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Thoughts about Guangzhou...

referring to my previous post -

I have to blog about the experiences gathered from my recent trip to Guangzhou. I hope this doesn't offend anyone but most of my observations are based on the the local culture there.

One thing about being in Guangzhou is the fact that you have to get used to the amount of people on the streets at anytime of the day. The streets are just flooded with people when you visit places like 上下九街 (Shang Xia Jiu street) or 北京路 (Beijing street) and inadvertently you can't really shop in peace when you have like 50 - 100 plus people crowding into a small store looking for the cheapest bargain...

The one thing I hate very much is that fact that they push their way around. I thank God that Singaporeans are being educated since early age in the culture of showing very basic courtesy when moving around a crowd BUT not so in China.. they just prod and push their way through and without saying a word of apology or 'excuse me'! That is so bluddy rude and irritating! The way they push their way through is not the friendly slight nudge but the kind where you shove your way forcefully till you get to the front kind. Sigh...

Like on my other post about Hong Kong, I don't really like the culture of being loud and boisterous but in Guangzhou, you get a hybrid of very loud, boisterous and sometimes uncouth breed of Chinese. The restaurants are almost like a live concert of splattering Chinese, Cantonese and other dialects... a lot of drinking makes the men talk about their exploits and their conquers (and sometimes intimate details with their girlfriends) and in the presence of other ladies also.

It's really a men's world in the world of business in China. Ms Clover's dad has a friend in GZ who is in the business of manufacturing wood products and he played host during our stay. From what I observed generally, women are accessories and sometimes, trophies, to this kind of people. The respect for women is seriously lacking unless you can prove yourself to be an equal but as the old tradition of being women, you are supposed to be subservient. The funny thing is that in Japan, this is also the practice BUT over in GZ, it just seems rough and not at all a delicate balance.

Most of the men cheer their liquor with fellow men and not the women. The women pour the refills and not the men. Women are referred to as ' lass' there and it's not uncommon to hear of them (the businessmen) having more than 2 - 3 girlfriends, just becoz their money is able to sustain that kind of lifestyle. This kind of culture is condescending to women who deserve equal rights.

Anyway, back to the main topic. Guangzhou is a growing city... you see developments and constructions everywhere and they are huge skyscrapers that will, in time, house many commercial offices that will affect the economy of the world. The shopping is aplenty and good. With over 65% of our stuff being produced and made in China, you can get everything here for a steal even if you dun buy imitations.

We bought a Nintendo Wii set there complete with 100 games, a Wii sports bundle, a spare remote + nunchak and other little peripherals for slightly less than S$600. An equivalent bundle like this would have cost us S$ 1000+ over here! And it's ready to play all regions' games :) We spent our nights after dinner, literally kicking and punching away at the television as nightlife in Guangzhou is not as happening as those in Shanghai.

Electronics are a craze in China. Computer malls like those along 天河路 (tian he road) are spouting like mushrooms and the things they sell are dirt cheap although you have to be an expert to know the imitations from the authentic ones. We, in Singapore, have only 1 Sim Lim to get cheap stuff; over there they have like 5 - 8 buildings similar to Sim Lim Sq along the same road. Talk about being spoilt for choices, the best part is that you can bargain for the cheapest price.

I got myself a 4Gb Sony MS Duo for my PSP at a steal of 120RMB or just S$ 24. How authentic it is I don't really know but as long as it works, that's a good buy. A PSP slim cost only 1280RMB or approx. S$250+ and it's fully modded and bargainable some more.

Food-wise, like they say you live to eat in Guangzhou... there's lots to eat but I find the food too oily and too salty to my palate... and adding to the fact that I have to drink a lot of alcohol during every meal (they consider it impolite not to drink when offered and in most business meals, it's easier to drink and shake hands than to refuse a drink and in turn, closing doors to future collaborations), makes it quite unpleasant coz the white liquor they drink kinda spoil the entire taste of the meal.

That said, Guangzhou is a land of plenty where most of the manufacturers of our products seen worldwide are located... you name it they have it (except that I can't find any nice leather casings for the iPhone yet) but it's a place where you can get a huge amount of stuff for less than anywhere else.

Will post more of the place we stayed in GZ later on - Ascott Service Apartments (GZ)

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i also no like guangzhou. it was a complete shock to my system and only served to cement the stereotypes i have of chinese men in the mainland.

i been there once, can't be more agreed with all the skyscrapers, shopping places with crowds, and i been to one building where they sell all the computer and electronic stuff, wonder it is the same as the one you went. =p the only thing i like about GZ is only the food. =p

Er... I guess I did not see this men's world thingy as I was their guest and they are learning stuff from me!!!! :P

Anyway, argh... I want Wii as well!!!!


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