Monday, March 22, 2010

Tim's Day Out (part 1)

Sunday I had to go to the office for about an hour, so I figured I'd make a day of it.

First, here are a couple of pictures from Saturday night, where I met Josh in what turned out to be the new business district for the city (and it was absolutely gorgeous):

Guangzhou's brand new, super tall TV tower; it changes colors too!

A beautiful sculpture in front of a nice, new office building. Go dolphins!

Those are really all the pictures that came out well from that night, as my phone isn't the best camera for nights.

So anyway, after my time in the office Sunday, I basically picked a direction and started walking. The first thing I encountered was a job fair:

This picture only shows a small portion of it; it basically took over the entire first floor of this building.

Even though I couldn't tell what kinds of jobs they were offering, it was still kind of depressing since the concept of a job fair is rather dead in America right now...(yeah, they still offer them...occasionally...and even then they're awful and/or overcrowded).

A rather unattractive river by the job fair.

Tianhe Sports Center...I think.

 Not really sure what this is. Enjoy!

In order to travel across the intersection from the second to last photo, you need to go underground (or risk your life above ground, but this is not the recommended method). Besides Chinese food (duh), the one thing I expected to find here in abundance was shopping...but I have to say I didn't expect to find such excessive availability. Shopping is everywhere. This picture was taken at the intersection underpass / metro stop.

The Tee Mall (T Mall? I'm going to go ahead and assume this means "The Tim Mall," of course, because it had nothing to do with golf). 

The concept of the "mall" is relatively new in China, but if it's executed well (unlike the New South China Mall in Dongguan), it's successful.

Tee Mall interior.

An example of what you find inside.

Prices were rather insane; I'm not really sure who exactly the mall caters to. 16 yuan for a tiny scoop of gelatto? 45 yuan for a large? Pass. 1138 yuan for a box of Belgian chocolates? Unless those were sent overnight directly from the best chocolatier of Belgium, pass. Actually, even then, pass. Who's buying this stuff?

So, considering there was nothing there I really wanted to buy, and considering I didn't really have the money to buy any of it anyway, I got out of there pretty quickly.

I walked a few blocks and came across a long street of restaurants. They all seemed pretty similar, so I just picked a crowded one that looked pretty decent, got myself some beef noodles for 15 yuan ($2.20) and went on my way.

This portable table + cheap plastic stool combination is basically the common way local restaurants handle crowds / rushes. Whatever works!

Part of the Grandview Mall, down the street from the Tee Mall. I didn't bother going in.

Front of the Grandview Mall.

Remember the Buy Now from my previous posts? Well, I went in!

It's basically 5 floors (the 6th is the food court) of consumer electronics. It's some kind of flea market meets Fry's Electronics meets...Ikea? I don't really know what to compare it to. You can pretty much get anything related to computers here. The prices weren't that great; I wouldn't go to China to buy a computer, especially with the internet and the abundance of online retailers / price competition. Plus, at the cheaper places you don't really know what you're getting...I've seen plenty of "IPhones" for $15 US...

The food court on the 6th floor made me happy, to say the least. There were tons of different types of restaurants, and all of them were reasonably priced! Some were to-go, some were sit-down. They even had fondue! Er, well, the Chinese version of fondue.

Sushi lunch + boba tea = 20 yuan ($3).

Little fishy soy sauce containers. Hah.

I left Buy Now and it seemed that all 10 million people of the city were out and about.

Not awful.

Women's Mall. They sell men's clothing and accessories. Okay, that's a lie, but I bet you would have believed me.

Shops on the first floor, and apartments on the others. Cool, eh?

I guess I found the local version of "The Alley" known in Los Angeles.

I assume that's meant to be some kind of stage, but for now it's a convenient way to hang laundry.

Another view of the alley.

Where are all the cars? It's weird how crowded some areas are, then a few blocks away it's empty. Either way, I was pretty lost at this point; just the way I like it!

Construction! Wee!

A super nice area - brand new. The apartments were...expensive...very expensive. I was approached by a realtor standing in the street (along with 12 others). She asked me if I was interested in buying property...I told her I was "just looking."

 The IFC building in that new district I mentioned earlier. This building is absolutely stunning.

IFC building in the background, towering over everything else.

Strange building under construction in that rich area.

Pretty sure this median was made out of pure money, as well.

Hey! Another river! I must take a picture! This one looks a lot better than the first one!

Cool building!

You can tell this entire area was brand new. Besides the construction that was still continuing, you can tell it was prepared for a massive amount of people that simply are not there yet.

It was in this area that I discovered what I will be talking about in part 2: the park (Zhujiang park).

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