China Day 6

After eating cake for breakfast (from my brother's birthday; healthy, I know), we headed out to a local shopping centre and spent a good few hours shopping.  

The cake wasn't bad though.

We combed through H&M and Uniqlo again; purchased more clothing. 

A shirt, a belt, a singlet, sport pants, and another dress, from H&M. 
Price: ¥50, ¥50, ¥30, ¥50, ¥70, ~$50AUD. 

Unfortunately, most things at Uniqlo weren't on sale, and so it wasn't worth it to purchase it here, so we passed. But still quite a lot from H&M.

Loving the food theme.

For lunch, we just dropped by a fast food place in the shopping centre. First time not having yum-cha since I've arrived here, and I can't exactly say it's what you probably have pictures in your head. You see, one thing I've noticed about fast food in Guangzhou is that it no longer is restricted to the stereotypical image of western fast food. Such to say, McDonald's, KFC, etc. Fast food cuisine here ranges from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, to many other cuisines, and so we found ourselves eating Japanese fast food.
Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera out with me today because it was a day of shopping and anyone with a DSLR knows that it gets heavy. Not to mention the hassle of having one slung around your neck when you're dressed in winter coats, and to top it all off, the constant fear of pick-pocketers on the streets. It's best to avoid having a pricy DSLR around your neck. So, iphone quality photos will have to suffice. 

And when I say fast food, I mean /fast/. I'm tempted to say the food was prepared in a timespan rivalling that of major fast-food franchises of the Westernised world. And it tasted good. Like, real good. Ramen, curry rice, kebabs, and a beef rice, all arriving within 5 minutes -- even delivered to your table.
It made me realise how unfortunate it is that Sydney's fast food is heavily focused on French fries, burgers, and fried chicken, or the sort. Oh, how I'd love to have a greater variety. At least this food has less fat and thus seems healthier (to be truthful, I really don't know exactly whether this meal was healthier or not, but it certainly seemed so, considering nothing was deep fried in oil)

Also it was fun to notice that Pizza Hut is a big deal here, being a restaurant at which you're seated down at to eat. To us, it sounds ridiculous, but to the people here, pizza is an expensive and special meal to have once in a full moon (or really, in several full moons).

Mochi that we also bought on the way.

Afterwards, we headed off on the metro to another shopping centre; Haizu Square, to purchase toys at the OneLink International Toy Centre (?) for my brother. It's a massive building that sells, contrary to the name, things besides just toys. Stationary, phone covers, clothes, house decorations, and toys of course, all at a wholesale price. This is the place where shop-owners purchase their stock, meaning things come at a dirt-cheap price. And I mean it. This is the place to negotiate.
As a side note, I've found lesser places that actually accept price negotiation. Or maybe it's my changing choice of stores, in which I spent more time shopping in legit shopping centres rather than on the street.
Anyway, we purchased two plushies and some toys for my brother, at quite cheap prices. You have to look out for fakes here though -- the copies of various popular characters (Adventure Time, Disney, Pokemon, Rilakkuma, etc) are often absolutely appalling in their accuracy, but occasionally you come across one which looks strikingly similar, or sometimes is the real deal. The thing is that most of these shopkeepers don't know themselves the difference between the legit stuff or the fakes, and who knows where they get their products from. So if you're lucky, you can get some good deals.
I (think) I bagged a legit Alpacasso alpaca, but even if it wasn't, it's close enough such that I couldn't tell the difference, so I'll accept it. 

Off to dinner it was, via metro, which, might I saw, was incredibly crowded. Bam. Peak hour.

I don't have the guts to take photos with my phone, and neither with my DSLR, for fear of dropping either or losing it and never seeing it again, especially among the mass crowds of people rushing in the underground. It plays out in my head kind of like that scene in The Lion King when Mufasa falls into the crowd of herding buffalo, never to be seen again. Sad, innit?
However, this time, I felt the GoPro was inconspicuous enough, and so I dared to try and take some video/photo. Will appear in the video that I eventually get around to editing... hopefully.
For some reason, this time, I've been taking video all in 720pp 120fps, rather than 1080pp 30fps. It strikes me this time to have the flexibility of slow-mo, because
1. I've never focused on it
2. Let's give it a shot
I just hope this is a good decision, but I guess we'll know in time.
With a bit more time to spare, we went shopping for simple things like socks. 

Also, may be uncomfortable for my male viewers, but we went bra shopping, and I can assure you the experience here is completely different to overseas. Here in GZ, there's this stigma that... Well, I don't know how to put it into words. Privacy doesn't really exist. The store helper will literally come into the fitting room stall with you and fit you into the clothing with her own hands. I'm not joking.
It was a bit of a surprise at first. My mother exclaimed "is she in there with you?!" when she first realised, even though she'd been through a similar experience years ago. I suppose it comes as a shock to us, especially when we're often left to our own devices in stores in Australia. But it wasn't that bad. There was nothing uncomfortable about the experience -- just strange and it caught me off guard, but that's how things are here. I'm not sure if you're aware, but in Chinese culture, things are frank. Very blunt. If you've gained some weight, the first thing most people will say when they greet you (especially relatives who are older than you) is "wow, you've gotten so much fatter!", not in a cynical way, but also not a compliment. It's just how people are here. I suppose that's why the store worker just came in and helped fit me. Just a small remark. I'll skip the details because some people will find it uncomfortable.
Anyway, we headed off to dinner. This morning I suddenly felt like I gained a lot of weight already since arriving here. Eating such rich foods daily is surely unhealthy, and today I found myself thinking 'thank god I don't live in Guangzhou, or I'd have died of obesity years ago'. Merit of that statement is uncertain, but it occurred to me nonetheless.
We finally went for a bit of street shopping after dinner. Purchased some cheap iPhone covers (only ¥5!!) and just strolled around.
Tomorrow is a big day! Off to Hong Kong by train, so that'll be exciting. It also means unblocked internet access, which is going to be an absolute mess because of the (literal) hundreds of notifications I have stacked up (mostly from selective photog). I don't even want to think about how quickly my internet data will drain in that single moment when I turn it on for the first time in HK.
I haven't been to HK in a long time. At least... Hmm, I think the last time I went was in 2006, so 8 years ago. So, my point is that I'll be taking a lot more photos and videos there, and I'm super excited. From what I remember, the culture is entirely different and is incredibly exciting for me. I can't wait :')


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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.