Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Me in Liwan in Quangzhou

Guangzhou is not a tourist destination - it is unmistakably a hub for wholesalers and manufacturers of consumer products.

There are only two "happening" activities in this city.

There is (of course) the Chinese New Year.

Then there is the Canton Fair, held twice a year in the spring and fall. This is a period to avoid if you are not a industry buyer or exhibitor.

Notwithstanding all this, going to Guangzhou suits me right now. I was there 3 times in the last 3 months.

I love staying in the Liwan district - it reminds me of our Chinatown/Tanjong Pagar district in the 70s, only much bigger. There is no need to travel any place for meals - small eateries within walking distance of the hotel offer comfort food that brings back memories of unfussy, unassuming nourishment for the stomach and the soul. Traditional Chinese confectionaries that still bake up simple old-school biscuits like 雞蛋餅 (egg cookies sans butter) that make me smile as I recall favourite snacks from long ago . Small shops manned by inter-generational family members peddling unrelated wares. Toddlers and young children watching people and activities with curiosity and happy grins. Cantonese dialect flowing easily and naturally in snatches of conversation as I poke in every nook and cranny of the neighbourhood.

Me. In Liwan. In Guangzhou. Where I re-live the simple happiness of my childhood years.

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