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Published: October 7th 2014
It’s been a little over a month since we arrived and it’s about high time that I write about the noticeable changes that I have experienced since leaving four years ago.
Every time I look out the window, I catch myself humming a little tune “Where, oh where, did the pollution go?” Not that I miss it at all, but it has been such a shocking difference that it absolutely has to be remarked on. Whatever they have been doing here to clean up the air has worked. I was so afraid of the possible ill effects of the pollution, that before Sean and I left Canada, I shipped in a year’s supply of Astaxanthin (an antioxidant 500 times more powerful than vitamin C ) from Hawaii to ensure that we did not get cancer while here. Sean hasn’t said anything yet, but I am sure that he thinks that I was being overdramatic or something because more often than not, the stretch of blue sky here is punctuated with fluffy white cumulus clouds that float by as if they have all the time in the world.
I have also noticed that people seem to have a lot more
Phones on the metro
cash and are not shy about spending it. The cars that we see on the road here put what you see in Toronto to shame. A chromed BMW parked in this tiny run down garage is just a sample of what is on the road here.
Also, everyone seems to have a super expensive phone that they are absolutely glued to... I have no idea what holds people so intrigued, their eyes fixed to the screen. Riding the subway and looking around, I would have to say that most people in China (or at least in Guangzhou) have become afflicted with the same “covet thy cellphone” disease that is completely pervasive in North America. I was a little sad to see this happen to China. This has made such an impact on me that it is now only on rare occasions that I bring my phone anywhere with me.
The food here has also gotten more Western. Or, perhaps I should say, it is now easier to get good Western food here without having to head over to Hong Kong. As well, Starbucks has completely taken over!
One of the things that I am very happy is
the reintroduction of the motorcycle taxi in the outskirts of Guangzhou. Incredibly dangerous but super fun; needless to say, Sean and I went for a ride the other day. There is nothing better than weaving in and out of traffic, riding triple on a little 150cc motorbike that has a large umbrella affixed to its handlebars. Sean has affectionately labelled them “death traps” and I can’t help but concur. You really have to be in a certain “death may come at any moment” type of mood to ride with these guys. Day to day, we ride the subway, but I am happy to see that Guangzhou hasn’t squashed all of its fun and it is a form of transport we will continue to enjoy when the mood strikes!
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