23 October 2007

Mr Lazy Hong Kong / China

I have been crowned the new king of lazyness. With all my spare time and the amount of hours spent on the Internet you might think I could blog slightly more often.

First and foremost I should update on the trip to China with my co-workers this last weekend. We went to Zhuhai - it's only about an hour by ferry from Central, HK. Holidays to me mean sleeping in at least later than you get up to go to work. This was not the case. We were to arrive at the ferry pier by 7:40am to catch a 8:40am boat. I was actually on time, unlike the Japanese Sports Day which I was 1.5 hours late for (didn't even matter in the end btw). The boat ride over was the best example of pollution I've seen yet in this country. You could see maybe 50m outside the boat the smog was so thick. Everyone tends to blame the pollution on factories in China, but a lot of it actually comes from unregulated ship and ferry traffic which there is a huge amount of.

Due to the awesome view and the early departure, the ferry ride was for sleeping. No one dared come near to the 2 "Big White Guys." That was the nickname given to me and my other male co-worker Mark. We stuck out very obviously (for various reasons) the entire time. I should mention now that we had a Hong Kong tour guide, and a Chinese tour guide the whole time (waste of $$$ - glad I wasn't paying). My boss told them they would have to babysit me and Mark, ooh how little they knew (or maybe they knew too much).

Now in China, the group was set to go go-carting. This had been the plan, and I really wish I had put down some serious money on winning. Not only did I work at a go-cart track in Canada for 4 summers, I knew how to make the cars go "illegally" faster. With my luck the carts in China were already unregulated. Wow where they fast. At two points in the race I actually skidded off the track, across gravel and grass, and back onto pavement. It happened twice, once on purpose because it was so much fun. The staff weren't exactly bothered by anything. Had one of us blown up they might have gotten off their chairs under their umbrellas. The fools had also given me the pole position, ha, the win was in the bag. I won the race easy, even lapping a few other co-workers. This was a big deal on a 10 minute race with 1 minute lap times. I didn't get the fastest lap time though, this was stolen by the cheating Japanese teacher, cheating because he only weighs about 100 pounds. Oh yes, there were two Japanese male teachers as well, so Mark and I were not the only men.

After carting we cruised down the dirt/metal/gravel/deadbodyparts "road" to our hotel resort spa dealy. The hotel itself was very nice, a 5 star in China. Meaning it was more like your average 3 star American hotel. It was funny how out of place everything in Zhuhai was. There were huge gaps of nothingness and then bam! a huge hotel.

We stayed in the Ocean Springs Resort. Along the tour of the grounds we saw the hot springs, the pool, the restaurants, the 'bar,' and got a run down of all the stupid rules we were not allowed/supposed to break. After the tour we went straight to a massage about 5 minutes away from the hotel. It was more like 2 people who didn't have a clue what they were doing punching you in the back for 1 hour. I'm glad I didn't get the 2 hour option. It was super cheap, about $10 CDN for 1 hour. After our lashings Mark and I went over to this really weird restaurant beside the massage place (the only two buildings within 10 minutes drive - weird). We ordered and drank their remaining beers. You don't need to know how many they had. Some we took back to the hotel as well. The hotel bar was not stocked very well and for China it was way over priced.

So back to the hotel for dinner. Lack there of I should say. There was lots of rice, and lots of......mystery dishes I'll call them. There wasn't anything crazy like dog as you're all thinking, but the chicken could have tasted a little more like, I dunno, chicken! Also the soups were puzzling, I stayed away from them. Why not order something I like, you ask? I wasn't given a choice, it was all pre-ordered package deal stuff.


DO NOT order from set meals in Hong Kong or China unless the restaurant is very expensive and well regarded for having good meals. Why? Because usually it is cooked for the masses, has been sitting, tastes dull and chewy sometimes, and lacks display points.

After dinner we were still hungry - the 2 BWG at least.

From dinner until about 10ish we had free time before the whole school staff went to the hot springs together. Oh yes, I went to China with my entire school staff in case I didn't mention it. There were 25 on the trip I think, some stayed home. During our free time Mark and I decided to go and check out the 'bar hub' (as it was labelled) section of the resort. Wow, that took about 5 seconds. Everything was closed! Bar hub my behind! Instead we raided the convenience store and purchased a few of their finer vintages for our evening festivities. I'll mention it once and I'll probably mention it again, DON'T EVER DRINK BIJO! (Beejo? Beijo? Beigo? Some Chinese paint stripper drink it was nasty)

At 10 we all went to the hot springs. This was probably the most unique part of the trip (at least the most unique aspect I will print). They had all kinds of weird pools from the likes of Red-Wine to Chocolate hot springs. The water wasn't actually pure wine, but it was scented or something along that line. In total they had about 90 different ones. No, they were not all natural. My favorite one was the fish hot spring. This was the weirdest feeling I've ever had. You would sit in the hot spring, much like a regular hot tub, and these tiny little minnows would come up to you and eat away at your dead skin all over your body. Eeeehehehehehe it was the strangest feeling. I have to say my skin did feel better after about 30 minutes of fish feeding.

After the Hot Springs we had the evening to do whatever we wanted, and seeings how there was nothing to do at the hotel other than eat and drink (pfff or go to bed like sissies), we ate and we drank. Everyone ordered these special chickens that are unique to that area of China. Our tour guide recommended them. Can you say CASH GRAB!? The chicken was quite tasty, it came with the head and everything. I ate a whole chicken, as did Mark. As did Mark I say. Yes, Mark and I did nothing other than eat chicken all night like the nice boys we are. Some might tell you otherwise, but they are all liars. Fighting with hotel staff members and stealing fake flowers are all just figments of sober people's imaginations.

So "everyone" retired early to their rooms by midnight and the Chinese tour guide did not almost get fired, and the Japanese section supervisor was not hit on by Mark, it never happened. It was a win win situation for all involved and we awakened to a glorious smog enhanced sunrise, the END.

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