Shenzhen part 2
Trip Start Jul 28, 2009
51Trip End Jul 27, 2010
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The Toilet Restaurant!
After window of the world we went to somewhere that Christina and Tilde has seen before and had wanted to try. It was a novelty restaurant where you sat on toilets and ate your meals. The idea is quite crazy and also mildly unappetising but it was quite well done. It was quite well done, almost everything was toilet themed. The restaurant itself was called ‘Modern toilet’ and it had several floors, so it must be quite a busy place. Your seats were converted toilets (modern of course) and you sat on cushions that looked like poos Your table was a bath with more poo cushions inside and various bathroom things. Actually, one of the biggest flaws about this restaurant was how non-ergonomic the place was, especially the bath. This is because you couldn't properly fit your legs underneath a bath, unless your a small person the sitting position wasn't great and you had to sit at a slight angle. After chatting with Patrick a little longer about cultural differences and noticing that there was more toilet themed things on the walls like shower heads and shampoo, we got the menus. There was nothing for me to order apart from one thing, and i specifically said ‘no meat’, even Patrick who was good at Chinese backed me up.
Peoples meals started to arrive and funnily enough even the plates were shaped like urinals, bath tubs and toilets. Quite a nice touch i thought. Then my meal arrived, i had ordered rice in a wrap with tomato sauce. There was no mention of meat on the menu, but they thought it would be a great idea to included small pieces of sausage in the tomato sauce. Of course i complained, especially as i had specifically said ‘bo chi row’ (I don’t want meat). When they eventually took it away, I knew that they were just going to pick out the meat, so when it was returned it had a nice sausage tang to the meal. It was shit.
Hostels, Art districts and cheap hotels.
Our next mission was to find somewhere to stay. As I said earlier, we had arrived in Shenzhen late, so by the time we had finished at Modern Toilet it was getting late, and we still wanted to drink! We had previously phoned a youth hostel and had booked a dorm. We hadn’t met Patrick before we had done this, so there wasn’t a definite place for him to stay. YH are always good and cheap, so I was very happy that we had one booked. It was about 11 o’clock and the latest we could check in was 11.30 so time was running out. First Patrick was determined to get us to find a hotel he knew somewhere in the area he had stayed the night before, so we wasted some time looking for it. We never found it, so we were getting pissed off at that point, and ended up getting a taxi to the YH thanks to an address written down in our lonely planet guides. The YH was pretty far out and cost a fair amount to get there, but when we arrived outside the art district, I was very happy. And when i found out that the YH was inside the art district my mood changed rapidly.
The next challenge was to find the YH inside the district. We were walking through and there was still a small underground nightlife going on. This was perfect, i couldn't wait to start drinking here.
We got to the hostel, and it turned out that 3 out of 7 of us had actually bothered bringing our passports (I being one who bought a passport),and in China you need to provide visa information to stay at hotels. At this point Patrick was heavily influencing us to go all the way back to the centre and get a hotel. We had eventually reached a compromise where if someone gave their credit card information and signed a letter that they accepted responsibility if someone checked up about the visa it wouldn’t be the hostel’s fault. Sounds dodgy, but I thought reasonable. By now, Patrick had pulled a small influencing bribe by offering Pistachio nuts to people.. and to my disgust people decided to go all the way back and get a hotel that Patrick was telling us about. I was so annoyed, in a prime art area, and i knew i couldn't come here again..
In the taxi back, It was me, Toby and Tilde and we were all discussing how we didn’t trust Patrick. Why was he so determined to get us away from the nicely lit area and the safety of a YH to a crappy hotel? Something wasn’t adding up. When we arrived at the hotel the situation became even more complicated. Because no one had passports its was up to the people with passports (Tilde, Love and I) to book the room and then sneak everyone else in. How annoying! Plus, the irony was that us 3 are the worst Chinese speakers out of all the others, however we did get a room.. after some time.
The rooms themselves were your typical ‘blast from the past’ 70’s style room. Stale smoke, hard beds, unclean bathroom, I was so happy that i had travelled to a nice youth hostel, turned around and went to this place.