Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In Wenzhou.

We are in Wenzhou now and so far so good. It's a pretty m=nice place, MUCH bigger than Gaozhou, but still a farily small town by Chinese standards.

More later, and photos promised as soon as the weather clears up.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The best thing about HK

Okay - so I'm in my hotel room now getting random wireless internet from some unsecure server. Bad speed, but free and convenient.

The life of a traveller - and more screwups

Brad's mum was right and we should have used rolling suitcases not back packs.

My shoulders feel as if they want to pull out of their sockets.

Anyway - we have left Gaozhou now forever, but in Hong kong that story doesn't get any happier.

We went to get the visas, but the paperwork wasn't right for Brad. So I will be getting a proper visa, but Brad can only get a tourist visa, meaning he can't work in China. FFS!

It looks as though this is going to be a long and difficult stuff around. Not worth it to anyone.

The past 2 days step by step.

Up at 8, clean house
Taxi to Maoming @11
wait at the train station for paperwork which arrives @ 12:30
Get Bus from Maoming @1:50 arrive @5 in Guangzhou.
Get rejected my a bunch of Taxis and eventually pay 50RMB for a 20RMB cab ride to the hotel (fucking sick of waiting)
Shower, and got out for dinner but find that the best restaurant in town isn't open.
Instead for a 2 year anniversary (which it was yesterday by the way) we had Pizza hut. Average right? But F-king expensive in China.
Try to got to bed at 11 but for some reason can't get to sleep until about 2 or 3 am! ARRRRRG.

8am get up
9am have brekky
10am get on buss to train station (2 Chinese dollars each)
10:20 am get off bus beucase we are fucking lost catch a cab which takes us back the way we came (20 Chines dollars! ARG)
11:40 get on train to Shenzhen
2:00pm arrive in Shezhen go to border crossing
2:30 in Hong Kong, get train to Hong Kong Island
3:30 get to Hong Kong island after changing trains 2wice walk to the Chinese Embassy. Realise the we forgot the PP photos! ARG!
4:00 Get to the Chinese Embassy and have our Bags searched before we can enter. Lucky they have a photo booth there.
4:30 get served and told that I can get a working visa but Brad can't get a Business visa. ARRRRRRRRRRG!!!!!
5pm back on train to find hotel
5:30 realise that we are lost and we have to spend another 20 minutes walking to the hotel (my fault waaaaaaaa!!!)
6pm Find out the prices of the hotel have gone up a shitload since last year but pay it anyway cos we are freaking tired.
7:30pm eat an average dinner that cost 100HK dollars
8pm find net bar and start bitching about my day.
it's now 8:40pm. TIRED! SAD. Pissed off.

But - hey - I hope you have enjoyed my sorrow.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Leaving Gaozhou

This past 20 days have been the worst we have spent in China.

We were told that our visa paperwork would be ready just after the spring festival. Then we were told the 10th and then we were assured that we would get it ‘any day now’ for the next 10 days. It’s amazing how long 10 days can be when there is NOTHING to do and all you want to do is GET OUT of the little town in which you live.

The package we were waiting for (the only reason we stayed) was late, delayed and finally sent to the wrong address Chaozhou, not Gaozhou) far far away from here. FFS some people are so pathetic. This just highlights that some Chinese people have as much skills in organising as a stick of cinnamon. Maggie (the new girl) could only say “sorry, sorry, I’m so sorry, it is my fault, so sorry Helen.” As I ranted at her about waiting around, and big mistakes etc.

While Mandy (more skills than a stick of cinnamon) actually fixed it so we wouldn’t have to wait around until 2, but could get the package at 12:30 in Maoming.

Well – long story short, we are leaving in the morning to start all over in a new city. Viva-la-change!

Cheers everyone, back online asap

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

China can't make cars

The first Chinese car to be sold in Europe has scored zero — the worst-ever score — in safety tests.

The JiangLing Landwind was displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week and is expected to arrive in British showrooms within months. It is already on sale in Holland, Germany and Belgium and has been billed as the vanguard of a new invasion of Chinese vehicles.

The two-ton 4x4 scored zero stars in crash tests last week by the ADAC, the German automobile club, which carries out tests for Euro NCAP. “It had a catastrophic result,” said a spokesman for the ADAC. “In our 20-year history no car has performed as badly.”

Testers calculated that a driver would be unlikely to survive a head-on collision at 40mph, and in a side-on collision at 30mph the driver would suffer severe head and chest injuries due to a lack of side protection.

“This car seems to belong in the 1990s in terms of engineering,” said Chris Patience, head of technical policy at the AA Motoring Trust. “We will wait for the official Euro NCAP results, but if it really is that bad we hope people will think very carefully before buying this car.”

With an expected £10,000 price tag, the Landwind is designed to rival cars such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, both about £5,000 more expensive. The Chinese maker plans to sell at least 1,000 models before July 2006.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

News article

Thanks to News.com for this article.

Gang kills aspiring young rocker in China
By Shannon McRae

February 08, 2006

AN aspiring Victorian rock star was killed in China while trying to help a mate in an attack witnesses claim was racially motivated.
Talented singer and guitarist Richard Gribble, who grew up in Talbot near Maryborough in central Victoria, died from stab wounds early on Saturday morning after an attack outside a bar in provincial city Fuzhou, where his band had played a gig hours earlier.

Witnesses said up to five men attacked Mr Gribble, his bandmates from three-piece rock band Dot and other tourists, after blocking the path of their taxi.

The men then allegedly beat one of Mr Gribble's travelling companions, before he intervened and was fatally stabbed.

It is believed the alleged attackers were angry that the Westerners were getting attention from local females.

Mr Gribble, 23, who wrote his own songs and modelled himself on music idols Kurt Cobain and Jeff Buckley, had been living and working in China for 18 months, and had hoped to tour the country with his band.

The knife attack happened outside the Malibu Bar in downtown Fuzhou, in the Chinese province of Fujian, in an area frequented by Westerners.

Mr Gribble's mother, Lorraine Morris, said yesterday local police told her they had charged four men over the attack and were pursuing a fifth person.

She said that police believed the attack was racially motivated.

"He had told us he was getting a lot of attention from the girls over there, they were always coming up to him, and some people didn't like that . . . they say good looks are an asset, but they're not always," she said.

Mr Gribble had worked as a chef in Melbourne restaurants after leaving school, before returning to work at his mother's farm at Talbot.

He left for Fuzhou in mid-2004, where his father, Leigh Gribble, was working at a university.

"He always said he'd never make old bones. He had to do it all, and do it quickly, because for some reason he didn't think he'd live a very long life," Ms Morris said.

She said her son's friends in Melbourne were planning to organise a benefit gig in his honour, with proceeds to go to charity.

The family was arranging yesterday to have their son cremated, and his remains flown home.

The band's Aussie bass player, Chris Nixon, told the Herald Sun he didn't feel safe as a Westerner in Fuzhou and would return home to Wyong in New South Wales after the investigation into Mr Gribble's death.

"He was the best friend I had over here. I don't feel safe at all any more," Mr Nixon said.