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Published: August 6th 2007
I'm not the one who named the mountain the "penis mountain." I'm not the one who works at the evolution of sex in China musuem. I'm just the one giggling in the pictures. Let's just say, in a country when everything is censored and dating is forbidden until you graduate from high school, I was quite suprised when Mary and I arrived in the nearby drab town of Shaoguan. The afternoon fog never wore off, nor did the staring at the only two foreigners in town. We arrived on a four hour late train and marched right over to the nearest hotel that we could tell was a hotel. Walked in....got ourselves a nice room (with little to no chinese!) and set out to hit the town. Which was really just a smaller version of where mary lives. Mary lives near the East gate (Dongman), where every chinese person believes is the place to be and be seen. The place to eat, shop, buy illegal dvd's and get about a million manicures all by different women. Shaoguan's east gate shopping street was less crowded but had the same essential requirements. Store employees clapping at the entrance of their store, loud music,
The cheap seats
The lady next to me tried to squeeze her friend in between our two seats....
homeless people who follow you for ages (and they are quick), good street food, bad restaurants, and finally a McDonald's. All of those and you have your hip shopping street.
We wondered into the first restaurant that we could recognize the food in the pictures and sat down to a game of point and tell ordering. Wo yao zhege---- "I want that!" It will take you so far in China, except when the reply with "meiyao" Which means "try again, we don't have that!" So after a few "meiyaos" the waitress and us settled on some fried rice, spaghetti and heart shaped waffles. The were good, by chinese standards, although the spaghetti had more of a sweet and sour sauce than a tomato sauce, but who's counting?
After a lunner....we headed out for a stroll along the polluted filled river. Not bad, minus the slight smell and deep fog. It was new and that means exciting. We stopped for a bottle of wine, dropped the first because the bag broke. Mary insisted on getting another and her persistence assured us a second bottle and a double bagging for a quarter of the price of the original. We headed
WE made it.
thanks to the cable car and 70yuan..
back to our hotel room to share our bottle of wine and indulge in some excellent chinese television. The chinese are not allowed to produce television shows about real life so you only have two options on the tube; Korean soaps or medieval chinese dramas with bad costumes. We opted for the soaps because a slap across the face is good tv in any language.
After a few hours of that and an empty bottle of wine, we stumbled downstairs to the hotel's western restaurant where we in fact where the only things "western". Every chinese western restaurant comes equipped with lush couches in place of chairs. These aren't booths, they are low, comfy, not for eating, more for spilling on yourself couches. I don't think in America or any western country I have eating in a couch, but someone told someone that that's what how westerners eat and done.... After another bottle of wine and a few dishes of "what their having" and we managed to stumble back upstairs with only drawing the attention of everyone in the restaurant, only not because we were drunk, but because we were white.
An early alarm clock meant we were
our waffles in the shape hearts. They only gave us 5, so we had to split the last, and it took us back to out 5th grade BEST FRIEND necklaces...where did those go?
off to find the "penis mountain". After a little trouble at the train station, it was apparently so funny that we could not speak fluent chinese that our ticket agent could not seem to communicate that their were no more tickets available for the train back to shenzhen. At one point the person behind us was about to have a stroke because of the 5 minute wait, but luckily he was able to be served after 6 minutes. Once we realized, from the help of the non-laughing co-worker, that there were no tickets, we ventured over to the bus station and surprisingly easily bought 2 bus tickets back to someplace in shenzhen....exact destination unknown, but vague destination known and that was good enough.
Our goal was to make it an hour away to a nature reserve. After 10 minutes of searching for another bus station (i have greatly improved my detective skills, because in china, the foreigner is better to stare at than to help) we boarded an hour long bus to the park. We arrived at the park, immediately noticed a statue of a penis and quickly got in line to get our picture snapped in front of
like little girls
we didn't actually make it to the real penis mountain, we ran out of time, but in china the fake statue is always more popular than the real deal.
it and the sex museum, then bought overpriced park tickets which took us to an overpriced cable car which lifted us up to a pretty nice mountain with some awesome views. We hiked for a bit, but then had to hurry back because we had bus tickets that with limited chinese can not be exchanged or altered. We never actually saw the really penis shaped mountain (although mary claims to have seen it from the cable car...this from the person who with out contacts or glass can't see much of anything, but anyway) We felt the fake statue would suffice, because as we have found in china, the copy is just as good as the original.
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