Riding in a public bus on our way to Mainland China, our Hong Kong tour guide Eric made some final reminders about Shenzhen before we part ways.
* Beware of pickpockets.
* Never EVER buy jewelry in China. It’s fake.
* It’s better to buy tea, but DON’T BUY JEWELRY. It’s fake. No guarantee.
After three hours, we arrived at the border. Eric assisted us all througout the immigration process. When it was my turn to have my passport verified, the duty officer seemed to have a hard time with me.
He told me to remove my glasses, since I wasn’t wearing any in my passport photo. He requested to add my middle name in the form. And he kept on flipping over the passport like he is dealing a poker deck.
What am I? A terrorist threat?
Our new tour guide met us after all 24 of us got verified. She took us on a bus leading to our hotel. The tour guide introduced herself by her English name: Helen. Some members of the tour groups asked for her Chinese name, but we didn’t understand what she said. It’s too fast to comprehend.
Helen welcomed us to Shenzhen City (pronounced Sn-Tsn), a booming metropolis of 25 million people where Hongkies go out for a weekend of cheap, I mean, inexpensive rendezvous.
We were billeted to “G” Hotel (I’ll let you find that out for yourself). It’s a two-star hotel disguised as a three-star hotel. I’m telling you now, our room was so cramped, it was so dark, sleeping was like camping on the sidewalk, and please don’t make me describe the bathroom.
Again, my sister Princess Six and I stayed together in one hotel room while King Daddy and Prince Eleven took another room. After unloading all our things, my Dad decided to have dinner.
And what are you supposed to do in a city that you have no idea where to go? Follow every Filipino trait: just walk around without asking for directions, relying on your innate sense of navigation. We did just that.
Passing by a few blocks from the hotel, the Imperial Family realized the places to go in Shenzhen. You can go for a full hour of soothing massage for only 78 yuan (really really cheap, I mean inexpensive), but Dad was short on money. Besides, having a massage was not part of our plan. Shenzhen also have trendy clubs, but don’t expect the clubbers to look like the ones on the cover of every Hed Kandi CD. Since I went to China with my family, I don’t have the liberty to enter one.
The Imperial Family stopped by a seemingly trendy restaurant (it has impressive interiors) and decided to dine out in there.
(to be continued…)