Tag Archives: Shenzhen

Weekly photo challenge – solitary

27 Sep

This week’s photo challenge is on being solitary.  To me, solitary sounds more interesting than alone – solitude is something positive – a chance to contemplate life and ground myself for a few moments.

I think it’s easy to do that type of contemplating when you’re by the sea.  The first photo is when we were at the sea in Shenzhen watching the waves crash onto the shore.  Li climbed down on the rocks and watched the waves while I snapped the photo.

The second photo Li took of me as I was enjoying the peace of the lake near Dali, in Yunnan province last November.  It was a long day and I remember just focusing, closing my eyes and relaxing while I heard the birds and waves.

Both of those photos are historic ones – but yesterday when I was in the office I realized that someone had put a teddy bear on the ledge by the window.  The bear really looked like it was contemplating life and looking out over the Shanghai skyline.  I had to take a photo.

May we all enjoy our solitude.  Which is your favorite?

To see other bloggers ideas on “solitary” please click the link at the beginning of my post.


Travel theme: Signs

16 Aug

Last week my post on leading lines got lots of comments and when I saw this week’s theme at Where’s my Backpack? I knew that I would have to join up again.  The theme is signs.

Living in China I have the opportunity to see all kinds of signs that I typically wouldn’t see at home.  The ones I find the most amusing are the signs where the English translation either makes me shake my head or is entirely misleading.  I went through my pictures from the last couple of years to pull together these four signs that continue to make me laugh each time I look.

There’s a lot to be said for a good peer reviewer!  Sometimes I think that if the corporate world becomes too much, I should just charge for proof reading services.  Given these examples – I think there’s a market.

In chronological order:

Export what?

This photo was taken in October of 2010 in Hangzhou, a day trip from Shanghai. It is a major tourist destination for foreigners and Chinese alike with the most famous attraction being the peaceful and serene West Lake.  The Chinese on the sign very clearly says Exit (出口) but somehow the English turned into Export.  Actually 出口 has two meanings in Chinese, one of which is Export, but that doesn’t make any sense here.

So I can litter as long as it doesn’t kill anyone?

This photo was taken during my team outing in June 2011 to Zhangjiajie, Hunan province and was posted on the window/balcony of my hotel room which was on a higher floor.  I know the intent was more of don’t throw things off of the balcony, but this translation doesn’t really capture that.  In Zhangjiajie’s defense – it is an up and coming tourist site made much more popular after the movie Avatar and when we went there were more Korean tourists than other western faces.  On that note though – the sign above has no Korean translation.

I am way too tall!

Taken on a weekend trip to Shenzhen in November 2011, we were touring a large Russian air craft carrier which is permanently docked in the bay.  From the photo you can see that it is not likely that I will be seeking employment on a submarine any time soon, but the sign really made me crack up.

The Chinese stated there is very, very common (当心碰头)and can be found in every single subway station and above most escalators where there is an overhang.  I’d translate it as “Careful of hitting your head” or “Watch your head” so the “Beware…” added an extra smile to my face.  When is the last time you saw the world “Beware” in an English speaking country?

I still don’t understand this one – the English really doesn’t make sense

My final contribution was taken this past June and is in Sheshan, on the outskirts of Shanghai, where there is an observatory and Shanghai’s oldest Catholic church.  From the picture it looks like this is a place to throw rubbish, but the Chinese is – please don’t litter here.  It’s another variation on my “killer littering” above, except even less clear.  I don’t know how a foreigner is supposed to interpret this, but it definitely made my day!

Which sign is your favorite?

If you’d like to see other people’s interpretations of the travel theme, please click on the Where’s My Backpack link at the beginning of the post.

Shenzhen – recycling center

14 Aug

After my weekend in Hong Kong, I had to head back through Shenzhen for another couple of days of meetings.  One evening when taking a walk to a nearby restaurant I noticed that there was a lot of trash next to the road.

Upon closer observation the trash had been neatly sorted and was next to a garbage truck.  I took a couple of photos.  The man that you can see started to wave me off as he realized what I was doing.  I went to dinner thinking about why there was so much trash on the road.  Coming back a different way I saw another truck and this one had a scale next to it.  I think that it is a place where trash collectors come to sell recyclable goods.

The next evening in the same place, another truck and another collection of recyclables.  I found it an interesting part of Shenzhen – and my hotel was in a pretty ritzy area in Futian district.  It also caused me to think about what happens to trash and recyclables in Shanghai.  It is common to see a tricycle overflowing with cardboard, wood pieces, plastic bottles, styrofoam or other products but I have never seen a transaction take place or know the value of the items.

Sometimes travel gives me new insights on where I live and how I affect the world.  Seeing that trash on the curb did that on this business trip.  Have you had an experience like that when you travel?

Typhoon Vicente

2 Aug

The notice board at Hongqiao airport

Shanghai last week had beautiful weather.  Picture perfect, drop dead gorgeous sunny days which I just wrote about.

The rest of the country was not quite so lucky.  Severe flooding in Beijing left over 70 people dead and a typhoon in southern China pretty much wiped Monday and Tuesday off the calendar.  Colleagues who were in Hong Kong for meetings with very important people had the meetings canceled and I even heard that Hong Kong put up the T10 flag – the highest level on the typhoon system.  It was the worst storm in 11 years.

So, where did I (try to) go on Wednesday afternoon?

Shenzhen.  Shenzhen as in an hour away from Hong Kong, Shenzhen.  Probably not my best piece of  traveling.

Of course, this trip was for work and it had been planned some time ago.  Truthfully I completely missed the news of the typhoon until Tuesday at lunch because I was blissfully enjoying the blue skies in Shanghai.  But then I heard one thing, then another, a lunch meeting with a Hong Kong native, an afternoon meeting with someone who had worked there for 15 years.  I got the sense that my trip may be an adventure.

My typhoon story was a three hour delay in the Shanghai airport, two hours in the airport and one hour on the plane itself.  Landing in Shenzhen my suitcase was a little damp, but nothing big.  The taxi line took nearly an hour but I wound up next to a nice Taiwanese kid who had lived in the US and we talked about a lot of nothing (For example, did you know that President Obama’s brother has a barbecue restaurant in Shenzhen?) and soon enough I was at the hotel.  It was sprinkling but people were out and about, stretching their legs in the cool night air.  I settled into the hotel and prepped for my Thursday meetings.

The rest of the trip was fine, slightly soggy, but fine.  It rained pretty much every day, at times downpours, at times sprinkles, but I was really no worse for the wear.  Though it didn’t seem that way at the beginning, I had some travel luck – and a couple beautiful (post-typhoon) weekend days in Hong Kong as well.

Have you had any travel adventures that focused on the weather?  I remember traveling in Europe over 10 years ago now where we were waiting for a train in a snow storm.  Any stories that you’d like to share?

Exploring – Shenzhen

15 Dec

When Li suggested we go to Shenzhen for a weekend I initially said no.  Twice.  Shenzhen’s reputation as a place to visit was not high on my list.  When I consulted my Lonely Planet this is what it said –

Though commercially successful, Shenzhen isn’t a pleasant city and the extreme imbalance of wealth and poverty leads to an air of desperation.  The crime rate is high and visitors should be wary of walking alone after dark.  Most travellers give the place a wide berth, but it is a useful transportation hub if you’re coming from Hong Kong.

I had been to and through Shenzhen before.  In 2009 I took a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou which went through in Shenzhen, but I didn’t get off.  Earlier this year I had a work trip where I gave a seminar in Shenzhen, but was there less than 24 hours.  Neither experience resulted in anything wrong, but in terms of a weekend getaway place I wasn’t expecting much. 

Having predefined expectations can be a dangerous thing.  I am very glad that Li managed to convince me otherwise.  Any place and travel experience depends on the people and the weather and the food as well and Shenzhen had all of those in spades.

And I had a great time.

Enjoy the photos of our weekend in Shenzhen.

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