A Travellerspoint blog

Where in the world is Ben?

I realize I have been doing a terrible job of updating my blog, so I'm going to try my very best to update once a week from now until I go back home. I'm not going to promise anything, but I will try my best.

I was in Hong Kong last week with the parents. We had a great time visiting the Canton Fair in Guangzhou for a couple of days as well as eating a shit ton of seafood in Hong Kong. We also drank quite a bit too. We also walked a lot. But it was all a good time. They left me in Hong Kong last Friday. I actually had one day of work on that Friday. My friend contacted me from New York asking if I could do her a favor by checking out a factory in Shenzhen, which is about an hour north of Hong Kong in China. She said the visit would only take about an hour and that she would pay me. There was no hesitation in the decisions, because I always need money. Well the hour visit turned into a twelve hour affair...haha. I began the day meeting the factory manager at the train station and she treated me to lunch to start out with. We had some great Cantonese food along with a couple bottles of beer. There is nothing like drinking on the job..haha. She offered the beer so I couldn't say no otherwise it would have been rude. We finally got to the factory after a couple of hours. She gave me the grand tour and I asked her questions about the factory, the workers, and I also snapped a bunch of pictures. After the tour we had to drive another hour north to a different factory. I did the same thing at that factory as I did at the first. Afterwards I was treated to dinner and then finally I made it back to the train station. I left Hong Kong at 11:00 am and returned back to Hong Kong at 11:00 pm. It was a long day but it was fun and interesting. I was able to put my Mandarin to use and I was also able to use my camera. And I got paid to do so! I thought it was a pretty good gig none the less.

I was in Hong Kong until Sunday when I grabbed a train to Chengdu. I just arrived in Chengdu about an hour ago. I took the 34 hour train from Guangzhou to get here. Some people may think that that is a crazy thing to do but I quite enjoy train rides. I think I was the only foreigner on the train, so that made for a great time. I couldn't help but overhear everyone saying "wai guo ren" or "laowai" which both mean foreigner in Mandarin. I was sitting on my bed reading my new kindle that my mom gave me when I was in Hong Kong. Thank You Mom! I love that thing. It is such a space saver! But, anyways I was sitting on my bed in the train and there were two guys sitting in the aisle staring at me and then they started talking about me, "Why do foreigners ride the train? Why do foreigners have so much hair? Why do foreigners have such a big backpack?" The list went on and then finally I couldn't take it anymore and I told them I could understand every word they said. The looks on their faces were priceless! Then they bought me beer and dinner. We sat up with another girl in our compartment and talked about the weather and how it's been acting strange lately. It was unusually cool in Guangzhou and in Hong Kong. The world is a changing. So the conversation went on about the weather and some other stuff that I kind of got lost in translation with. Then it ended with one of the guys asking me about 9/11 and why Obama is black. I didn't know why he was asking me this or what he wanted to know, but I kind of changed the subject and then we decided to go to bed.

I'm actually going to hit they hay now because the train ride was pretty exhausting. Here are some pictures from Hong Kong:


Posted by benji2020 10:16 Archived in China

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Hi Ben,
Good to read your blog! We saw your mom & dad on Saturday at the football game - think they were feeling the jetlag. Sounds like you all had a great time together.
You are quite the adventurer - on the long train ride by yourself, I guess that's how you meet so many peope.
Have fun, be careful and I look forward to your next posting. Great pictures!!!

by Sue Bunjer

Glad you had a safe trip, and glad you like the Kindle. I have ordered another Kindle and it is on the way. I miss my kindle.

by Mary

Nice pictures, Ben. Don't forget to visit the panda reserve in Chengdu. Wish I could go with you.
Love, your aunt Mary Ann

by Mary Ann Zink

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