Thursday 4 November 2004

Shenzhen Bound!! Be still my beating heart

Up with the babies (at the crack of dawn) kisses to Sebastian as he leaves for school, drive downtown with Charles as he went off to work, and then we began our journey to the border of China. I call it my own personal wall of China, as I know that being that wall is Gods Country (shopping heaven).

It takes a total of 3 separate trains / subways to reach Shenzhen. Then you have to clear HK customs, pay for Shenzhen visa ($150HKD approx $25-30 CDN) for Canadians we pay a small fee vs. US citizens who pay 400HKD per person, the Brits pay more. Then you clear China Customs and then go through security before walking over the bridge that links the two countries together. Last time I had walked the bridge it was open to see outside as you crossed over. It is now covered, perhaps so that you don’t notice the barbed wire fences, the guard towers and the knowing fact that the police on the China side of the border not only have a few more German Sheppards around for security, but that the gun power they supply has gone from handguns to machine guns. Always such a comforting thought.

I am worried as we cross into customs as they have nurses with thermometers checking peoples temps, I had night sweats the whole night prior and am feeling about as dreadful as one can feel (but I had told Tess, even if I slip into a coma, I am going to Shenzhen), I feel quite liberated as I slip past their highly trained medical experts and cross over into Shoppers Mecca.

Dad quickly found himself being “attacked” by throngs of people offering him watches, dvds, massages, pedicures, manicures, etc etc. We 3 decided to split up and go our separate ways after we dropped off some material at a seamstress, so that Tess could get her whole couch/loveseat re-upholstered for a killer deal! Tess and I then power shopped until lunch at which time we re-aligned ourselves with Dad and headed to the Golden Elephant for some lunch.

I was not able to get my turnip pastry (the ones I had been secretly fantasizing about for the last 2 years), but we got some fried turnip, many shrimp rolls, dumplings, bok choy, rice and dejarling tea. We ordered so much food that we were forced to bring the leftovers home with us. More shopping followed lunch, purses, shoes, babies clothes and clothes for the big kids.

By the time we cleared customs and Immigration on the China side, we were then ready to clear it on the Hong Kong side, I was once again able to avoid the dreaded temperature check. We took the subway/tram home and then were able to spend the late afternoon and evening with the babies and of course Seb.
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