This is the second part of Lost in China series. Read the first one here about my journey in Hong Kong.
Previously: I stayed for 3 nights in Hong Kong. During my journey, I’ve met 3 amazing strangers that become good friends. I always hate goodbye, I wish I could do something more before I leave. October 26… 10am, I moved to:
It took me 90 minutes by MTR from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. I went through Luo Hu checkpoint. Once I checked out from Hong Kong, I was a little bit in trouble. I COULDN’T FIND PLACE WHERE I CAN GET VISA ON ARRIVAL! I was hanging around like 20-30 minutes between Hong Kong border and Shenzhen border. And, finally, I found it after I asked to a security for the third time! Almost no one here can speak English really well. Also the sign for direction are kinda confusing. The Visa on Arrival outlet is on the 2nd floor. So when you see immigration counter, turn left, and go up one floor. There you are. The process is kinda simple, you just filled a form, pay 160 RMB (yes, no HKD anymore, so you have to be prepared), then the visa will finished around…. well, depend on how busy they are. BUT! Remember, VISA ON ARRIVAL OUTLET CLOSED AT 1.00PM! So you have to arrived before closing time, otherwise, you can’t get in to Shenzhen and you have to return to Hong Kong. This visa for visitor is valid for 5 days only. After immigration clearance, I went to the MTR station, Octopus card doesn’t work here. If you stay only for 5 days, I guess a prepaid card (Tong Card) is not necessary because YOU CAN’T GET REFUND, but, if you plan to comeback or for collection, go get it. I didn’t have Tong Card, so I only buy single trip ticket with the MTR to Bao An district. That is where Fernando (my host from CouchSurfing) live.
I was lucky I didn’t get through Futian checkpoint, so I went by the green line to Bao An Stadium station and I was surprised how far it is….. it takes an hour to get to my destination. And when I arrived at the station, Nando picked me up! Hurray!
I like Nando’s place. It has enough space and the air was cool when I was there. I gave Nando two shirts, I just gave to him straight because I’m afraid I forgot about it. I was worried that the size might not fit, because when I looked at his profile on CS, he looks big and tall, but I was lucky, it perfectly fit on him! Hehehe… Oh, and he asked me to come for CouchSurfing meet-up at 8.30pm. I didn’t explore much on the first day because I was tired, I just went for late lunch and exploring the neighbor and took a nap….until then, I woke up at 8.00. Damn it. I almost late. Nando called me, I didn’t want to answer because the roaming fee is always hurting me :( Anyway, we made it to the meet-up. It was nice, hanging out and passing some bar and nice restaurant. I can feel a lot of energy but…. not really. 10.00pm, people start to go home, because the MTR only operated until 11.00pm. Then, Nando introduced me to Alex and Julia, they are from Russia, well actually Julia is coming from Ukraine. We had a great tea time at night. Yes, Alex and Julia are stay in the same building with Nando. They are really nice, and they asked me to come with them to International Regatta Festival, and because my trip to Shenzhen was not well-planed, I said YES!
27 October 2013, 10am. Alex and Julia came to pick me up. And here we go….. LOST in the first 20-30 minutes :) . Hahaha, actually I always like when I got lost, it’s challenging and eventually my level of happiness when I found my way can be very high! But Alex and Julia quite good with direction, meanwhile I just keep my mouth in silence. I was have no idea at all. I even didn’t know where I am at the moment :P
But finally, we found our way! The festival was quite crowd and interesting but…. it lost the energy in the afternoon, people just afraid with the sun, so they were hiding. Meanwhile I don’t mind getting tan :)
Then after had enough sightseeing, we went to Dameisha for swim. It was fun. We had a great time catching waves. I taught Julia how to get a cool pictures with panorama features ;)
Then, we went to dinner and meet-up with Nando. It was a nice dinner, I forgot the name of the place but the food was quite cheap and I love the fact that they provide CHILI! Damn! I was missing spicy food! Here, I tried to have lunch in Pizza Hut on the first day, but THEY DON’T HAVE CHILI SAUCE! For me, the real food is food with CHILI ;) Then, when we went for the bus, we did silly things… making waves by moving our hands and body. We were humiliating ourselves in front of public but it was fun :p Nando went for football games, so I went back with Alex and Julia.
28 October 2013. 11am. I woke up because I heard the bell ringing. Nando went work already, and it was Julia. And she want to start preparing a party… Yeah, I forgot to tell you guys, so these three awesome guys were planning a small meet-up, inviting locals to Nando’s place and practicing their English speaking skills. I was to tired to go around or explore more, plus, I had a little bit cold, so I just stayed and help Julia to prepare the party. We went shop, cleaned up, and decorated Nando’s place. I remember when I had to exchange a glass at Walmart because it was different with other glasses that we bought so I went back to Walmart, I was struggling when I explained to the customer service. At first, the customer service thought I was somekind of joke, because I HAVE CHINESE FACE FROM MY FATHER, so…. they were very surprised when I start speaking in English. Anyway, I made it and got the correct glass! Yay!
7pm, some people already shows up. I met Amy and Kate, they are nice. Amy’s english speaking skill is quite badass! Meanwhile, Kate still struggling but she’s a brave girl and funny :) The other people I’ve met also nice, Bingo for example, he thought I’m a local (or maybe all of them thought I’m a local…)
29 October 2013, 8.00am. Again, I hate goodbye. Nando he asked me to come for a walk before I leave. We talked a lot of things: our interest, life, healthy lifestyle, experience, etc. It was a nice conversation. I’m truly amazed with Nando’s language skills!! Then, I packed, and went for lunch with Nando and Julia. Too bad I couldn’t meet Alex before I leave.
Again I’m feeling very grateful. I’ve meet a lot of nice people around. So, this makes me more believe that there are no strangers in this world. I just haven’t meet and talk with all the people in the world. Because once I’ve meet people, I become a good friends. Again, I hate goodbye, but I have to keep moving..
Macau, here I come…
To be continue..