Thursday, December 30, 2010

Being Grandma and trip to Shenzhen

Hunter did a good job cutting out the shortbread cookies for Christmas!

He came to spend the day with me on the 17th which was the last day of classes for the school.  We went shopping for cookie cutters and out to McDonald's for lunch.
Kylie had gotten a helicopter from the  school gift exchange, so he was trying to fly it around our living room. You can see it hovering above the blocks on the rug.  Boys and their toys!!  They were all enthralled with it!
Blaine and l went to Shenzhen for a day of shopping BY OURSELVES!!  This was a big deal for me because when we were here three years ago we all went and l got pick pocketed and lost everything, so l've been very leery of going there again. We took a taxi to Festival Walk mall and rode the train all the way to Lo Wu which is at the border crossing over to mainland China.  It was a Monday and the train was packed both coming and going. Thousands of people go back and forth at that crossing each day.
  After you go through immigration you cross this bridge to the mainland and you are in China proper.The city is huge, 7.5 million and is one of the five Special Economic Zones.  Before it became a SEZ in 1980, it was a small village, but has now grown into a monstrous city with its only goal to make money and sell merchandise.  It has some neat things to see, but you are warned to be careful and have someone with you who knows the ropes so to speak.  We will go back one day and try and tour more of the other areas of the city.
I was very nervous to go there again and kept a tight hold of my purse at all times!! The whole place has a very different feel about it and l really don't feel comfortable there.  It's seems kind of a sleazy place with people always bugging you to buy something and they follow you around.  My view of the place is probably a little bit biased!

The main reason l wanted to go was because you can get clothes made to order quit cheaply.  I took in 2 pairs of capris, and 5 shirts and t-shirts.  Here they are putting the cloth swatches l picked out on the corresponding shirts.  This mall is about a city block square with 5 floors.  The top floor is all tailors and has a football field size area that is just cloth of every color and kind you can dream up.  You can get sweaters made and coats, wedding dresses, suits, anything.  You bring in something you want copied or a picture of it and they can make it at their factory.

Once you pick the cloth they measure you and write down anything you want changed on the garment.  So in 10 days l will have 24 pieces of clothing shipped to me in HK.  I'm anxious to see how the cloth stands up and if things will actually fit any better.  Each article turned out to be around $15.00 Canadian.  If they are good quality and durable l think l'll get some other things done like a suit and jacket.  Some Australian woman was getting some really beautiful classy looking things made while we were there. Some people from the school go to this particular shop and Kylie had 6 pairs of shorts made last summer that he's been happy with.

 This is looking down the mall concourse.  The train station is on the left, and the big tourist mall is the one on the right.

Inside the mall are hundreds or maybe even thousands of small stores.  The stores are only maybe 10 x 12, so each one is small.  There are clothes, copy watches, bags, toys, jewelry, shoes,electronics, DVD's,  kid's clothes, food, gadgets, massage, pedicures,some legitimate, and some not!!
This is one of the toy stores and the whole thing is packed to the ceiling just like in the window.

This is leading into the immigration area to go back into Hong Kong.

Leaving Shenzhen!!  I have to say l breath easier when l get on the Hong Kong side again, but it was a kind of fun trip and l will be looking forward to seeing my new clothes. Blaine found some neat toys,(remote controlled helicopters, and car) and we got some good DVD's. The DVD's are really cheap but sometimes they don't work!!  And sometimes the shops are shut down because they weren't legal!  You just never know what you'll find here.  We bought this 24 disc set of Mr Bean and when we tried it out, it was all in Russian!!  (Blaine finally got the English to work)   Like Kylie says some work some don't, get more next trip!

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