Last Night in China

Last day in Shenzhen and admit I am ready to move on. In fact I really wish I had made it to Korea a day earlier. However, I would not have had the opportunity to spend it with one of the workshop participants, David.

The plan was to get up early and find an abandoned village. David knows the story well, a fishing boat capsized killing 4 of the crew. For a small hamlet that had already suffered atrocities at the hands of the Japanese in WWII, the new addition of restless spirits was just too much, so in 1965 they packed up and left.

Waking to a rainy morning I hit they gym, grabbed a bite to eat, and started researching tidal charts, maps, etc. I knew it would be about an hour walk through the jungle and along the beach. My hope was that David would be up to the task.

After meeting up with my adventure host, and analyzing the GPS coordinates we discovered that our objective was actually in Hong Kong. For David to go there he would have to get a special pass. Being a bit adventurous himself he had mistakenly made an illegal crossing into Canada a few years ago. We felt we should not chance this one.

Stopping for breakfast in a French style bakery, we waited out the rain with good conversation and cream topped pastries.

Instead I took David to a previous geocache spot I had been to out on the Central Zone. It was a place he was very familiar with. The satellite gods were in our favor and combined with his problem solving skills he quickly found the mini cache. Very well done!

We took a time out to go to the bookstore where I found a version of Sun Szu’s Art of War in both Chinese and English. A frivolous buy, but I had not had one of those yet. David picking up Books to study English. I made the offer to work with him via phone to better his skills.

We then proceeded to a tougher cache. This is one Belinda and I opted out of since it was taking us down some pretty dark under passes. Under passes are a universal magnet for seedy people, stop and drop urinals (and worse), and general places that should be avoided if you are a foreigner, female, or passing at dark. I figured David and I could take care of each other.

The cache was a complete bust and though we followed the GPS as best we could, we could never find it, even with the hints. We figured it had been taken.

David then tool me to eat the style of food from his home. He is from Mongolia. He was quick to point out that he does not have a horse, live in a tent, and things in Mongolia are quite modern. I told him that having to identify myself with being from Texas was often the same. He immediately asked if I had cattle and a ranch. He was joking.

One of my concerns is offending my host by not eating huge portions. Even by western standards I eat very small meals. I get full very quickly and this can send the message to my host I do not like the meal. The dishes that David introduced me to were awesome. I had been craving spicy food and this met the bill. A combination of beef, fish, and chicken. I think it is customary for Chinese to “over-order” when hosting as it is. I now have a new appreciation for the spicy taste of Northern China..

A great day of exploring book stores, a few shops, and conversation. I retired back to my hotel for a bit of rest. My last night in China was spent at a very disappointing (and expensive) buffet at the hotel and watching game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. Yes if you compare the posting date with the game you will notice I am behind in watching the series…. It takes 1-2 days to download…..

Next day…. Hong Kong and then Korea….

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