Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 24

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Calgary > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 33 - Sat May 25 2024Wan Chai, Temple StreetHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 34 - Sun May 26 2024Chungking Mansions, Nathan Road, Ladies' MarketHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 35 - Mon May 27 2024Central Market, Sino CentreHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 36 - Tue May 28 2024Tea at Minimal (with WingBenny), Dragon CentreHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 37 - Wed May 29 2024Plane (HK > Singapore), Tampines N2 Shopping StreetHong Kong, ChinaSimei, Singapore
Day 38 - Thu May 30 2024Tampines Regional CentreSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 39 - Fri May 31 2024Lunch (with Debbie and Zixiang), Bras Basah Complex, I Light SingaporeSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 40 - Sat Jun 01 2024People's Park Complex, People's Park CentreSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 41 - Sun Jun 02 2024BishanSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 42 - Mon Jun 03 2024Dunman High School, Katong Shopping Centre, Parkway ParadeSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 43 - Tue Jun 04 2024Hell's MuseumSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 44 - Wed Jun 05 2024Flight (Singapore > San Francisco > Vancouver > Edmonton)Simei, SingaporeEdmonton, Canada
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts!Edmonton, CanadaWe'll see

Thursday, May 16 2024 (Day 24)

I spent the morning eating instant noodles and working on my blog and work tickets, and then went out in the afternoon to walk around another of the nearby mall areas that Kel had recommended. Nearby was a relative term — by this point I had still only explored stuff within one station away from where Kel lived, and this was a major expansion of my sphere of influence — this was TWO stations away from where we lived! Or maybe not. Oddly though, to get to this area, I had to travel one stop to yesterday’s station, Panyu Square Station, and then transfer there to another line which I then took for one more stop. That second train actually took me closer to our Clifford Wonderland home area than Panyu Square was though, so even though it was one further station away and took nearly 30 minutes to get to due to walking, waiting, and transfers, I didn’t actually end up further away from home base, and if Panyu Square Station, which was a five minute ride southeast, was the edge of a large sphere of influence centered on where we lived, then this would have been well within the sphere as well.

What I’m trying to capture here with all that setup are two thoughts. The first thing is that Clifford Wonderland is at Shiguanglu Station, on a weird train line with only four train stations on it, so getting anywhere else besides a very few selected places requires at least one transfer by train. Having such a short train line is weird and rare. Secondly, during my transfer, I hopped onto a train that was on the platform when I arrived, before hesitating and hopping off again because things looked wrong. And thankfully I did, because even though that was going in the same direction as where I wanted to go, it was an express train whose next station was four stations down the line. I haven’t seen any other lines with express trains in Guangzhou yet (but they must surely exist).

The area I went to was a shopping district outside Nancun Wanbo Station, and I ended up spending about 7 hours walking here between about four shopping malls and a couple of outdoor areas, including a food place that I ended up eating dinner at with Kel. I don’t know if there’s a formal place for the area, I saw several building mall signs for the individual malls, but I’m calling the enire area Nancun Wanbo for now until I learn otherwise. I also wandered in and out of the malls, sometimes returning to an old mall to pass through it, so my pictures are all a bit of a jumble. So I divided them into outdoor and indoor pictures and am presenting them like that.

First, some outdoor pictures.

I definitely like wandering around and finding weird and outlandish sculptures, like giant killer sakura flowers, an invading army of fire hydrant aliens hiding inside a hedge bush, a guitar left behind by a space alien, and a Canadian coffee shop. Also, I found a DJI shop, the company that made my video camera, which reminded me that I hadn’t done anything with it this trip at all yet. And probably won’t.

Next, have some inside pictures:

I turned out to not have many indoor pictures, and of those that I did have, some are shops, some are interesting things I wanted to buy but didn’t, and some are giant rabbits, walking robots, and grown men being driven around on a little kids’ train. Kel had also shown me a couple miniature houses that she had, and I was really tempted to buy a couple from the shop above, especially after I went away to look at the prices online and found that the in-shop prices were actually pretty good. We’ll see.

I kind of want those for my future house. It’s not too early to shop for decorations, right?

I stopped for lunch along the way, at some slightly overpriced restaurant. Lunch was something that translated into Sautéed Garlic Vermicelli Shrimp, from a restaurant called Nine Mao Nine, and looked like this:

It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t a big pile for 45 RMB ($9 CAD or so), though I appreciated the little glob of garlic on top of each prawn. I didn’t appreciate that large jug of tea which they put down on my table and then charged me 3 yuan (60 cents) for automatically in my virtual cart (this restaurant took orders via scanning a QR code on the table and then picking options from there) though. Also, the food took forever to come.

While waiting, I snuck a picture of the patron next to me:

The reason was that I had seen a couple restaurants giving out plastic gloves as part of the available utensil set, but I had no idea why until I saw her eating with it — it looks like the gloves were there for people to pick up food and eat it without actually dirtying their hands. Huh.

Also, while I didn’t buy any of those miniatures, I did stop by a store called O.C.E. and buy a little pink dinosaur plushie after lunch.

It also looks a lot like my shirt from Taiwan a few days ago.

Sort of. Practically identical. Isn’t she too cute? I might call her Bocchisaur. Her neck wobbles back and forth a little.

There was also a small market street with food stalls outside one of the shopping malls:

Kel and I would walk by here on the way home again much later that night, and at that point it looked like this:

It’s night.. market.. ish?

I had arranged with Kel to meet her in the area for dinner around 7:30 to 8:00 pm or so, but I had no idea where to actually eat up until an hour or so before then, when I found a weird multi-level food complex.

This place had a main building with four storeys of shops, about 95% of them restaurants, surrounding a central courtyard and a large central building that I never did figure out the purpose of. The restaurants looked like they were arranged with the cheaper stuff on the lower floors and the more expensive stuff on the higher floors, but a good number of the shops, especially on the higher floors, were also closed.

One of the shops on the top floor, which Kel said was a famous chain store but which I had never heard of, sent someone to accost me the moment I arrived on the fourth level via escalator to ask (in Cantonese, then in Chinese when I looked at him blankly) how many people were in my party even though I wasn’t in their restaurant yet and there were other stores on the level, and I had to explain that I was just walking around. That store did have interesting handheld block game consoles on each table though.. what were those for I wonder?

And wait, translating that thing on the table says you can get discounts on your food by folding paper cranes while waiting for the food to arrive? Maybe the block game is tied in to that too. What the heck. That’s interesting.

But we didn’t eat there. Fourth level restaurants were too pricey for my blood. Instead, I paid with my blood as I walked around lower levels together with a good number of other people and lazily-buzzing flies. I took a few pictures of shop menus for Kel to muse over while she made her way over:

And then bought four baos, two of two different types so there was one for each of us, for 10 RMB from a random shop while waiting for her to arrive:

I bought two of the first one in the left column, handmade fresh meat baos, and two of the second-last one in the right column, char siew sourdough baos. They were pretty good, not the juiciest I’ve ever eaten or anything, and probably not super fresh since the sun had set by then and he just opened up a large steamer cover to reveal a half-empty steamer and plucked my chosen ones out of there (and these were the last char siew ones). But they were still cheap and decent, and did not seem to give me digestive troubles the following day or anything like that.

I admired the night city aesthetic and architecture while chewing on my buns and waiting for Kel to arrive:

And then once we met up, we walked around a bit on the lower level of the food plaza and decided to ignore all my suggestions and eat at this steamboat/hotpot place instead:

Kel taught me that there’s an app that I believe is called 大众点评 or Dianping, owned by a company called Meituan, the premier food delivery company here in China. Apparently a lot of restaurants sign up on that app, which handles things like reviews as well as food ordering, and she regaled me with a story about how she got a free dish from a restaurant once by giving them a nice English review on the app because then the restaurant would look more attractive to foreigners on it. Hah. I should totally set it up… (but I haven’t).

She also said that sometimes you’d find hidden off-menu items there. Like in this case for this restaurant, where she found a combo package for some of their (less popular?) meats and vegetables for 138 yuan (about $27 CAD) for two people. Score! That’s what we picked, and it went quite well, and reminded the both of us of our Chinese New Year dinners at home with the rest of the family.

There was some cow brain in there too, two pieces, one for each of us. If I start making cow puns, the parasites got me.

We also bought some sort of cold herbal tea, and thank goodness that we did because some of the spicy soup, which wasn’t actually normally spicy to me, went down my wrong throat pipe at one point, and that burned exactly like how it probably burns going down the right way for a normal person.

We were the second last table out of the door that night, and we saw a woman with a couple of dogs terrorizing a cat and prancing around the near-empty food street at that point.

I hope someone picked up the piece of poop that was laying in the middle of the street and that we had to step around. We went back up to the nearest intersection, where we saw some sort of police commotion going on.

We couldn’t get a Didi ride from there, the equivalent of Uber in China, since the app correctly identified that there was a block on that road and it was impassible. So we walked past that night market street again above to another street, and took a car home from there. Didi (Uber) is apparently really popular and cheap in China, as is Meituan (Skip the Dishes/Uber), partly because there’s no tipping culture in China at all, and if for some reason you want to tip your delivery person Kel said that you had to jump through quite a few hoops in the app to even find that page. It cost the two if us around $4-5 CAD to get home, whereas it would have cost about $1 each, I think, plus take about three times as long, to get there via public transit.

It was late at that point though, and we still had another piece of business to take care off before Kel could go to bed — she was going out of town from Friday evening to Sunday evening, and so she wanted to exile me somewhere too. We had juggled a few possible options yesterday, but by tonight had settled on Xiamen, in nearby Fujian province, instead. That was still a 4 and a half hour train ride each way though, and she helped me book the tickets for the train, but the outgoing train ride ended up with me having a ticket for a center seat, whereas the return train ride gave me an aisle seat like we had requested instead. We also found a cheap hotel in the middle of what hopefully is their equivalent of downtown. Neither of us had ever been there before, but we didn’t want to spend a whole bunch of extra time researching since it was late, so we went with that hotel and the couple of train tickets that she had found, and then called it a night soon after.

I had Kel book all these things for me because she had the extra money in her bank account to do so, whereas I knew that my funds were getting low and I didn’t want to dip into my $6,000 reserve fund just yet. On the flip side, doing it this way would also allow Kel to pseudo-convert her Chinese yuan into Canadian dollars and skip the foreign currency exchange fee to do so, since I’d just deposit the Canadian dollar equivalent of this into her Canadian bank account in a couple months once I get the current credit card bills out of the system and have disposable cash again from my biweekly paychecks.

Anyway, mooving on.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 23

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 25

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