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Wuxi and Hong Kong

We're finally in Hong Kong! We've just gotten all set up at Imran's place (Fantastic couchsurfer!).

I'll try to sum up our stay in Wuxi as briefly as possible, as going into details means a very, very long entry.

  • Mum's internet in Wuxi had livejournal blocked. Hence why no entries until now.

  • There are a couple new podcasts up which go into a lot more detail. The Xi'an one is of very poor quality (28 mins), the photoshoot one is 45 mins, and the latest one is about 27 mins as well. Last two good quality with only a couple of hiccups.

  • I'm uploading all my pictures now I'm at Imran's and he has broadband. So you should be able to flick through and see some of the stuff we got up to. Of special note are the photos of the Mongolian countryside.

  • Our first day and a half in Wuxi, we just chilled out and raided Mum's pirated DVD collection. Holiday from holidaying. We had an entire apartment to ourselves!

  • Second day I got up late and opted to go into town with Mum and a translator from the Foreign Office to post back our sleeping bags and random winter gear to free up our bags a bit. Then we went and got some new prescription glasses for me (had my prescription on me!). After that Mum took us to a teppenyaki restaurant (so cool!) Check out the photo in my collection when he flambeed the bananas. Its the one that looks like a mushroom cloud on a bbq.

  • Third day we got up late (think 1pm) and went into town to check out a wedding photographers. This was Mum's wedding present for me and Jess. After getting that sorted for the 4th day (as in the photoshoot would be the next day) we went to an Aussie bar down the road and got fairly legless. Paul didn't get home till 4am, but later in the week hooked up with a hot german girl (yay Paul!).

  • So fourth day Jess and I got up early, got a cab into town and did the studio photography thing from 8am to 9pm. Jess had a blast, and had Chinese people crowding around her exclaiming at her beauty all day (including the photographer). The kilt was a big hit with the Chinese, specially the photographer.

  • Fifth day we went back in and picked out our photos. We got a sweet deal (nevermind the fact Mum paid for it all ... present and all that): 5 outfits, full day of photography, including outside time. Normally we would get 30 photos but we bought an extra 15 and haggled an extra 3 out of them. They'll take away those photos and re-touch them, get rid of all the blemishes etc and make up two books, one big (for us), one medium (Jess's parents), and one small (Mum). We also get a 36" print, a 20" print, 2x 10" prints and a 7" print, all framed. Then we get a 60" roll-out print and it all gets put on CD for us. Price? about 3700 RMB. You do the math. Plus it was a blast.

  • After picking out photos we went back home and a bunch of the Chinese girls Mum works with came around and showed Jess how to make dumplings. As with any good male half, I made myself scarce until it was time to eat.

  • Our last day in Wuxi we nipped into town and had a look at the supermarket (Carrefour). Live fish, turtles, snakes, plus more spices, flour and fruits and vegetables than you can poke a stick at. Scots will be enraged to learn that Grouse is labelled as "Made in England" (!!!).

  • After that we packed up and Mum took us all out for tea at a proper hot-pot restaurant. Really neat. You sit around ... a big hot pot that is split in two, with two different flavours of broth in either side. Then you dump bits of meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb), fish, vegetables etc into it until they are cooked, then fish it out and eat it. Yum.

  • We left early the next day for Shanghai, where we transferred to our VERY LAST train for this trip. Overnight to Hong Kong!

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