How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Guangzhou: Day 1, Part 3 to Zhongshan

46 Comments


We continued on into an industrial area of Zhongshan when I noticed palms along the waterways as I had along the highway. Something beeped again at the front of the bus, but neither the driver nor our guide appeared to care. I almost laughed aloud while I observed one of the men lean into the aisle to watch the road. I couldn’t help thinking this was to make sure Mr. Li paid attention to his driving.

At a lull in the loud conversation in Cantonese, Carolyn called out to Russ from the back of the bus. Did he know what the large framed squares and rectangles of water were? Since he sat closer to the front, he raised his voice and addressed Helen, who gave a cryptic answer: fish farms. It’s difficult to tell the approximate sizes as we were not close, and looked downwards from a moving bus. My wild guesstimate is 30 by 30 or 40 feet. A tall apparatus poked out of the center of the sectioned areas and I wondered if might be some sort of filtration system.

Zhongshan Quick Facts

  • Palm trees along highway and waterway seemed strange
  • Squares / rectangles of waterways framed by grassy strips are fish farms (fish ponds)
  • Fish farm water looked clean like a lake or river, but muddy / no rocky bottom
  • These are privately run, but government owned
  • Shacks here and there not for humans habitation, but for tools and supplies for fish farms
  • Usually two, sometimes three rice crops a year
  • More about fish farming here

The French bus passed us travelling in the opposite direction. The driver pulled a wide left turn off the highway into a construction site with pipes and newly planted trees. There wasn’t much room to turn around. At last, quiet reigned and we caught up to the French bus again.  Two or three kilometers later, we reached town and managed to find our hotel as we trailed the French bus.

After lunch Sue, Lorena and her husband went shopping for a half-hour until 2:00 p.m. at outside vendors. The rest of us stood around and chatted. Helen checked on us and announced she was going to the washroom. I followed because I had no idea where to find the Happy House. She walked into the men’s washroom—not an unusual mistake—rolled her eyes and changed direction with a loud laugh. Afterwards, since there was no paper and the hand dryer didn’t work, she offered me toilet paper from her purse. I said I carried my own, but she insisted. I told her I was prepared to dance and shake my hands to dry them if necessary. This is the second time we exchanged words.

The driver and our guide continued to carry on a loud, spirited discussion. They weren’t quiet for a second. Helen kept playing with her hair, smoothing it and running her fingers through. Neither let up on whatever they were yakking about. He laughed. She continued to push at him with her voice. His knees bounced up and down. I wished he concentrated on his driving. At one point he lowered his voice, knee still bouncing and stared at her in the rear-view mirror. She kept nattering for the one and a half-hour bus ride to the hotel. Our English Group Eight kept moving deeper and deeper into the back of the bus. Sue inserted ear-plugs. Someone clapped their hands but it had no effect on the  driver and guide.

Helen moved from sitting behind the driver to the seat opposite him. Why?  At least they gave sideways glances at each other instead of talking into the rear-view mirror. I wished Mr. Li kept his eyes on the road instead.

Lily, our previous guide, had told us that Chinese people were not quiet. I thought I noticed a slight blush when she shared this information.

Helen and Mr. Li finally began a more animated conversation compared to what had sounded like murderous arguing. They smiled and sounded happier and were more relaxed, more companionable rather than combatant. Mr. Li smiled more, his voice lowered and his face became more enlivened.

Sue snoozed and I scribbled in my notebook. She had been disappointed only 30 minutes of shopping had been allowed. She managed to buy another T-shirt and was upset shopping around our next hotel may be department stores and not street vendors with whom one might negotiate a better price.

Finally, we arrived at our hotel in Zhongshan around 3:45 p.m.

IMG_0682

Others areas in the lobby”

~ * ~

Next on April 24th – Zhongshan continued

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

46 thoughts on “Guangzhou: Day 1, Part 3 to Zhongshan

  1. Sounds like your driver and guide need a temporary case of laryngitis. 😉

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  2. I wouldn’t have guessed that those big blue designs/boxes in the water were fish farms. Interesting. Sounds like the driving there would give me an acid stomach. lol I’m surprised that you were only allowed 30 minutes to shop. I would think that there would be more communion between the tour and street vendors. Interesting design on the wall of the hotel. Not my style, but certainly colorful. 🙂

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  3. The way those two were carrying on, i’m glad you made it from one point to another without running off the road — or into a fish farm! Huge hugs! 😀

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  4. I think the guide and driver needed a lesson in manners and how uncomfortable they made people they were supposed to be congenial to.

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  5. Interesting lobby pictures. Do they look like American or Canadian lobbies twenty years ago? Or is it just me. And interesting about the driver and your guide. I guess they don’t worry about repeat business from the travelers.

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  6. I may have offered to drive if they felt a need to socialize. 🙂 I kid I kid! 🙂 Are those flower looking things on the wall made of plastic or glass?

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  7. You always have such interesting posts. So exotic compared to my life….I love seeing the world through your eyes, Tess. I am fascinated with the sculptures hanging from the wall behind the desk! Thanks for the adventure! 🙂

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  8. fascinating experience~

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how you can take us there, into your travels and memories and let you experience it all over again with you, Tess.
    Wonderful. 🙂 Thank you. 🙂
    Except now I want Chinese food again. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very interesting as usual Tess.

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  11. That Sue — did she have a big suitcase to carry all her purchases? Did Mr. Li and Helen finally, you know?

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  12. The floor in the lobby is incredible! Must be the cleanest I’ve ever seen, for it reflects everything and not a mark on it… I agree with Sue about the shopping, for there are a couple of dresses I see in one of the stores that I would’ve wanted! lol!

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  13. Tess isn’t it fascinating when we can not understand a language but yet we get the drift from the volume, tone and intonation? on our trip in Turkey I thought our female guide was going to leap through a phone or strangle the bus driver on occasion but of course one had no idea what was going on. 🙂

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  14. As per se’ you have given us a story within a story and an educational trip… you have made a place I would not normally be interested in, interesting..

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  15. How very rude of the driver and guide. Are those glass flowers on the wall at the hotel? they look interesting.

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  16. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    That time of the week when we change over to China time zone and enjoy our journey through this fascinating country in the very capable hands of Tess Karlinski.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You have crammed so much into this holiday of yours! Another interesting post, perhaps one day I shall go, but till then I’ll enjoy your pics and journey. 💙

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  18. This was quite a trip! You have documented it well. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Fascinating as always, Tess. Did the “budding” romance between driver and guide develop further? And are those plastic or glass thingies on that hotel lobby wall?

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  20. Those ARE plastic flowers on the wall. I thought they were a bit gaudy but that’s me.
    The driver and our tour guide could have been talking about anything, but a lover’s quarrel it could be, or a family argument. They must have known each other well to carry on the way they did. 😦 Next time I travel, I’ll make sure I have ear plugs on me, like Sue.

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  21. I think I prefer a driver to pay attention to the road than constantly chat. Interesting reception decoration!

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  22. One of my biggest gripes is that much of the “made in
    china” stuff on American store shelves is cheap crap that is useless after second or third use. I was wondering if there is much of that disgust among Chinese consumers with their own products or is it just that export stuff is a poorer quality than home manufactures used in China.

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    • There are a lot of people with money in China. They shop at the elite store and buy only brand names. The rest…we actually saw a sign on the side of a building, “Dollarama”, but couldn’t find it. We wanted to check it out to compare to ours.

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  23. What I’ve learned reading this wonderful post, from other bloggers, and my own personal experience, most cultures have an emotional side to them that is show in the communications. However, I’ve also noticed that those of use who live in the realms of North America are more closed off when it comes to emotions. I wonder why that it. :/

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    • I suppose we are taught what we call manners and for the most part don’t fight in public or draw attention to ourselves — which is changing because we get to hear all sorts of cell calls all around.
      Each culture is different, but this was a business arrangement we were in and these two were so LOUD, I had a headache.
      Are we talking about the same thing?

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  24. You keep us entertained with Helen. She and Li are quite the characters. I loved the part where you were prepared to dance around and shake off your hands. Ha! The pictures are wonderful. You are a fantastic writer. I love all the stories and your details. ❤ ❤

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    • It stood out for me that Helen, who was in her early 50s introduced herself by her first name, but the driver, at least 20 years younger, was introduced as MR. Li.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am tickled you enjoyed this post. ❤

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  25. sounds fascinating – and your write with a nice flow that kept me interested (not to sound cheesy with that, but it is true) and the fish farms sound interesting – I wonder if the fish is still healthy and robust. and laughing at this ” was prepared to dance and shake my hands to dry them if necessary” 🙂

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    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I’m pleasure you enjoyed my scribbles. Our tour guide was not forthcoming with much information. She was too busy talking with the driver. I notice Walmart sells fish from China. I have also read somewhere about worms or parasites. Can’t think about that.

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  26. The lobby wall caught my eye – those look like glass flowers put on the wall? Great art, whatever it is! I learned more about fish farming from your post. Thanks for taking us on your travels! ❤

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    • The flowers on the wall were made of plastic. They were in-your-face at first introduction.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Christy. I hadn’t traveled in a long, long time. This was an awesome trip for me, which was not on my list of places to go, but was too hard to pass up when it fell into my lap.

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  27. The driver and guide must be related, I can only make this assumption based on their behavior. Stranger and stranger. The fish farms? What kind of fish, do you wonder? Only 30 minutes to shop, not well planned at all. Love the flowers on the wall. What is up with the palms, are they native?

    As always Tess, you take us along on your travels. I think you have missed your calling. Truly.

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  28. Fascinating! It must have been an amazing trip overall.

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  29. Very interesting as always, Tess 🌻

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  30. I was about to gently prod you for the next installment–and then I saw that last line. April 24th. OK. Four more days.

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  31. So many great memories from this trip, Tess – and you share them so vividly. I especially love the photos (and in some cases, the videos) you’ve posted along the way. ❤

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  32. If on top of having to be in the bus for long stretches of time they’re so loud and you’re worried about the attention to the driving… But the place sounds fascinating. And indeed the customs are very different in different places (but you would expect guides to take their clients into account). Thanks for sharing this fabulous experience.

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  33. You are welcome.
    Thank you for your interest and for commenting. ❤ ❤

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  34. If only someone else on the bus could understand what they were talking about…a lover’s tiff maybe? Who knows, annoying though. I would have been glad to have had my iPod at such a time 😉 I never thought of China as having palm trees, that must have been a very odd sight. Another wonderfully captivating tour, thank you Tess for taking me with you once again 🙂 ❤ 🙂

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  35. inside of the hotel looks interesting 🙂

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  36. Have the seen the chandelier to match the ‘wall’ flowers behind the reception desk in the next post? I like it better than the flowers.

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