Arriving in Guangzhou from Shenzhen seemed a disappointment, arriving there from Chenzhou made it an urban paradise! One I now considered a potential home. Funny how arriving somewhere can colour our thoughts with different impressions or perspectives. This time it was a mere business formality – one which offered everything that had been missing for the past six months; big brands which most of us western drifters take for granted.
Once I had escaped the hovel of Guangzhou East station my first mission was to find pizza.. a decent one. I knew where it was but the correct metro station eluded me, so I aimed for a couple down the line and wasn’t far off. A ten minute walk and I was installed in the Grand View Mall, another 15 and my pizza was in front of me. My first bite felt like a familiar friend kissing me in all the right places! Next up UNI QLO, for months I had made do with a dismantling wardrobe, ailing t-shirts and tops from the UK now ready for clothes heaven. A quick perusal informed me what I needed and where it was; plenty of t-shirts yet thin on tops. Oh well, it was a start.
Next stop Starbucks for a latte and cinnamon bun (not great service sadly but never mind). Darkness had descended during my time sipping the brown stuff and the mist made the skyline all the more captivating. The heat however was beginning to take its toll in my quest to find accommodation for the night. My experience kept me in good stead and my place of residence was eventually found. I look forward to an expanded session with China’s third lady in the future. For now the rather awkward mission to connect with the high speed rail home ensued. From Guangzhou’s southern reaches, Chenzhou is only an hour away.