Life in the 'Zhou - How much can you take?

Guangzhou Travel Blog

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Guangzhou by day. This area is my base.

Life out here can be mercenary.
Friendship is often the great facilitator,
My allies are almost always fiduciary.
And relationships are transactional.

Surely there are exceptions to the rule - but not in my last 3 days…

72 Hours in Guangzhou.

I have...

1. Slept 7 hours. 

2. Had 2 business dinners that have left me intoxicated: “Gan Bei!”.


From street level, just another daily scene. A mix of the old and new.
Worked out in the gym twice.  Once was anonymously.  I'm the type that comes to train, not socialise.  I'll be a shadow, there for as long as I need to be, gone as soon as possible.  Yet, by the second time, I had accumulated a crowd of 10 Chinese spectators, one who kept pointing at me saying in Cantonese:  “Him, that one”.  And I just came to do some handstand pushups...  I should have sold tickets.

4. Avoided a local guy 3 times who is hunting me down.  I made a deal with him to join another gym near me within 24 hours after my arrival in Guangzhou… which I subsequently broke after a friend talked me into another place.  Naughty boy.  I found out afterwards that his name is Lucifer.  Ooops.  Like the good lawyer I am, I didn’t read the fine print in that contract - I wonder if there is a clause about my soul in there? *wondering*


In a factory after dark.
Been tried out by Nigerian street hustlers 8 times:  “Yo, what you need man?” - “You ain't got anythin' I need” - “Bruduh, everybody needs somethin'”.

6. Jumped out of a lift on the wrong floor after getting hustled by local chicks: “No, I don’t need another girlfriend”.  Then I got home and looked at my emails.  One of my friends thought it would be amusing to forward me a chain email placed by a local Chinese girl in his social circle entitled:  “Foreign Boyfriend Wanted”.  I went to sleep wondering what my market value here is and whether the fall in commodity prices has affected my net worth?

7. Spent scores of hours in an office, mostly talking to people on 3 different continents.  About the fall in commodity prices.  I resisted the urge to send them information about the rising demand in the commodity trade of foreign boyfriends.

On my way home... 15 hours later.

8. Travelled 6 hours in a car with military plates, avoiding tolls, inspections, and roadside checks on the road between major cities in mainland China.  No one wondered what the military could want with the suited white guy in the back seat.

9. Worked a 15 hour day in 30 degree heat in a factory with Chinese labourers.  In my suit.  In that time, no one asked me any questions.  The market must be very bad if wall street types sweating through their shirts are normal scenes in the Chinese labour markets.

10. Received news that a delay in obtaining urgent materials I had been waiting for was due to the fact that my supplier crossed the road and got hit by a truck.  He is now in a coma.  All things considered, he got off lightly.

11. Lost my marbles and had an altercation which turned physical with a very large middle eastern man outside my apartment door.  Out of the way, crazy white guy coming through, and its not even Halloween.  The conversation was brief and meaningful…  until he backed down.  Apparently good manners require fists of fury in my apartment block.

12. Now I’m watching my back, because these guys always come back.

Welcome to the ‘Zhou.

Now it’s the weekend, I can work on getting you guys a story… lol

alicegourmet says:
Hope you can get out of town during weekend! :)
Posted on: Nov 08, 2008
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Guangzhou by day.  This area is my…
Guangzhou by day. This area is m…
From street level, just another da…
From street level, just another d…
In a factory after dark.
In a factory after dark.
On my way home... 15 hours later.
On my way home... 15 hours later.
photo by: westwind57