Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekend Wanderings

It turned into a good weekend despite the excessive haze. Some friends from Bao'an came to visit Friday night for dinner at the Xi'an restaurant and drinks at the nearby bars. I've rarely eaten at the Xi'an restaurant, so this was quite the experience--the food was great considering how cheap it was, even with quite a few beers among us.

Saturday, we went to a really nice park about 20 minutes away, not far from Shenzhen University. The place is covered with lychee trees and plenty of other plants that I don't know the names of. It was quiet and clean, which was impressive with the throngs of people out on a warm December day. There were lots of people exercising, flying kites, and playing an assortment of instruments all around. We'll definitely go back sometime soon.

Today was the grand opening of the huge shopping mall just down the street. It's rather high class and well out of our price range for the clothing stores. But, it has a Papa John's, Bread Talk, and a variety of restaurants and coffee shops. On the third floor there's even a skating rink (with hockey nets), but it's 60 kuai for two hours without skate rentals. We were quite happy with the mall. Then we went into Jusco grocery store and decided the mall sucked.

Jusco is amazing. This is a rather large Japanese grocery store with everything we could ever want. There is no more need to visit Wal-Mart or the American stores in Shekou. I can get everything I want and more. They have freshly-ground coffee, a variety of cheese, and tons of pasta and other wonderful foods. I was a little disturbed by the chopped up alligator in the meat section though--I've eaten alligator before, I just don't like seeing a whole one chopped up. We're convinced that we need to make more money now because we'll want to buy a lot of interesting foods and beverages in the next several months. I'm also convinced that J. will go broke unless he can control his cheese and coffee habits.


JA Huber said...

Hello! This isn't related to your post, but wondering if you've heard that the U.S. has gotten Approved Destination Status from China. This is huge for travel to the U.S., wonder if this will open some other doors for you, if that's what you're looking for. (It means the U.S. will be able to legally advertise and promote tourism to the U.S. and will need people who understand the Chinese culture and in China to do it).

Matthew said...

The approved destination status means that tour operators can plan tours of the US for Chinese citizens and also the Chinese can get group visas more easily. Unfortunately, the US has also increased the price of visas for the Chinese, which will lead to rise in price for the Americans going to China.

The US doesn't really need to promote tourism here, but having group tours will increase the likelihood of Chinese visiting and spending money in the US.

I might consider working for a tour operator that wants to get more money out of the wealthy Chinese tourists. They always try to get more from me, I might as well return the favor.