Today the rains visited Shenzhen. The fellow you see above was from yesterday, which was a stunning beautiful day. The weather balance remains even in the end.
Yesterday went to visit the absolutely colossal electronics mall that sells knockoff everythings. "iPhone, Samsung, you want, you want?" I was a fool and bought a USB stick from a guy who claimed it was 1 TB and USB 3.0. Well of course if it sounds too good to be true, you can be damn sure it is. It turns out these wizards can even trick a computer into displaying that a thumb drive has more capacity than it actually does. Well so it goes. Later that night I dreamed Willy Loman visited me in my home to sell me a little pocket notebook and claimed it had more pages than the Encyclopedia Britannica. I told him that Death of a Salesman was a lousy play and he punched me in the nose.
One of the nicer highlights is that it turns out audiophilia is a growing obsession over here. There were two entire floors in this electronics mecca devoted to the pursuit of perfect sound, and not having any way to communicate whatsoever other than pointing, nodding, and mumbling gibberish, the owners were happy enough to indulge me in front of their costly speakers with their strange & exotic music.
If you clicked above, you might have been surprised not to hear some of the pristine audiophile sound, but instead some of the chaos you're wont to hear riding this city's beautiful, modern, never-in-Toronto-in-a-million-years subway (no exaggeration here. The subway is incredible. They've built a grid under this city in about the same time as Toronto has taken to build a nine km extension from Downsview to York University). What you're hearing isn't even an argument from what I could tell. It was some wild cat screaming into his yellow iPhone 5o (that's right - not a model anyone at Apple knows of), with a earwide grin on his face the whole time.
But as I say, today the rains came. Still, after buying an umbrella rivaling the price of the plastic grocery bags you buy when you go shopping (and making toothpicks seem like a strong building material by comparison), I headed to Dafen, a little artists village where everyone is painting in their little hovels, some original work, and many - you guessed it - replicas. Probably the highlight was going into an art supply store where they sold hundreds of amazing calligraphy brushes, and the owner had this little area you could test them out. I was making crazy swirls and strokes and he peered on politely at my evident madness. I gestured for him to do some calligraphy, and then when I tried to copy the simplest part of it in my barbaric Western hand, he laughed hysterically and fled into the back of the store. Bless these people.
After fleeing the artists' village I stumbled across this treasure. Below, photographic evidence of the 40 000 square feet of irony which lured me into its grip. Nearly everything is locally made.
Well that's all for now. Tomorrow's my final day in Shenzhen, and I shall head back to Electronics City and try desperately to convince that shark who fleeced me that my drive is not a terabyte. I speak no chinese. He speak no english. Wish me luck.