Friday, October 31, 2008

CUTI CUTI ASIA SHENZHEN (HONG KONG) June 19-24, 2008 (Day 3)

June 21, 2008 (Saturday)

I spent quite a bit of my time last night studying the map and searching for Muslim eateries on the Net. I came up with quite a list. To make my life easier I capture the image of the list in my Nikon for easy reference later. So my plan for the day was to take everyone to experience the fashion wholesale market, back to Lowu for my fitting and off on the train to explore a new shopping area where there was a Jusco. My intention of going to Jusco was familiarity and to shop for something familiar to eat and ration.

The Gang minus Yours Truly

We stopped at McD first to have breakfast. Of course we ordered whatever we could eat except for Imah who thought she was in Malaysia by buying a beef petty. She was about to eat it when I saw her packaging looked different so I asked her what she ordered and my instinct was on the dot. We laughed at her and kidded her for a while. She sort of annoyed for awhile by it. We took some pictures there and left immediately after all of us had eaten.

The first stop after breakfast was easy as the fashion wholesale market was at Dongmen and once we were inside it was a maze of wholesale selling in big plastic bags or bundles. Most of the buyers were of course small town sellers from other precincts or districts. We mingled in perfectly but know our different taste we split with the ladies going in one direction and Ghazi, Baqir, Mar and myself to another. You can get most of what you need in a bundle and they do sell you a piece or two but you could not bargain anymore unless you were buying a lot. In terms of quality it depends on what you are buying. Generally they were ok but most not my taste as I found most of them were too tacky for me. Baqir decided he needed a set of fake adidas basketball uniform. Other than that I advise for them not to buy anything unless it is really good and necessary. The ladies were actually enjoying the maze and we had to wait for quite a while until they emerged onto the square. Kakak came out to me saying how amazing the experience was and mentioned to me we should come again the next day. She could not believe what she just saw and experienced. I almost told her, ‘Welcome to China the land of imitation and cheap stuff.’ From there we walked to our Metro station and boarded for Lowu. My only reason for going back there was to fit the suit that I made the previous day and to window shop a bit. For the ladies apart from continuing where they left off they planned to look for brooches and stuff like that. When I was there the first time a year ago a lot of that stuff was on the ground floor. So when we got there that was the first place I took them and I was surprised to find out there were not there anymore. So I concluded they must have moved somewhere and by that time Sam was complaining aloud already. So we proceeded to the top floor. Initially I thought we were going to be very quick there but when I was fitting the suit they were still busy buying fabrics and even more then the day before. I was amazed and tired of waiting I took the kids walking around the complex trying to find something worthwhile to buy. The suit that I made was fine only the pant was not properly tailored and so Sam’s blouse. It was not that the quality was not good but they failed to get our instruction right. So if you were to tailor anything there please make sure they really, really understand what you want. The best is to bring a sample.

The ladies eventfully joined us somewhere on the second floor and while going around we found the trinkets, brooches and stuff bazaar there on the second floor. So we left them there and continued walking the complex with the kids until we were hungry. I bought few things for Mar because she insisted on buying something there but I held off Along and Baqir as I thought what they wanted to buy were not value for money. Furthermore I was getting fedup with all the ‘lookin’, ‘lookin’ and they were so adamant of selling to us at exorbitant price. I decided then it would be better if we were to wait for Hong Kong.

So with no possible eating place insight I decided to take everyone to the newly completed shopping area where I knew from my research the night before would be a Jusco shopping complex. With something familiar to us I thought we could get something decent. So we took the train there. Gong Wu Gong Yuan station was our destination and true enough as we exited the station there was Jusco almost in front of us. We went straight in and we found what we need to make a decent lunch and food for the next day. We bought a couple of breads, several can of sardine and tuna as well as several bottle of waters. I did not realize how hungry we were until I saw everyone’s purchases at the checkout counter LOL. The best thing as well I could use my ‘plastic’ that I could save my Yuans for other shopping. I was the last to make payment at the check out counter and once I was outside there was my family having picnic at the seating area inside the mall. We couldn’t careless what the others think we just sat on the floor, opened our cans and bread and made the biggest sandwiches for ourselves. To the Chinese we sure looked like immigrants or runaways that have not eaten for days. But then our mannerism and attire would tell them we were tourist. That day I found out eating a decent acceptable food for our palate could be a problem in China. Indeed they have Halal restaurant but the cooking if you were not familiar could be a problem. I tolerated only for a day and before going back to bread. After we had our lunch we decided, actually I decided and the rest just followed :), to check out the rest of the new shopping complex and cultural centre. Everything were new full with branded items but very expensive. Even the cinema would cost us about RM15 a ticket. So we just enjoyed ourselves walking around until some of our legs went dead. Before heading back we stopped at the Jusco to buy few more things for dinner and ration for the next day.

We took the train back and walked straight to our hotel as most were too tired to explore Dongmen. It was 1815 when we walked through Dongmen. By now Dongmen was nothing to us. What we did not like was that once the darkness crept in a lot of beggars emerged from the crowds. I knew they were really poor but they were very persistent to the point of annoying as well.

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