China Day 4

Day Four, and a hectic day lay ahead.

After sleeping in heaps this morning, we went out to yumcha with my cousin and his wife, which was a nice, casual break that was needed. I felt a lot better today, likely due to the sleep and my specialised T and B cells kicking in. Immunology, hurrah!

Fancy interior design much
We ordered Roasted Pigeon, and they even gave us these little plastic gloves to make it 'appropriate' to eat with our hands at this very elegantly designed restaurant.

Anyway, afterwards, we walked to a local shopping mall -- the stroll in which I took many photos because it was a bright and sunny day, and the trees were nice.

My cousin, and his wife.
I think they're both very fashionable.
The walk was nice; not going to lie. We managed to take our time, and I tried to take in the sights and the entirety of Guangzhou a bit more. Considering it was our fourth day here, I thought it was time to overcome the feeling of foreign-ity and start to take in the sights for what they were.

You know, breathe in the smell of smog and smoke -- as one does in China.

And also purchase cheap bubble toys for children.

Just outside Guangzhou Library is this massive cleared area with a lovely view of the Canton Tower. It was a nice day with blue skies, and not many people, and I think I ended up taking one of the best photos of Guangzhou that I've ever taken.

The lack of smog was probably the best addition, and really made the photo a lot better. Kind of like how good fries with your burger make the meal ten times more complete.

Blue skies in Guangzhou? Blasphemy!
We later spent about an hour there at H&M, once we arrived at the shopping mall. This was actually my first time in their stores, and I shopped so much. In the end, I purchased three pieces of clothing; two dresses and a top, which I was really happy with. I've noticed that most branded products are at a somewhat fixed price; I.e., the RRP of Nike shoes, for instance, is approximately the same in Australia and elsewhere (small fluctuations, depending on tax and import costs, etc.)

However, why do I continue to shop so much in China? Well, to anyone who's been to China (Guangzhou, at least -- I'm most familiar with shopping here), you know that people here are obsessed with sales. Sales everywhere. I'm not exaggerating. And these are sales of 40%, 50%, 60%, and sometimes up to 80% or 90% discounts off the original price. And these sales are permanent. There has literally been no store that I've gone into thus far that has not had some massive sale on.

I must admit however, many stores do a 'deliberate' price increase of their stock, and then cut prices for sales, which overall results in a 'fake' sale, which might not actually be a deduction in RRP. But this isn't always the case.

Though, it's not always storewide. And sometimes the products on sale are ones that are from last season or ones that are in small/large sizes only (I.e., not the common sizes). This is usually the case, but not always. This is okay for me though-- often the things on sale are summer dresses, or small shoe sizes (or small sizes in general), or generally products from last season. But young one, these things don't matter for me. I come from Australia where it's basically summer all the time, and I'm quite a small person, so XS is usually okay. And style? Something about Guangzhou is that people tend to be quite concerned with what's in season/'trendy' (which they colloquially refer to as 'in'), but from an outsider perspective, it's rubbish. I tend to see no difference between the 'last season' and 'this season' stock, except the huge price difference. 

Maybe it's my poor sense of fashion, or maybe because I don't live in Guangzhou all the time and thus don't absorb or notice the fashion fads, but I can assure you that the clothes in the 'last season' stock are just fine for the clothing trends back in Sydney (or elsewhere, for all I know). I'm not trying to shame trends; I'm just saying that the fashion trends in Guangzhou are too narrow-- too hyped up-- and they go far too quickly.
Thus, as long as it looks good on me and I like it (and it's on sale), then I'm happy.
As a side note, perhaps it's because of this 'sale' culture in Guangzhou that I've been so frequently exposed to that has caused me to have such a weak sport for sales. Anyone who knows me personally and has gone shopping with me will know this. Each time I go to China it's just a massive shopping spree where I essentially clear out my entire wardrobe and I'm set for the year. You can always tell when I've been overseas here because I'll return to Sydney after a long holiday and have all these new clothes and shoes.
After a long time of shopping, over-exhausted feet, and bleeding wallets, we went off to ice-skating at another shopping mall (it's very common for a shopping mall to have an ice rink on its upper floors in China), and skated for a couple of hours while my parents went off to dinner with some of their friends (I.e., they wanted us out of their hair for the night).

On our way we passed by Four Seasons Hotel and I caught another photo. If you look carefully, you can see smog and dust particulates on the side of the sky-scraper.

It's a very curious convex shape.

The skating arena wasn't that great tbh, and since it was a Saturday night, it was pretty crowded. It makes no sense that I go ice-skating in China. I suppose a justification is that it's cheaper, but that's not the real reason. The real reason is that I've always had a connection (call it if you will) to ice skating in China, because that's where I first learnt how to. The first time I went ice skating was in China and I still remember it fondly and vividly. Ice skating is a recreational sport that I love, even though I may not be super talented at it. And China was where it all began.
Also miscellaneous commemorative event, I used a squat toilet for he first time this trip today!! And also witnessed three (or four?) more 'spitting' incidents. /shudders
My cousin and his wife decided to take my brother and I to some restaurant for dinner, which was nice. We had a really great time eating some infamous 'bread and ice-cream' dish at an insanely populated restaurant. They were such considerate people that they lined up for the restaurant whilst my brother and I skated. As I met up with them afterwards, I asked them how long they had been waiting patiently in line for, and my cousin replied "Oh, not long. Only about half an hour."

Something else I want to comment on is the warped sense of time. Here, because of the sheer population numbers, waiting half an hour for a seat at a restaurant is 'nothing'. Travelling 45 minutes by car is not a very long distance, where-as back in Sydney, that's a huge distance.

I didn't bring my DSLR unfortunately, so iPhone photos will have to suffice.

Not gonna lie, it tasted goooooooooood.

It's funny because it's been two years since I've last saw these two, yet it doesn't feel like that at all. It's a strange thing when you only see your relatives annually, or sometimes even less. Yet, at the same time, whenever you see them, it's like old times again. Sometimes it's hard to think that it's been two entire years. Distance does a weird thing, and I suppose I've been living with it my entire life, whether I like it or not (I don't). IBO made me really face it head on, and I suppose it's made me realise that distance is one thing, but your relationship is another. The existence of one doesn't interfere with the other, especially in an age of social media, where the physical distance is merely a number, because we all know that each and every one of us is just a facebook message away.
Sorry. Tangent.
We took the APM, which is a new form of public transport in Guangzhou. It's a straight line that has no human driver; such that it's all computer controlled and you can sit at the front of the cabin and watch the train go forward from first person view. It's pretty cool and something I didn't even know existed anywhere, and it only cost ¥2rmb. Meanwhile in Sydney...
Anyway, afterwards we headed home, and I just did some house-cleaning. I.e., taking pictures of shopping hauls. And my hair, because I realised I hadn't taken a proper photo of it.

Bathroom selfies? Yeah.
Also had a few more gos at outlays! Mostly of my H&M haul from today.

Anyway, reverting back to the topic of H&M, the price cuts were massive, and so I managed to purchase three pieces of clothing for a decent price, considering the brand.
¥70rmb + ¥70rmb + ¥80rmb, I.e., ~$44AUD.
The standard prices are about the same as worldwide prices for H&M clothing, but Guangzhou is crazy for sales. Sales everywhere. Legit. Like, 60% off everything. Permanently.
So basically, it means that it is still cheaper. Anyway, enough about clothing. Here's the outlay.

Not going to lie, I've really taken a liking to shopping. I wish I were staying here longer.

It'd been a full on day. A lot of spending, fun, skating, and photography. A lot of walking too. It was a good day, full of things to do.


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Hello! I'm a student from Australia. I like photography, am aspiring to be a Doctor, have fallen in love with many things that life has to offer, and hope to see more of it. I've been blogging for a while and over the years what it means to me has changed. Currently still trying to figure that out, but here I am in a weird hybridisation of photography, film, blogging, and the confusion of a young adult, you'll find me here writing about my experiences and life. Or whatever tickles my fancy. Whether that's entertaining or not is yours to decide. Stay hydrated, kids.