Continuing the last few days of my trip to Taiwan and a couple of stops to Hong Kong and China. We are almost done with the trip to Asia posts…
Monday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 26
Crossing the Border from Hong Kong to China – No Powdered Milk?
So backing up over a month ago, we arrived to Dongguan in Guangdong Province, China. We took a short bus ride from Hong Kong to Shenzen to cross the border. I was nervous to arrive to China because of the perception I had but it’s just like any other border crossing. Funny thing is, the border line is not even definitive. It’s just a guesstimated yellow line.
I found it interesting to see so many children in uniforms crossing back and forth. I was told that many Chinese parents send their kids to private boarding schools in Hong Kong. There were dozens of children in different uniforms huddled in line one after the other when we left back to Hong Kong on Saturday. Another peculiarity I saw was that powdered milk is a big deal in China. There are strict restrictions of how many cans (2) can be brought in to China at the border crossing in Shenzen supposedly due to a shortage of powdered milk for infants in Hong Kong. Sounds like something more to me… But anyway, so Chinese parents prefer other brands of powdered milk for their infants because the milk manufactured in China has a bunch of crap in it that is making infants sick and sometimes even causing death… Scary… Is it all propaganda? Is it more of a political issue of import/export? Who knows…
As soon as we were out of customs, my dad is already freaking out that someone is going to kidnap me. I felt safe at the border crossing and Shenzen seemed like a very developed and clean city with lots of buildings.
After crossing the border, my dad’s friend’s brother-in-law picked us up and we drove for a couple hours to Dongguang. China is so huge. I mean you knew that, but China is so HUGE. We stayed in this little dusty town at a very nice hotel that had karaoke every single night. I could hear it until 2 am. People like to party and karaoke. Or maybe is a bunch of men looking for hostess’ company? The hotel we stayed at was very beautifully decorated (on the inside). It was very classic, reminded of a 1980’s hotel. As if I was globe-trotting at the age 0-5? Right? But you know what I mean… It was just very 80’s. I should have taken pictures… Sadly, I don’t remember the name…
The small town in Dongguang is the hometown of my dad’s compadre. It’s a dusty little town next to tons of factories. Apparently everyone knows each other there. Lots of money-making factories, few people reaping the benefits, lots of hard working people getting paid a tiny fraction of the profits these factories are making. At first I thought, how unfair! But sounds like any other place in the world (replacing factories with corporations), if I put it into perspective.
Karaoke in Dongguang
The next day we had amazing, delicious authentic Chinese food. Food in China is something else… It is so good!!! Especially the goose… It’s like duck but more tasty because of more fat. And the veggies tasted so fresh. And the seafood is to die for.
At night we headed over to the karaoke adjacent to the hotel which is also part of the hotel (3rd floor). There is also a spa and massage place. Hmmh… What a combo, you got the fancy hotel, karaoke with hostesses, and spa/massage with more hostesses… I smell something more than just innocent singing and massages. This article in wired.com describes the karaoke scene nicely and it’s pretty much accurately described: The Hot Zone.
Just like the article describes, I saw beautiful women with their hair up in high heels and short skirts. We were in a group of wives and husbands, and dad and me, so we just had one attentive hostess. I would imagine that typically it would be one hostess per man. Our young hostess was pretty and very flirtatious. I felt terrible that she had to stand around serving everyone in these high heels and short skirt that kept on moving up. She looked exhausted by the end of the night.
Besides feeling sympathy for our hardworking hostess, I had a great time with my dad and his friends. And it was fun watching dad relax and have fun. I asked him to sing a song with me but I realized at the end it was a stupid song to sing there hahahah Hotel California. His voice is way too deep for this song so it was just me singing and him waiting to see if there was a low note coming up.
On top of that, I’m a very shy singer… So I was sitting down the whole time. YAWN. Sorry dad’s friends, no fun to watch and hear me sing : P