Posted by: whatallisonsees | June 14, 2008

Challenge: Get to Shenzhen – Not an easy undertaking!

Cliff notes: One view from my hotel, the contrast between the growth and white building is so lush.

On the morning of June 9th I left for Shenzhen, China, right outside of Hong Kong on the far southeast coast. Many, many sleepless hours later, I arrived in Tokyo and then Hong Kong at about 10pm Tuesday night. After much tribulation and a million border stops, I arrived at my hotel at about 12:30 am Wednesday, the 10th. Somewhere in there I lost Tuesday. I am still looking for it, so let me know if you find it.

Unabridged version:

I met a couple dudes at the Chicago O’Hare airport, Hank and Chris. They were on the same flight as me, but ending up in Thailand to do some service work on irrigation – lucky! I was a bit jealous ; I so enjoy laboring away to help people who really need it. What a satisfactory day! Going home and getting a well-deserved meal and so easily looking back on what you created that day. So physical and so immediate the impact.

On my flight was Joe Abercrombie. He was terrible. So cliché and so typical was he holding the nose of a sleeping ‘friend’ to suffocate him awake, then snapping a face mask on another kid as he walked by, flirting up some little girls and the flight attendants. It just made me mad watching him – totally knowing his type and how he no doubt negatively impacts people. Jerk. Then, I was so sad for him. So sad for who he will be in a couple years if he doesn’t change, the types of friends he will and will not have. I don’t want to go down this rabbit hole too deeply, but it is just so incredible to me how humans treat one another, especially when the treating has nothing really to do with the other person! i.e. Abercrombie boy.

Connect in Tokyo – no problem.

To get into China was a ridiculous process.

1. Airport – must get past mean, scowley Visa guy. Check.

2. Hong Kong exit gate – my driver rolled down the window and pointed this gun thing at me that took my temperature. I wouldn’t have been allowed if I were ill.

3. Hong Kong Declarations gate – this guard guy barely cracked a smile, but made me feel a bit better.

4. Other, random gate – the place was empty, but took forever. We were waved through.

5. Final, China immigration gate – we were on our way out, then the buzzer went off. Crap! Inspection. So we reversed and 4 Chinese guys 20-24 years of age start poking around randomly. One guy leaned in the middle seat to start looking through my bag and one of the guys grabbed him by his belt loop and pulled him away. Then the dudes poked around my bags and we were done. When we drove back through, the 4 guys were sitting around a desk, joking and laughing , poking each other with their walkie-talkies. Annoying cliché of immigration guards. The other weird part was the way in which my driver treated the guard at the window, like the guard was going out of his way to help. He was reading a paper and my driver opened his little window and then we were done, stepped back to close the window for the guard who went right back to his paper. Like the guard was the customer? Very different than the US.

Description of the pictures:

First one, a view from hotel, I love all of the growth on this white building. The Second is an angle of old downtown Shenzhen.



  1. I was wanting to Email you today and wondering if I could. Thought about calling your folks to find out. Then I have you Email so Happy. It is on my favoriets on both computers. I am so proud of you and all the things you are doing.

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