Friday, December 30, 2005

Back from Wenzhou

Some ten days of doing close to nothing, that is just what I needed. Can you believe that the first 4 days I did nothing but playing Civilization 4? Amazing, it is a world ahead of Civ 3, but somehow I prefer the old one, so many years playing with it, now I feel like cheating on an old friend...

We didn't finally go to Guilin, because the camera broke down after the first shot in Wenzhou. It hasn't been a good deal this Kodak camera, around 3 years old and always giving trouble, not very realiable. I can say so now that my friend is no longer working at Kodak. The problem is where to take it to get fixed here in Shanghai... It is actually kind of funny, but I have been here for 6 months and had the following stuff damaged: the two laptops, the two MP3 players, the two mobile phones, and now the camera. I guess I only have the electric toothbrush and the shaver left to go...
Anyway, wihtout camera there was no point in going to a scenic place like Guilin, so we came back here to Shanghai and will spend the end of year 2005 studying Chinese, watching movies and preparing for the next round of L'Oreal E-Strat Business Challenge, since my team was one of the three that passed to the next round from CEIBS.

But our stay in Wenzhou wasn't boring at all. I had dinner with most of Jenny's family, we went shopping, eating out (Xmas dinner was at McDonalds! I loved it). Wenzhou is a coastal city of 7 million people South of Zhejiang province (right under Shanghai). Zhejiang's local governments were never too good at developing state owned companies, so the private entrepreneurs had to develope the businesses themselves, and today they are regarded as the business people of China. I could certainly appreciate this on this last visit (my fourth so far) since the city is getting really pretty, with all temples and pagodas refurbished, and more trendy places to go out. But as usual, I didn't see any laowai (foreigner) around. So I keep being stared at as if I was David Beckham, or Chewbacca from Star Wars... And then there is this thing with children: of all the nephews I have on this branch of the family, only Long Long (a cute 6 years old girl) smiles and talks to me, while the rest just breaks up crying and running away when they see me... What do they tell them about laowais in their schools? In Spain, when a child sees an Asian, he/she will most likely make fun of him/her...

We also visited the Wenzhou Zoo, it was surprising to find such an animal park there (and located on top of a mountain, quite interesting!), with an amazing birds house, lesser pandas, lions, giraffes and all.

Finally we went to a small rural village (Shangtang), where Jenny, her grandma and aunt visited a Buddhist spiritist that put them in touch with Jenny's father -and by what she told me afterwards, this really happened!!-. After this visit, she told me that she was thinking of converting to Catholicism... I warned her that if she did so I would convert to Buddhism, or Taoism, to keep the balance in the family.

Sorry, but as I mentioned there are no pics to illustrate this trip. You'll have to use your imagination.

1 comment:

marian said...

Vaya, siento lo de la camara, pero aunque el servicio postventa era bueno, solo duraba un año, ahora cualquier fabricante se pelea por ofrecer 3 años pero Kodak no, claro, ni siquiera confian en el producto para poder hacerlo. Me alegro de estar fuera.
Que gracia lo del padre de jenny, le dijo si estaba contento con su yerno?, estas chinas están un poco locas, Jenny ahora mismo qué es budista?.