A day to explore!
Shenyang Travel Blog› entry 6 of 16 › view all entries
It has been a long week of teaching and training but finally today is Saturday and I have a day to explore Shenyang. It has been snowing lightly for the past 3 days which just makes everything delightful and fresh. Afterall, if it is going to be this cold it might as well snow and look pretty! I am still a novice when it comes to snow and freezing temperatures. Getting dressed and ready to go outside is quite ridiculous! I have to wear 2 scarves (one under the coat and one over the coat), 2 pairs of gloves, etc. I must remember next time to buy a pair of trousers that are a size too big so I can wear more leg layers underneath. At least the temperature has warmed slightly and it is now only minus 23 degrees.
Walking on the ice is something I am still getting used to. Because of the temps the ground and snow freeze into solid ice. There are large tracks of black ice everywhere so I am still a bit tentative while walking around.
I have travelled alot in China (this is my 9th visit) and I must say that the people here in Shenyang are particularly wonderful, friendly and helpful. While waiting for a taxi in the freezing cold, a complete stranger stopped and offered a ride in her car just so I wouldn't have to stand in the ice and cold. She could not speak a word of English (and of course I have about 10 words in Mandarin), but we managed to communicate and connect.
Today we went to the main market area of the city. The street was lined with food vendors offering every kind of dumpling or noodles, but having already eaten our fill of both dumplings and noodles for the past few days we decided on something different. After perusing the roasted chestnuts, grilled squid, smoked corn, and bbq'd sausages, we opted for a great lunch of steaming beef and tomato broth soup & a pastry-type chicken sandwich (use your imagination).
There is really nothing (and I mean nothing) you can't buy in the multitude of shops stacked 5 levels high in the market area. The range is dazzling. But after the initial overwhelming feeling, you soon realise that all the stalls actually offer pretty much the same things. Each floor seems to specialise in a particular range of items. Every area is neatly organised into types of items. So, it is pretty easy to work out which section you are in. There is the usual men's sections, women's sections, etc., but there is also surprising areas such as the wedding dress area, dancing gear area, cosmetic area, underwear area... etc.
One particular shop which was a lot of fun was the perfume shop ('perfumery' I believe is the real term). A tiny little shop in which you can barely squeeze through the space without knocking over a pile of little delicate bottles. The walls are lined with hundreds of varieties of perfumes, and below are baskets with hundreds of designs of perfume bottles. First your chose your perfume, then you chose the bottle. The lady fills the bottles and voila! ... the perfect gift all for $1.50. So, for all my female teachers back in the office in Maroochydore, guess what present I will be bringing back home for you! :-)