Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Snack time

These are sold all over. In all the convenient stores, grocery and fast food places (not shrink wrapped but fresh.) I haven't got the guts to try one.... yet. I saw some in the grocery store that still had the long nails. YUM!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mopeds and Electric bikes

I thought there were a lot of scooters on the streets of Italy but that's small potatoes compared to the number of electric bicycles and mopeds on the streets around here. In fact it's quite dangerous to walk (in this particular area especially) without being hit by one of these traveling at medium speed.

Scooters, mopeds, electric bikes.

Click the photo to enlarge.

I took these photos on my first excursion out of my home area (La Cite Greenville) in an area called Dai Yu Fung (sp?). It's not a typical street but an area off the main road where it's lined with shops, restaurants, fast food, shoes, etc.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Real food

Yesterday I took a trip with our neighbour to the shipyard to see the guys and where they work. I got a little look at our boat to be while taking a tour. It isn't anywhere near completion but where everything is going is all sketched out. I saw where my bedroom will be located,.. a bit small.. joking!

From outside.

The main deck.

My soon to be room and bath.

The shipyard is located about a half hours drive in Minzhong Town and Nicola made a comment about it being in the 'jungle' and said that I should picture Rambo or some jungle movie and that would be similar to where the yard is. We drove through and to an extent he was right. Banana trees lined the roads with little wooden houses that the locals live in. I thought that if the wind picked up those houses would blow away, they looked so frail.
People were cleaning fish near the side of the road for dinner from nearby fish farms.

Click the pic to enlarge.

The owner of the yard takes his staff (those who would like to join) for dinner several times a week. Since I had expressed interest in learning about the food, we tagged along. We sat in a private room in the restaurant with a round turntable in the centre of the table where the food is served. I impressed myself with my chopstick handling!! I can eat red-skin peanuts with chopsticks!!
The menu included sweet and sour pork, peppered beef, a steamed egg dish, octopus with roasted vegetables, rice of course, small bits of chicken, spicy tofu and an unlimited supply of green tea. It was all very tasty.

Sean and Nicola at the restaurant.

After the meal was finished (I had heard earlier talks of a massage) we went upstairs for a foot rub! And what a foot rub!!! I started by soaking my feet in very hot water while the lady began to massage my shoulders, back and arms! After a half hour of this, the foot massage began and continued for about 45 minutes! Then she massaged my calves and thighs! Almost 2 hours later we were finished, fed and relaxed. We paid the tab............FOUR EUROS!! 2 hours of massage and only four euros was the fee. It was unbelieveable. Oh, don't let me forget to mention that they served beer/tea and fresh fruit. Also the television was playing so you could watch the game while relaxing!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Exploring April 18 (sat)

After searching the internet high and low for a map of Zhongshan I still ended up empty handed. I managed to find a street map on google maps but only with Chinese characters, which really doesn't help me.
After meeting a gent yesterday, while out for a walk, in a golf shop..thanks mom for sending me in there... who speaks English, he mentioned that the bus that passes by our street will take me into the city center (or close by i think) of Zhongshan.

So today after waiting for the rain to let up, we gathered our courage and patience and ventured out. The bus arrived and we tried to use hand gestures and waving money to find out how much it cost. He waved us by and we took our seat. 20 minutes later the bus arrives in a colourful town with people all around, everyone exited the bus including us.

We popped into one of the grocery stores (there were several) in hopes of finding something/anything good to eat. I haven't been able to find any proteins (chicken, beef, beans) but I have found isles and isles of crackers, hundreds of different types, noodles, rice, and soy sauce. Many isles, many.
I wish I had snapped a photo of the guy working at the store who was sinking his hands in a huge mound of rice (not packaged, like bulk) and playing with it. Picking up handfuls and allowing the rice to drizzle out of his left hand flowing to the right. Instead we walked by and tried not to think of all the rice we eat each day... :)

It's not that I want to eat Western food in China, I'm not the tourist who wants to eat at McDonald's and not appreciate the culture. But, in the meantime, I have to eat! It's been a week and today is the first day I found lettuce to make a salad.
So, we ended up eating dinner at an Australian restaurant, of all places. I KNOW! But I wanted to eat a steak. I needed some meat! We've been eating shredded chicken and other bits all week. In fact, besides a few people, the restaurant was filled with Aussie's all happily eating their cuisine.

In the end I'm not exactly sure which part of the city we visited but a good trip. No worries along the way. I didn't mention yet that the bus ride ended up costing 1 Yuan which is the equivalent to like $.17 CAD.
I also tried on 2 pairs of shoes, both of which were 2 sizes too small for my feet. I wrote down on the paper 40 as in size 40 European, and he brought out a garbage bag full of shoes for men and women and began to hand me different styles. None fit! I was looking for trainers since I am going to attempt the GYM. Smooth moves to meet people, oh ya, and for my health..

Click images to see them full size.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday was my first trip out to the store and what fun! The people here work! I've seen so many examples in 3 days of how they work. These people are work horses.

All day each day I can hear construction outside of my window. Saws, nail guns, hammering, constant chatter.. The facilities where the gym is has several people around wiping down counter tops and sweeping. On the way to the store there were 2 people dressed complete with rubber shoes and sunshades on their head picking weeds from the grass. Weeds! Who does that? Especially on public lawns. The street sweeper passed us by cleaning the gutters of the road, which were already spotless.

The grocery store attendants were all hard at work, stocking shelves, taking inventory, writing forms. I went to weigh my fruit so she could tag the bag with price and she was in the backroom for a moment and as I approached the desk the man nearby called to her and she came shuffling her feet back to help.

My neighbor with whom I went to the store has a 15 mth old son who is blond as he can get with little curly ringlets in his hair. Everyone just adores him and showers him with attention and smiles! It really breaks the ice with the locals.
We are constantly greeted with HELLO! and BYE BYE from everyone.

Deciding what to buy in the store is a whole other story. I managed to leave with some fruit, shampoo, water bottles, a non stick frying pan, 2 mugs for Canadian style tea, 2 small tea cups meant for Chinese tea but we will use them as espresso cups! No handle but they will do.
What else... apples, don't worry I won't forget to remove the skin. A bed sheet that does not fit the bed, in fact I bought the wrong sheet's the ruffle for the base of the bed. I was hoping for a bed sheet as I thought it was, with pillow covers! Chips! Butter cookies imported from Denmark.
A whole store of groceries and I couldn't sort out most of it. Even trying to decide which was shampoo and which was conditioner!!

Planning for the weekend to go to a larger market type store. Sounds like it's no big deal but believe me, it is!! Since living in both Europe, traveling to places like Mexico and now China I realize that living in Canada is so easy with all that we have.. I am having trouble finding a light for the side of the bed to read with! Where's Walmart when I need it!

Oh btw, they don't allow foreigners to drive.. which makes it a little difficult to get around. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a bicycle, or a moped!! I don't think I'll be so lucky.

Next to where we live. The climate here is so warm and rainy that these flowers are in their paradise!

The front of the grocery store.

Not too sure what it is.

Click the photos to enlarge them.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I had some fun this morning trying to figure out how to use the washing machine... I managed to get it to wash for over and hour and after pressing and turning a few buttons, found the spin cycle.
When I removed the clothes they were all steaming hot. Plus there is NO wind here whatsoever so it takes two days for everything to dry outside in the humidity.

Arrival in China

Just arrived at the apartment after about 24 hrs of commuting. I thought I'd write down what I remember while it's fresh in my mind.

Cathay Pacific is a great airline. I would expect that on flights of that length that they take care of people, which they did. It wasn't completely full, and there were those little computers in the back of each seat so I could watch any movie or television show that I wanted.
I flew from Toronto to Hong Kong direct and then took the ferry to Zhongshan City where I was picked up by Nicola, Paul and our driver who was told today by a translator that he must driver slower since I guess he is pretty wild on the roads. People were everywhere riding bicycles, scooters, walking all over.. But not like the city, more like wandering without looking. No wonder there are so many accidents here! It's the fault of both the driver and the pedestrian!

My first impression of the apartment is that it is very big. Clean, painted in white with white curtains over the windows. Although there are no screens so it is difficult to let fresh air around because there are so many mosquitoes, and those, well, could be deadly. There is very nice tile laid on the floor and marble counter tops in each room. All in all, a very nice place to live. Btw, a guestroom for anyone wishing to visit ;)

The weather is very hot and humid. I had to remove my sweater as soon as I arrived in the airport. I guess I had no idea that China was so tropical. We have a huge terrace outside so I am planning on planting some herbs and veggies.
Hong Kong International Airport

My first dinner.