Before I visited Guangzhou I’d heard so much about “her” (though for some reason I see Guangzhou as more of a “him”). Anyhow, I’d heard so much about Guangzhou and a lot of what I’d heard was that the city was just functional! Expect no pleasure, expect no beauty, just market after market, work, work, work!
Alas! I experienced the exact opposite of that! I loved Guangzhou and all the provinces around it which I visited. I enjoyed the warmth and the kindness of its people even through the language barrier, I enjoyed the superior customer service that the Chinese are known for, I enjoyed beautiful home cooked Chinese meals and even when I visited markets, I was blown away by markets with elevators, free wi-fi and which were really clean. I also thoroughly enjoyed the deep tissue massages and the foot massages that seemed to be the norm in China! I mean like at the end of the day, you visit a massage parlor even at 10p.m and you see people seated in neat rows getting a foot rub! Talk about making serenity cultural!
It was an amazing experience for me and I wanted to share photos with you and to say “I know that from Nigeria you can only get a Business Visa to China, but that doesn’t mean when you go to China you must do only business, please explore the city you are in, travel a little and enjoy the beauty of the real people and their very unique way of living”. #jesssaying
Most evenings after a hard day’s work, I wound down by visiting the Canton Place. It’s a nice square that has a Starbucks, a Costa, a Haagen-Dazs Store and an Oggi (for great Italian food)- all my best things! It also has some great designer shopping (which I didn’t do), French food, a beautiful book store that had the most exquisite writing materials and beautiful water works and an excellent ambiance.
Every time we had to go to the Canton Place for lunch, I noticed there were always kids playing with their grand parents. Not kids and their parents. I found it curious and asked my guide why this was so. She explained that Guangzhou being a major city meant rents were high, most people had to work and domestic help/baby sitters were extremely expensive. She also mentioned that because of the old one child policy of China, the parent of the child, was also likely to be an only child, so the families felt a need to keep close by enlisting the help of grand parents in child care.
Oh and you know I have to talk about the food right? Trying the local cuisine is an essential part of assimilating culture (yes, that’s my excuse):
Another really fun thing to do in Guangzhou is visit the Chimelong Circus! Wow! What a show! Check out my instagram handle at Hajel Pitan for some of the videos from the Chimelong Circus. It was my first time at a circus and aside from when the white lions were sort of left to roam free, and when that clown was playing with a massive snake, it was totally awesome! Such skill excellence and precision, I had my heart in my mouth to see what great and dangerous lengths, they went to thrill us!
Okay, I hope you’ve enjoyed traveling with me. I can’t wait for my next visit to China when I plan to find a reason to get to the Great Wall of China, to Shanghai and to the awesome Jiu Jia Go National Park, where the waters are so clear you can see right to the bottom.
Every time I experience a new place, new people and new cultures I am amazed at how beautiful and how big God is. How you cannot put Him in a box, how there is so much diversity and beauty in Him and how the entire creation just honours Him! How as human beings there is more that unites us, than separates us. I also love how there is ‘a language of humanity’- a smile, a kind word, thoughtfulness, courtesies that show the other person matters and strangers who become friends… It truly is a beautiful world, remember to be and add beauty to it! Stay awesome!