Guangzhou (Canton)

The next morning we caught a bus to Kowloon and hopped aboard the train to Guangzhou. It deposited us in a city where we couldn't speak the language, and nobody seemed to speak English. We finally got a taxi to take us to the area where Judy Hunter and Betty Lin teach. We had no directions, and the driver didn't know what we were talking about. Enroute, we were amazed at how modern and clean (not counting the air) the city is. Helen spotted a large "AISG" on a distant building, and, sure enough, it was the American International School of Guangzhou.

We had a cup of coffee with the girls, and Betty directed us to Sharmian, the old British and French "concession". It has a lot of colonial style buildings and touristy shops. We had a nice lunch, bought a few things and headed back. We were an hour and a half too early, so we taxi-ed to a nearby fabric market, and bought some silks and linens for tailoring in Surabaya.

In the evening, Betty had a meeting, so we went out to dinner with Judy, her daughter, Alex and Lisa, Erasmus and the two young Meinarts (visiting from Bali). It was an interesting menu. I wanted to know what happened to all the bits of fish, birds and animals that were not heads, feet or organs. However, it was a nice meal, and we had an early night. Betty's stupid cat woke us up, under the bed, at 2am. It wouldn't stop yowling, so I eventually caught it and deposited it in the hallway, from which it charged into Betty's room, ramming the door open as it went.

The next morning we had two destinations, in Chinese script, on a piece of paper, for the taxi drivers. The first driver claimed he was dropping us off at the right spot. We found ourselves in Helen's idea of heaven - a suburb full of shoes! However, a number of places were wholesalers, and, in the end, there was too much choice and not enough time for a purchase. We then found a "belt" street, which became a "bra and underwear" street, which took us to Beijing St., our second destination. It was chockers with nice shops and department stores.


We walked on, and had lunch at a "sushi train". We eventually came to a street sign, and found where we were, on the tourist guidebook map. We had a look at the Peasant Movement Training Institute, where Mao had been in charge in the 1920's, and then ambled down to the riverside. We caught a taxi back. Dinner was at a nice Vietnamese restaurant with Betty.


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