Chandni Chowk to China

Hello everyone!

You simply can not imagine how I missed blogging during the past one and half weeks. No writing, no comments approval or responding, no daily sharing of news and posts. Bref, it was purely some unexpected holidays. And I am back!

Coming back to today’s title, I initially planned to write it as “English? No English!” because that’s probably the most common interaction I had with the Chinese population. Language is a real problem. Very few (I really put much emphasis on the word few) people actually can understand and talk English.

On the other hand, I learnt a few Chinese keywords/phrases by heart, like

  • “Chudi Chudi laaa” – Give some discount
  • “Tuuuu XXX” – Go to place XXX

Despite not being able to interact properly, the one week in China went on smoothly. I was there mostly to buy household items and furniture in the Guangzhou district and more specifically in Fo Shan. Once all items in my to-do-list were cleared, I moved my flight and had some nice time in Dubai for 3 days.

During the last week, I appreciated the country, the people and the culture. I should say that (most) Chinese are nice, welcoming and helpful (when both sides can understand each other).

The one-stop country

You should know that nothing is impossible in this country. They manufacture absolutely everything. Just name it! All types of markets exist : Furniture, curtains, electrical appliances, hotel equipment, ceramic tiles, sanitary wares. There are a few addresses which you should know else you will land up looking for something in the wrong place.

Let’s say that you need to set up a hotel. Just walk in with your money. You get everything from the room door mat to the staff uniform and the kitchen equipment. Absolutely everything you need in a hotel, except customers.

China is really a shopping paradise and girls, You will be the most happiest persons there, believe me. Imagine whole streets over several hundred meters, selling only shoes, garments, bags and other things you crave upon!

On my last day there, I landed into some sort of wholesale market street (above) with over tons of people. I never seen so much people in a so little place.

Bargaining

Bargaining is a must in this country. A very common fact : When quoting you the price for the very first time, many among them say “Last last 200 rmb”. What does this mean? He is offering you the item at the lowest price of 200 rmb (or yuan) and is not giving you the opportunity of look for good deals.

Just bargain a few seconds with him, and he will quote you another “last last” price. Discounts can sometimes be incredible when you take a large number of items.

Food

One promise that I could not keep. Prior my departure, I said that I really wanted to taste (most of) the food there. But the majority of times, I simply could not stand that particular smell at some food stalls or road-side restaurants.

Eventually, I found myself eating Mac Do or KFC most of the time (And above that, I even lost 2kgs!)

There is good food available too and much affordable. For example, I had really enjoyed a hot pot feast of shrimps and octopus for only 50rmb (roughly ~ Rs250). And on the last day there, I had another superb dinner in an Indian restaurant, named Daawat. Finger licking good for100rmb (abt Rs500).

Driving

Simply amazed by the drivers. I would award them with the title : “Best of the Worst Drivers 2011″.

The rules and regulations of the road : You can do absolutely everything.

While driving on the leftmost lane of a 5 lanes road, taking the right most lane is simply a matter of seconds. They just drive in. The car coming in that lane will just brake and all of the times, the vehicles are separated by only a few cms. Yet, I have seen practically no signs of accidents and very few scratches on vehicles in general. So if just like me, you think that some Mauritians don’t know how to drive, you should admire the Chinese (If am not mistaken, Indian drivers are like that too.)

Things to be careful of

Dishonesty, fake notes and brand piracy are some major problems in the country.  You should always be on guard while being there, especially if you are carrying money and valuable items. Always be careful when dealing with money. And avoid going for cheap items, they might be tempting but you will end up with a useless and defective product. I even feared buying a laptop there or a tablet as planned.

You know Playboy right? What about PianoBoy and PizzaBoy, side by side? :P

To sum up, I would say that the trip to China was a nice experience and ready to land there again!

Once again, glad to be writing back again and keep tuned for that post about Dubai.

Also, big thanks to Kiran, Satchin, Rajul and everyone from the family :-)
ps : The blog post finally got its title from a Bollywood movie.

  • http://themediaguru.blogspot.com carrotmadman6

    Epic!
    :D

  • Anonymous

    China the sleeping Dragon ! ; )

  • Anonymous

    Atleast you managed to take pics :P THe whole time I spent in China I only took about 30 pics; way too busy.

    The words I used were always pow-pow(meaning wholesale) + hand gestures; also learnt how to right some chinese on the way :P

    I lived on McDo and KFC too but I preferred the turkish restaurants; much better.(And did you notice the chicken is black there?!)

    I even came across a shop called Google; didn’t check whether they sold premium gmail accounts there tho :P

    Also, its RMB, not RMD :P

  • Jya

    great :)

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    True! That’s why most of my pics are from my mobile. And I did not take the risk to carry my camera everywhere.

    And yeah, when you take in “tapa tapa” (creole : boukoup), you get more chudi :P haha. Hand gestures. lol. Sometimes I wanted to sit down and laugh at myself!
    Btw thanks, just made the correction.

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    True! That’s why most of my pics are from my mobile. And I did not take the risk to carry my camera everywhere.

    And yeah, when you take in “tapa tapa” (creole : boukoup), you get more chudi :P haha. Hand gestures. lol. Sometimes I wanted to sit down and laugh at myself!
    Btw thanks, just made the correction.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t really have any problem with dishonesty tho; sure, walking alone at night could be scary but I didn’t wander off in lonely lanes.

    Even though I changed my money in the black market(banks charge ~Rs250/transaction!) I didn’t have any problem with fake notes but my greatest challenge were, like you said, the non-existent code de la route :P

  • curiousEngine

    Welcome back home! well, you will organise another bloggers meeting now…lol

  • http://tinyurl.com/2f7olfl Mike

    Welcome back, it was quiet around here without you. What an adventure you had, sounds pretty tough there. Looking forward to your info about Dubai. I spent quite sometime in the Emirates and looking to compare the old with the new scene.

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    I guess so! Facebook home pages might have been a bit boring without my regular share of links and news :P

  • TL

    i knew you would love the china trip..but you didnt try the food stall on the streets..too bad.how was the weather in foshan? overhere its 8degrees at night..

    and you are absolutely right about the drivers and riders too..road priority is to the bravest one..dont even think about pedestrian crossing/intersection priority – the only strange and incomprehensible observation i made is that the chinese people do stop at trafficlight when its red.

    ps i got my camera + lens finally. and cheaper than HK where most stores are out of stock

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    Good that you mentioned pedestrian crossings. There’s absolutely no difference if you cross the roads whether on some traffic controlled road or on a crossing. The vehicles just continue driving even if people are crossing!

    Fo Shan was cold (for me). About 10-12degrees when I was there and I had left most of my pullovers in Guangzou!

    I did try a few street food, but only those which seem appealing, like the brochettes (Octopus thing), which was particularly tasty and cheap, around Rs25!

  • Yashvina

    Thanks for sharing…the food part was more interesting.. :D 
    Any more pics of the food there??? :)

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    I should be posting the pics on Facebook, perhaps this night :-)
    I do have a few pics of food but not what you exactly want to see, I mean, not the typical chinese food.

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    A welcoming year event :P

    And this time, I will be there!

  • Shweta

    >>I never seen so much people in a so little place.
    Come to  any metro city of India , situation might be more or less same.
    you told that you did not take the risk to carry my camera everywhere. Is it  due to fear of theft  ?

    Nice post .

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    Alone in a foreign country, where only a little fraction talks your language. I did not want to take any additional risk.

  • Bernardo

    China dog LOL… Pet or to pot?

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    Difficult to say. Perhaps offering the best treatment before sending to the kitchen :P

  • http://profiles.google.com/reena.dkl Reena Devi Kissoon-Leste

    In the food pic, that thing with a tail, was that a rat!!!!????

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    Cant see which pic you are talking about?

    If it was really a rat, I could not have missed that. 

    In case its the first picture, no, the purple thing is octopus. Damn tasty! :-)

  • reechna

    Awesome, just like I imagined it.. ^^,

  • Pingback: Guess where? (Dec 2011) | Yashvin, pages of my life

  • http://lai-mauritius.com/blog/ Raymond

    LOL! You sure had a good experience. I’m going to give a looooong comment.

    I’m guessing the Chinese words were “qu di” meaning go low and “qu XXX” for go to XXX.. The appropriate words would have been “pianyi-dian” (p-n-e d-n, said rapidly in English pronunciation) meaning (to make it) a little cheaper; or “tai-gui”  (couma dire p dire thai cuit en creole) meaning too expensive. But hey, as long as they understand you want a cheaper price, it doesn’t matter.Since I only went to GZ for a short sightseeing trip, I haven’t been to the places for specific type of goods. But I remember Beijing Street is a famous place to go bargaining. And it’s near a hotel where many Mauritians stay when in GZ.Food pics. I love seeing food pics. Does that make me a sissy? Haha. The first pic is typical kebab-style bbq’ing except for the top left which if I am not mistaken is the flour balls made famous in Taiwan, and they just add a little sauce to it. Didn’t like that as it didn’t seem to have any taste. Second picture, on the left, there is the hotpot and you’d better not drink the soup/oil as you’ll probably end up with an upset stomach. Hey, how come I always end up with a bill of over 100rmb whenever I cave in and have some biryani, curry, tandoori and other Indian food? :(

    Driving … I have nearly had fatal accidents many times while in China. Rule of thumb: even when you have the priority, be VERY careful and look everywhere before walking across the street. I think it’s got slightly better (or I’m used to it now). I remember when I first arrived in Beijing, I kept trying to press my foot on an imaginary brake pedal when sitting in a taxi. So scary. There are accidents, but yeah, somehow they don’t seem to happen as often as one would have expected.

    Theft. GZ has a rather bad reputation on that front. Did you notice that motorcycles are not allowed in the city? That’s because there had been too many grab and run by bikers before, so the local govt put a ban to the motorbikes.

  • http://www.yashvinblogs.com Yashvin Awootar

    That was long and interesting!

    Qu di? haha, I kept saying “Chu di” but they did understand! As you said, that was the most important part.

    I think that you are perhaps referring to the “Grand Continental”, isnt it? From what I heard, many mauritians rent an appart/room there. Lido is also much preferred by Mauritians, it seems so.

    Beijing street. Very busy one, especially at night, together with all those streets which are for pedestrian access only. 

    Oops. I drank that tomato soup and fortunately, I did not get get any problems :-) Anyway, thanks for the advice. I will remember for the next time lol.
    You should try Daawat the next time!

    Scary. That is the right word. You just need to have blind faith on your taxi driver. He will reach you to the right destination but the way they bring you is not safe at all.

    Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen any motorcycles! I did not pay much attention but it seems true! Good thing and I guess that if they have put this to practice, nothing prevents smaller countries to try them in towns for example.

    Many thanks for your comments :-)
    Y.A

  • Pingback: Experiencing Dubai | Yashvin, pages of my life

  • Pingback: Cargo is here. Now, do it yourself! | Yashvin, pages of my life

  • Pingback: Good to know that I am not so bad at debit and credit calculations. | Yashvin, pages of my life

  • http://profiles.google.com/reena.dkl Reena Devi Kissoon-Leste

    The food next to the maize….