Getting to know the city
Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
42Trip End Ongoing
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We have been out to see many parts of the city in the last month. It is an adventure anytime we leave our home or the school because then we have to fight the language barrier. Taxis are our one and only mode of transportation at this point and the drivers never speak English. I always keep a notebook on me with useful destinations that our Chinese friends have written down for us with characters. Between that and a few useful phrases we have learned, we always just cross our fingers and hope that we get where we want to be
One of our favorite things to do is take a taxi down to Walking Street in Gongbei district. It is right on the border of Macau and there is lots of shopping and things to see. There is a huge market that sells everything you could want (if you're a local). You can buy delicious street food, and we've had one of our favorite meals there - fried fish, fried tofu and fried rice! It is hard to get away from the fried food here and most food items are cooked with a lot more oil than we are used to.
The weather has been interesting as well. It is still hot, really hot. The other night at 10 pm it was still 91 degrees. Somehow we are starting to get used to it a little bit. We had a week or two of very stormy weather and quite a bit of rain. The thunderstorms often don't come in until nightfall and we have been woken up many nights by some of the loudest crashes of thunder we have ever experienced. Sometimes a rain storm will come in so fast that you don't even have time to take cover. The wind will pick up, and in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes is will be raining so hard that we will be drenched in seconds. One morning Melissa was caught out without her umbrella, only 2 minutes from our building, and she came home completely soaked. A nice girl had even shared her umbrella with her part of the walk! Some days it turns very smoggy. Very smoggy! You can even smell it in the air and feel it in your eyes like smoke from a forest fire, and it is super gross! It gets so thick that you can't see the buildings in Macau from the bridge, which is only a couple miles away. Luckily, all the people that have lived here for a few years say it is really unusual and it has never been like this before. Hopefully it is not a sign of all the growth in the last few years in Guangdong
Zhuhai celebrated its 30th anniversary last week of being a free economic zone, only we didn't know it at the time. We got a tip from our driver the other day on our way home about a firework show, but we really didn't know what he meant. Somehow we ended up at the perfect spot to watch the show, which turned out to be the most impressive fireworks we've ever seen. There was such a variety of colors and many 3-d shapes like smiley faces, mushrooms, and hearts. The only downside was that after it was over there were thousands of other people all wanting taxis as well, and we ended up walking half way home because we couldn't get one, probably 3 miles. And it was a Monday night. Can't wait to see the Chinese New Year!