business cards as you enter/exit the Metro through to being offered prostitutes or stolen computers on street corners. Covering the middle ground are the usual things like copy watches, copy DVD's, copy handbags, copy golf clubs, fake luggage… get the idea?

The above is my idea for a 'Shenzhen T-Shirt'. Anyone who hasn't been to Shenzhen would most likely not get it but those who have lived here would see it and smile knowingly.

London Bridge…

Falling carpark

How's this for a sterling piece of Chinese construction? We spotted this whilst out for a walk one day. In Australia, I can't think of any buildings constructed on flat ground that have collapsed of their own accord. 

The sky is falling

One of the best bits about living in a tropical climate is the awesome rains we get. When it rains, it really rains. There's none of this weak sprinkly rubbish that we call drizzle back in Adelaide, like a few cars trickling down the freeway on a early Sunday morning. The rain is more like hundreds of B-Double's all with failed brakes desperately plunging down the hill towards Glen Osmond, screaming "Get out of the way or get pummeled!"

Walking along the flat pavement with appropriate fall for drainage I was walking in water 1/2 an inch deep. The only source of water on the pavement was the rain falling on it, no drains or run-off. That's pretty serious rain fall.

Getting a bit wet here isn't as uncomfortable as you might think. Getting wet doesn't have the same chill factor as back in Adelaide because of the high temperatures and humidity. That means that:

  • You were already sweating anyway
  • The rain is warm, so doesn't chill
  • You'll dry out fairly fast, as least as much as the humidity allows

Yesterday I had to walk about 100m in the rain. I had to cross to the diagonally opposite corner of a reasonably-sized intersection and then walk along a bit. I had an umbrella. The umbrella did a fantastic job of keeping my head dry…

The cutest escalator

The tiny escalator

When walking to work I go past this tiny little escalator. From top to bottom it's only 9 whole steps! I'm not sure whether to call it cute, novel or a waste of time. It has it's own little water feature flowing next to it and it's completely outdoors. One also has to take a single step up to the base of the escalator. What's more, on either side of the escalator are sets of very wide conventional steps.

This isn't the smallest escalator in the world however, not by quite a margin. That honour goes to an escalator in Okadaya More's Shopping Mall in Kawasaki-shi, Japan. It’s a mere 83.4cm high! I managed to find a picture of it at the bottom of this link.

A fine Italian

Italian Restaurant

The best, most authentic Italian that has been discovered yet can be found at Angelo's Pizza place in Shekou. This was one of the very best meals I've had in a whole year of being in China, and one of the most satisfying non-Chinese places. We went with Kathleen after Church today. 

Kathleen, Andrew and I shared a salad consisting of lettuce, tomato and Gorgonzola cheese with an Italian dressing. I was a little suspicious about the blue cheese, especially in a salad, but it really worked. We also had a penne pasta with tomato base and Italian sausage that was likewise amazingly tasty.

The staff were obviously a close-knit bunch, because one very large Italian chef, who obviously enjoyed his food, at one staged companionably rubbed the shoulders of another Chinese chef, who we suspect had been cooking for a while. It was a lovely gesture.

The wind really picked up when we were just about to leave and became so gusty that all staff, bar one chef who had something cooking, sprinted outside to get the umbrellas down before they shattered the windows. 

We hesitated to leave just then, because we thought it might blow itself out, but the rain came shortly after. As we only had a single umbrella amongst the three of us, we sat for 15 mins, then went outside to see if we could make a dash between raindrops.

Alas, it was too late to leave, and we vainly stood outside while the rain pelted down. After about 5 minutes the owner, Angelo, came out to chat. Apparently he's been around the world and has opened about 5 Trattiora in various parts of the world. He was also personal chef for Steven Seagal who had to eat every 2 hours, and who couldn't stand his meal being ready more than 1 minute before he sat down to it. If it were 2 minutes before, then there was trouble. Angelo sometimes only had 5 mins' notice to prepare something. We found this vastly amusing, and he related the anecdote without ceremony. 

The rain continued unabated so Angelo invited us back in for a complementary drink. It was in a small glass and was the juice of about 1/2 a lemon, and a little vodka. I enjoyed it, but to Kathleen, who is a celebrated sweet-tooth, it was less palatable.  

This is quite simply one of the very best restaurants in Shenzhen.

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