Shenzhen Tea and Tech

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October 5th 2018
Published: October 6th 2018
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Our Tea LadyOur Tea LadyOur Tea Lady

This is the free Taiwanese tea she gave us - it was free because we paid too much for everything else I think!
Hey guys,

So after Macau and Hong Kong and Immigration, we were pretty wrecked yesterday, so we just stayed in bed till lunchtime, then had lunch, then had dinner, then went back to bed, so that explains the absence of a blog.

Today was vaguely more interesting though, although I think we slept for the same amount of time...We were hoping to go to a tea market to check it out today so we were taken to one a couple of blocks from where we are staying, we made it to the second floor, I'm not sure if it went any higher but it's, as you can probably imagine, filled with tea. That's one thing I really love about China, everything is sold in clumps, like when we went to Dafen the other day, all the art dealers are in that district, all the tea sellers are clumped together here in this building (and other buildings through the city I think), all the tech guys are in one area. It reminds me of the hammock district from the Simpsons. But there's a ridiculous amount of tea here, hundreds of different vendors selling all sorts of different teas. It's definitely not a tourist place, I think from what I could piece together it's a wholesaler so I guess restaurants and smaller shops buy their stuff from there, but they are all happy to talk to you and sell direct, you just have to buy bigger amounts. And even though there was an overwhelming number of tea sellers, it's still holidays here so there was a lot of them closed, it must be incredible when the place is running at 100%.

Everybody we walked past wanted us to try their Jasmine Tea for some reason, I don't know if it's a specialty or maybe Westerners like it the most so they tried to show us that - but they really wanted us to smell their Jasmine tea. Problem is we don't really like it that much it turns out, but anyway, it smells good. There's a bunch of little stores selling teapots and cups and all the other paraphernalia too so we had a bit of a look through them, didn't buy anything though. The last shop we looked at was a tea wholesaler who was really nice and asked us to sit down so we could try
The Tech MarketThe Tech MarketThe Tech Market

Sorry, I only took one very poor photo
some of her teas. The first one was the quite hilariously named pu'erh tea that had been stuffed into tangerine skins and allowed to dry. I'm saying tangerine with confidence, but I don't know what it is. Some small citrus. There's a whole process to it, same with every tea we sampled, pour some boiling water over it in a pot, then straight away pour that water out (she poured it over the cups we were about to drink from so they would be nice and hot), then pour in the next lot of water and serve that. While you're drinking that round (they only pour a couple of tablespoons worth) pour the next pot and keep on going. It's really interesting, the tea gets stronger with each round, and she said by the 5th cup it's up to its full flavour, so it's sort of like having a bunch of different drinks really! So we did that for the citrusy one, then we did it for a smoky one, then a smokier one, then a smokier one, then a green tea, then a taiwanese tea. So we're a bit tea'd out, if that's a thing.

Even so we
Wrist WatchWrist WatchWrist Watch

He looked at his wrist watch Best shirt ever
bought a bunch of different teas from her, it was pretty cheap and it was genuinely really nice so...yeah. We have tea now.

Went to a cool western restaurant today too for lunch, I know we should try to eat more Chinese stuff but there's so many reasons not too, not least of which is the fact that the western food here is really nice. Also, it's hard for us to get the kids to eat food they're used to at home, I don't like our chances of getting them to eat things they don't recognise. We did go out for Yum Cha yesterday though, so cultural immersion complete really.

After that we went to the tech area in Shenzhen - which is huge. Shenzhen is pretty much the tech hub of China (and by extension the world) so there was stuff everywhere. Roll-up piano keyboards and drum kits are apparently the latest thing because every second shop was selling them - they're pretty rubbish but the kids liked playing on them. And there's a thousand different drone shops and bluetooth speakers - we got one of each - and we went into a building hoping to see
No you don'tNo you don'tNo you don't

You used a split infinitive
something a bit different but instead it was 5 stories of phone covers and accessories. It occurred to me in a moment of sombre reflection that when smartphones were invented, they provided a livelihood for millions of people - this building was packed full of things that just wouldn't have existed 10 years ago, and there were thousands of people in there depending on them to put food on the table. Crazy. It's also crazy that there can be that many people selling the same thing. I was ready to poke my eyes out.

I had hoped to find some little gadgets and things while we were there but we either went into the wrong buildings or a lot of those shops are closed for the holidays too. That was a bit disappointing but didn't matter, I had dragged everybody around looking at stuff they weren't interested in for long enough. There are some really awesome bits (again, all the ones I wanted were closed for the holidays unfortunately) that were selling just components, I guess they're the same shops you buy from online. I was thinking of getting some stuff but I figured it's probably not that much
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Sue will kill me when she sees this photo got posted
more expensive to just get them from Ali online - it just takes a bit of time for them to arrive. Anyway, the place is cool. I was reading about it and when it's not holidays, Friday nights are filled with inventors and developers looking around there, so we were there on the right night, wrong week.

Last thing we did was go to a little bar that sells some local brews and had a bite to eat. The waiter there fell in love with Ivy and Ivy is always happy with some attention so they ended up dancing together and all sorts of stuff. The beers were pretty good and we convinced the owner to sell us a few of his beer glasses so we've got a souvenir. If you're in Shenzhen, Evil Duck is worth a visit.

On the walk home there were a few little street stalls selling foods that I was almost going to get but we were running out of time. There was a store there selling clothes too, it had the most brilliant shirt I've ever seen in my life, I would have bought it but he wanted $8.00 for it and
The Tea ShopThe Tea ShopThe Tea Shop

Hundreds of shops, all looking like this
wouldn't budge on price. I'm not made of money. I think I took a photo of it though.

So yeah. that was today. Pretty full actually even though it felt a bit lazy. Tomorrow is our last day in Shenzhen before we head out to Yanghshuo but it's going to be pretty low-key too, our train leaves at 7 in the morning I think so we'll have to be out of the apartment by about 5:30, and since our average waking time this week has been around 11:00, that's going to be a bit of an adjustment, might need an early night!

Okie dokie, see ya!

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7th October 2018

awesome pics bro.keep em comming

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