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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adventures in Guangzhou

In the days after we got back from Zengcheng, Jen and I took some time to explore some of the new attractions in Guangzhou. I was very impressed! China doesn’t fool around when it comes to museums. Most of them were free, even for me. I just had to show my passport. I’m sad to say that I don’t know the name of the really big museum we went to off the top of my head. It was pretty close to Guangzhou Tower though. That was the first time I had ever seen a dinosaur skeleton in person. Pretty cool stuff. It had several exhibits including guilt wood carving, precious gems, natural history and geology. I thought it was nice how varied everything was. Totally worth the hour and a half wait outside in the heat. They would only let about 100 people in every 15 minutes and they would run up to the ticket booth to get ahead of everyone else. I’m really competitive so I made sure we got close to the front. I sort of had to drag Jen behind me though. Whoopsie daisies.

We also went to several temples. One of them was only accessible by a narrow street and sitting along this street were several beggars. One of them was the fattest beggar I’ve ever seen. I managed to snap a photo.

They asked for money and I was like “No, no, no” just kind of smiled and shook my head. They were cool about it. We went inside the temple and I gotta say, I have a thing for Chinese temples. I like the architecture, the statues and art, and the vibe. Every temple I went to I tried to mingle with the monks. They were all good sports and even the most unfriendly looking guys I talked to were actually ok people. On the way out one of the beggars said hello to me in English. I was like, “Ummm. Hello.” And they all thrust there bowls out at me and started saying hello. “Hello!” “Hello!” “Hello! Give me money!” Jen freaked and pulled me away quickly but I wasn’t too weirded out.

One night we went walking on the waterfront. I was on a secret mission for sugar cane. If you haven’t had it you need go buy some right now. We came across a group of Indian/Pakistani/Bangledeshi/Nepalese/whatever. Let’s just call them Indian for clarity. It looked like a family of street peddlers. They were selling the usual stuff like bracelets and trinkets. I gave them a passing glace went back to talking with Jen. One of the girls cam up to us and asked us to buy flowers. We said no and tried to walk around her but she kept stepping in our way and holding the flowers out at us. THIS freaked me out. The girl grabbed onto Jen’s jacket and did that kneeling in the way bullshit. If you’ve been to China then you’re probably familiar with it. I tried to pry the girl off but couldn’t get a good grip. So I raised my fist like I was going to punch her and said in a beastly Conan the Barbarian-like voice, “BACK THE FUCK UP OR I’M GONNA TO BEAT THE SHIT OUTTA YOU!” Now whether it was my raised fist or the monstrous tone of my voice I don’t know but she bolted. Then we bounced and Jen gave me the rundown of what you’re supposed to say and do in a situation like that. And I felt a little bad for talking like that in front of Jen. I try to watch my language, believe it or not!

After that brush with extreme poverty we went for a ride on a 2-seated bicycle. I love these things. But every time we go it’s always me peddling. Jen gets tired and then stops peddling without telling me. :-/ There’s usually something going on by the river so stopped and watched ballroom dancing lessons and something else. It was a bunch of middle aged ladies doing some kind of play I guess. Then we went home and prepared ourselves for the awesomeness that is Macau.

Travel in China,

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