William Chow's Personal Web Page

This is my first ever trip to the orient in 2005. This is the beginning of my adventure into China.

Week 4 (March 13/2005 - March 19/2005)

Sunday, March 13/2005

send alexanderia back to school. we had fried shrimp for lunch. I spent most of the afternoon helping her with English homework, although I think it was just laziness that she didn't want to actually do it. When I got to checking her math homework, she intentionally skipped over two of the harder questions under the pretense that it was hard to read questions thus ambigious to guess what the question was asking. I had a pretty good idea what the question was asking because it was special properties dealing with the factoring of polynominal equations. The second one was a bit tougher and dealt with "i" the square root of -1, but I simplified it for her to something she would recognize. She said I was clever.

Anyway, we dropped her off and took a walk. Her drop off point is in the next district Heping district. If can imagine the GVRD map, this would be like travelling from Burnaby into East Vancouver, locationally speaking. The stop is very close to the road refered to as Nan 5 Malu.

At this intersection is a war memorial tower. After this, we decided to take a bus ride around the city since Nan 5 Malu is one of those roads that circles the city. Well, we didn't use the 2 yuan bus, we used the cheap bus which was cramped, some of the seats were broken. It sounded like the transmission was gonna fall out of the back of the bus. When we got downtown, we got out of the bus near the Happy Family Mall. We dis a bit of grocery shopping and took the taxi back home.

Monday, March 14/2005
This morning it was the last of the sour dough bread and cheese toast. Today, we were invited over to her mother's place for shumi. Of course, Ami got jealous that her mom is keeping good care of me by feeding me food. I guess her mom really likes me. Anyway, we taxi back home.

It was such a great afternoon, I decided to go out for a nice walk alone. I since I took the main route downtown to Happy Family Mall last time, I decided to take the next street over to go downtown. This is when I really noticed that in Shenyang, they tend to group the stores that sell like merchandise together. The street I walked down was Xaionan Jie. The majority of the stores here sell sewing machines and fabrics and do other works with textiles like T-shirt printing and stuff. Anyway, I ended up back at the Summer Palace again so from there I ended up down at Happy Family Mall again. To my surprise, Ami had followed me down here. It was such a fluke to have her guess the place I was heading down to since it took me over an hour to walk this far. We went into the Mcdonalds to sit down and warm up. There were two foreigner backpackers ordering in English. The McDonalds here has a nice laminated menu with the combos and deals on one side and on the other side all the items in a "a la carte" menu. It is in English and in Chinese, with the prices. It wasn't today, but I did order an entire Mcdonald's meal, just by pointing and nodding my head. I didn't say a single word of Chinese or English. I guess that way they don't poison my food because I was a foreigner. Anyway, they had a waitress girl walking around handing out flyers/coupons. I always take these handout things and Ami hates it when I do. She had a special McDonald's club card which gives her discounts. Anyway we ordered a combo deal of a hot crispy McChicken, fries, 6 piece of McNuggets, 2 drinks, and a beef wrap for 35 yuan. The wrap is kinda neat, it is like a triangle pita pocket with black pepper chicken and a hash brown potato in it. The chicken sandwich was not that hot, and the meat was not entirely white chicken meat. Same with the McNuggets. While eating, I was looking at the other deals on the coupon sheet. McChicken and fries for 11 Yuan, Double Cheeseburger and drink for 10 yuan, corn and pea soup with fries for 7.50 yuan, big mac combo for 18 yuan, black pepper chicken pita pocket combo for 20 yuan, 6 piece Mcnuggets combo 17.50 yuan, and super sizing is 2 yuan.

We decided to walk home. We dropped by an anime store, which had a nice Love Hina bathing suit figure set. The guy tried to sell it for 100 yuan since I was a foriegner who spoke English, and Japanese for that matter, but Ami argued and bargained the guy down to 60 yuan. Yup, good lesson here, if you are a foreigner, make sure you have someone who can speak the language and that can pretend he doesn't know you when you go out to buy things.

Tuesday, March 15/2005
Today was a light snacking day. I ate the last of sweet bread for breakfast. I had gather my stuff for trip as our train will depart at 10:00pm so we had to be at the station at 8:00pm. We will do some light shopping for some on the train snack food.

The train station is big, like an airport. It even has a huge service mall attached to it with all the fun things like McDonalds and KFC. On the second floor of the station it even has an game arcade centre and a movie preview room like the airport does.

The waiting room is scary though. Lots of questionable people selling things, doing con jobs or just out right waiting for the right moment to steal luggage. We left on time. The trains here are not like VIA Rail or Amtrack. Well not exactly. The trains are huge bunk cattle wagons. Each "room" has 2 sets of bunk beds which go 3 high, (ie 6 beds). There is a small table and there is a thermos bottle of hot water. There is also a small table with two fold down chairs in case you want to sit up for a while. That is what you have to travel with. Hmm. Interesting... Makes you kinda wonder what "coach" class is...

Wednesday, March 16/2005
Arrive in Beijing at 7:00am. Here is my entire detailed Beijing Tour Summary. Or you and look the versbose day by day picture summary. So here is day 1 : Tour Day 1 in Beijing.
Thursday, March 17/2005
Tour Day 2 in Beijing.
Friday, March 18/2005
Tour Day 3 in Beijing.
Saturday, March 19/2005
Tour Day 4 in Beijing. Leaving Beijing at 10:25pm at night.