Archive for Shenzen

27 Aug 2012

Window to the World

Comments Off on Window to the World Shenzen, World

There was a moment where I thought it might be possible, but it was not to be. I was in the neutral zone between Hong Kong and China, standing in front of the Visa Applications officer when she looked down at me, frowned and slammed down my passport. No words were exchanged. Her meaning was crystal clear.

Oh well — Plan B — the backpack. Again! Just once I'd like to cross a border legally.

Paul's Visa was processed promptly (and with a smile). It seems Chinese-Aussie relations are at an all time high, which is not surprising given Australia, particularly Western Australia, is simply a veneer where everything below the topsoil has been dug up, railed to port, shipped overseas and stockpiled somewhere in China.

Boom times!

And it's evident.

Population growth from 350,000 citizens in 1982 to 14.5 million today. One of the shopping malls — we ventured inside for respite from the sickly sticky heat — has every imaginable shop from Armani to Zara, including an ice rink in the middle of the mall. The lines between capitalism and communism are clearly blurred. After a light lunch of exploding pork soup dumplings,where someone (old clumsy chopsticks himself) managed to splatter soy sauce across an entire table, we snuck out sheepishly to see the world.

Given Shenzen's rapid growth there is little to see culturally … so we opted for the next best thing — the world; miniaturised and rebuilt in the lush grounds of the Window to the World theme park. When you emerge from the underpass that connects the shopping mall, you rise up through the Louvre and are greeted with the Eiffel tower. Tacky comes to mind, and using the Eiffel tower as our yardstick we ventured in to see if it could get any better (tackier). And it did!



Well take your pick: Mt Fuji, the Easter Island monoliths, Mt Rushmore — they were all up there. And then there was a rather sad and neglected looking Sydney Opera House and right beside it (of course) was Uluru, complete with a No Climbing sign and people clambering all over it. Uluru had my vote so far. A little further on was Angkor Wat and an impressive Japanese Garden. Paul was quite taken by the pyramids. The Taj Mahal! Manhattan Island was a thing of beauty, however the Dutch Windmills complete with Tulips were no match for Guadi's wonderfull Park Guell. The Inca rock (climbing) wall was a contender. And then we oohed and aaahed at Niagara Falls and just around the corner we unanimously declared our winner … wait for it … the Venuzuelan Flash Flooding. We waited for what seemed like a long time and when the floods finally came and the skies opened (sprinklers strategically hidden behind the trees) and everyone squealed and pulled out their umbrellas; sheltering us from a major drenching — it was all worthwhile.



Did I mention the dinosaurs? Hmmmm, what a day!