Learning Life in Guangzhou

Son and grandsons are at school all day, so now it is time to learn – all over again – what it is like to live in Guangzhou. My last time in China was in Shanghai – a very different city – and I have not been in GZ since the boys were babies, or, when there were no boys, just newly married Donal and Xin Yan. On one visit, I went to a chinese school here in the city centre.

Memories – I have not liked GZ – hot and dirty or cooler and dirtier – cement, highways choked with traffic. We used to live sort of east central [Tian He and Dong Pu if anyone wants to know].

NO COFFEE … [really hard to find Starbucks or McCafe and often reduced to that, post from last visit here]

aaie aagh – – aaie aagh -[chinese expression for OMG]

Now we are on the north east, just below the Bai Yun mountain. White cloud mountain is a much admired tour destination, apart from the Pearl River almost the only tour destination in this huge sprawl of a city.

STILL NO COFFEE aaie aagh aaie aagh aaie aagh and I have not found Starbucks yet either.

There certainly isn’t one where we are living in a garden compound, gated community, 40 tower blocks of 15 – 20 floors in each about 4 apartments to each floor. (Is that maybe 5-10 thousand people??) Almost no shops, just a small terrace with pharmacy, fruit shop and grocery. Think concentric circles built up the side of a tree shaded hill where fresh breeze blows.

Yes ! fresh breeze in GZ! I am told I am lucky that September weather this year is as usual 90F but nothing like as humid as it could be.  + + +

Each circle of blocks has outer circles for cars, inner for walking and leisure. We are in the first circle after the main gate, so easy to access the few shops and the main road outside. It is ten minutes walk from the gate to the school – over the main road by the traffic lights and an Amusement Park. This makes it very easy to identify the location, so I won’t get lost. + + +]

And – apart from the birdsong – IT IS QUIET

Not like GZ memories at all

So this morning I stepped out in suitable shoes. After taking the boys across the road from the Amusement Park and into their school, I took a bus a few stops to Dong Fang – still nowhere near into the middle of the city.

Did you spot the Walmart in the last photo? I regret to say that was why I went to Dong Fang – to shop at their supermarket.

aaie aagh …    aaie aagh …   Only instant coffee !

Life in GZ … to be continued. I am going for a swim in our beautiful swimming pool. But, it only opens at 2.30 pm. Why? Don’t know. Life in GZ is just different. Memo to self: Adapt, Enjoy, Do without coffee.

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