Guangzhou, December 13th
Asia trip 2018-2019
This is my last day in Guangzhou. I have a flight scheduled at 16:20.
As the last thing in Guangzhou, I want to visit the Guangdong Museum. It is located in the financial district of the city. It is a 5 kilometers walk in the waterfront following a green path that crosses one of the small islands in the Pearl river.
Meanwhile, I walk I have to cross many traffic lights. It’s quite common for people to wait for a while. And when the light does not turn green, they just cross the road. The waiting times are quite high, so I understand why people run out of patience. Also, there are not so many cars and they drive slow used to people crossing at any point. Cars respect the traffic lights, pedestrians not so much. In Guangzhou pedestrians, not cars, have the right to pass.
The green path is broad and well maintained. I like the attention to detail that the city has put into the place. Even the lights are disguised as bird nests to not disturb the natural feeling. Along the way, you can also find children parks and dedicated paths for runners.
I arrive at the financial district. It is similar to the city center at Shenzhen, skyscrapers dominate the view with a big broad square at the center. It seems designed for giants, instead of normal sized humans.
The Guangdong Museum has been a disappointment. The building is magnificent and I could see it from far away. But par of the museum was closed. I cannot complain, the entrance was for free. Otherwise, I really like the parts that are open to the public. One exceptionally good part of the museum is their shops. They sell works in different art crafts showcased in the exhibits. From pottery to carved wood, there is a lot to choose.
As I get out of the museum, I see another interesting place. In between the tall buildings, there is a big library. The only library of this size I have ever seen, I saw it yesterday at Shenzhen. I’m short on time. That is a shame. At the library, the Guangzhou International Documentary Festival is taking place. But, I have no time to check what is there to be seen.
I take the Automatic People Mover System (APM), it’s a modern driverless metro. It’s interesting to stay in the from the front seat as you can see the tunnel from there. Some small kids sit there. Another tourist takes a video, as I do. I change to Line 3 to the airport.
At the airport, I eat something. It is not great, but it’s good enough to taste the difference between Chinese food here and at home. The flavors are rawer. The seaweed tastes stronger. And the dish is spicier. The rice, oh, the rice, it’s one of the stickier rice I have ever eat. It is really easy to use the chopsticks. I am not a traditionalist, I like Stockholm’s Chinese, Indian, and other cuisines from the world even if are somewhat adapted to local needs. But, being in China, I take the opportunity to taste the local version.
As a dessert, I decide to buy from a shop with what looks like candies. I am not completely sure. This scenario has some similarities with the time that I first got to Sweden. To look at a package and not be sure what it’s inside. But its ten times more difficult, as the farther apart you travel the more different are the shared knowledge. I like what I got, even that nothing tastes as I expected. It feels more fruit-made and less sugar-based than the equivalent at home.
I take my flying time to relax and watch the movie "The Way of the Bug". Flying is not as much of welcome break as traveling by train, but I enjoy it this time.
After leaving the reassuring standardization of airports and train stations, I venture into Shanghai. Traveling is made so easy by making all signage equal and easy to navigate that it is still more shocking the myriad of differences between cities.