The life and times of Daniel, currently undertaking a journey of gastronomic proportions in The Middle Kingdom....(with the odd drunken rant and rave)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hong Kong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! !

If the rest f China is like Guangzhou, I seriously might reconsider my travel plans. In a nutshell, Guangzhou is poopville. It is dirty, smelly, noisy, crowded and the food hawkers often cook up something that I can smile a mile away which smells of something like fresh steaming dog pooh on a chilly Spring morning being smmered away in vinegar. nnnnn nnnnnnnm oishi so. BUT having escaped GZ this morning on the not so fast Kowloon-Canton Intercity Fast Train, (6 hours passed from when I left one hotel and arived at the other) Ive jus returned from a steamy stroll down Nathan Rd to the Star Ferry terminus at Tsim Sha Tsui, worked out how to properly take night photos afetr 5 years of owning my Canon digi camera, chowed down big mac meal, which was much nicer than the extremely dispaqpointing meali ate last night. (On Shamian Island, i ate dinneer at a restaurant specializing in Suzhou and Shanghai cusine. (they had an english menu!) i chose some dumplings and braised chicken with hot and sour sauce. The chicken actually was cooked with 10,000 peanuts and shpuld be renamed crunchy bum chicken ( i wondered as i was crunching away whether the chicken had come from one of the FOUL cages i saw the previous day at Qingping Market, whose sights and smells are eough to turn even the most carniverous beef eater vegetarian for a week. Sorry, I digress! Back to HK... I really wish Id visited this place years ago - would have given me some serious inspiration to move here - it's kinda like Tokyo but with fantastic English signage, people in official places actually SPEAKING English (hello crustopholous Osaka) and there are babes from all walks of life everywhere!!!!! If only I wouldnt be stopped by every second Indian attempting to sell me a fake Rolex (or an Indian Curry which did indeed happen) Having some trouble blogging, the blogspot domain apparently isnt liked by the esteemed powers that have included it in the Great Firewall of China..................................................

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sayonara Japan!!! Ni Hao oh my god what a day!

First few hours in Guangzhou...................i was a cheapo and should have paid $200 for a better hotel but paid about half for a 2 star hotel. from the moment i arrived it has not been so nice. had to wait 30 mins at immigration in a line then after i got my bag and walked to the tiny arrival hall i had no idea where to go and simply wanted to find a taxi. weather is tropical steamy and it is summer. a horrid lady at one of the hotel reservation counters tried to sell me a taxi for 300 rmb and got very stroppy with me. then a guy walked up and offered his taxi for the same price so i thought what the hell coz i was physically and mentally drained. i followed them to a carpark and in the process calcualted that paying 300rmb is about 15 times the normal fare and then i saw there was no taxi but a private van and i grabbed my luggage and walked back. then there were many green buses and i approached a german family who seemed like they knew what they were doing so they told me yeah u simply go to one of the buses and pay on board usually about 15rmb. they suggested i go somewhere central then get a taxi. i eventually did this but took 30 minutes of walking up and down being given wrong information til i finally got a bus. at the end which was some other hotel i walked around for a taxi and an absolute maniac taxi driver who couldnt speak a word of english and thought that by shouting at me in mandarin i might understand better. he drove like a maniac and we got to the road where the hotel i and i kept pointing to my printout that he had to go to no. 17. the stupid hotel has an english name on all the hotel internet sites but a chinese name outside. staff were extremely rude and the shower is really weak. i really felt like crying coz had i left 2 days later i would have flown to a really nice small town with Sun and wouldnt have had to worry about a thing. im seriously thinking of doing that after i finish in hong kong and check out this job, just go to yantai and do my own thing just relax and do nothing. the safety deposit box doesnt work in my room, and i went for a ver big walk and the hotel is in a very seedy crumby area with homelss people everywehere and its stinking hot, but the hotel is also about 100metres from the Pearl River promenade and i did a 1 hour walk along there. very pretty, all lit up, and ive just stumbled across this hideous internet cafe which is costing me about $1.75 but i have no idea how long for. just amazing how safe and conservative japan is compared with what ive seen in a few hours! but its only day 1 and there is still porridge with fish or dried fruit and half a chicken to be ordered as room service! I spontaneously want to reply to everyone in Japanese, can see the language barrier is going to be a MAJOR hassle!
bye by now

Friday, July 14, 2006

Steven Seagal catching a fish with his mouth......

Steven Seagal is highly skilled, definitely NOT someone I want to mess with! from Big Daikon):

Steven Seagal catching a fish with his mouth

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Counting down

I've been living in Japan since November 2004. Having spent 4 months in Tokyo, I moved to Osaka. It is now time for another change. In about 2 weeks I fly to Guangzhou (Canton), in southern China, which will be the starting point of a month long tour of the Middle Kingdom. My ulterior motive is to sign an English teaching contract with a reputable company and begin the next phase of my crazy adventure. Places I'll be visiting during August include: Guangzhou, Dongguan, Hong Kong (with my buddy from Tokyo, Keith), Guilin, Shanghai, Yantai, Hangzhou, Suzhou. Having never been to China, I am somewhat scared yet very excited. I don't know what to expect as I've heard both very good things and read some quite bad things from people working there. As long as I can drink some good cheap beer and eat great food I'll be happy!


testa festa