I had another short weekend, so I left as early as possible on Saturday morning. It took five hours at least, just to get to the metro station in Shenzhen. Wow. I was told by a crazy Chinese person who I thought had common sense, that it was three hours. No way not even close.
I was pleasantly surprised that the bus station I ended up at in Shenzhen was only one metro stop away from my hostel. Especially because the woman at the Luoding bus station wouldn't just sell me any ticket, I had to know what neighborhood I wanted to go to. I didn't know the word for "any" so I just kept making wild gestures that I hoped conveyed the message. Finally someone came over and told her what any meant. I got a random ticket to Shenzhen.
After arriving at the YHA hostel in the OCT Loft arts district, I was assigned a top bunk. I asked if there was a bottom bunk and she said no. I went to my room and it stunk like wet clothing that had been festering in a pile for weeks. I went back down and she told me to open the door to air the room out. I told her that wouldn't fix it and brought a woman with me to prove how bad it stunk. She came back down and presumably told her the truth about the smell. Finally they moved me up to the fourth floor, where there was, you guessed it, TWO lower bunks available. I was irritated, to say the least.
I went back down and on my way out, I noticed a sign with the official rates of the hotel, 10 yuan less than what I paid on the official website. Still mad I demanded my 10 yuan back. I didn't care about anything at this point. She gave it back to me, surprisingly. I was not impressed with this hostel at all, but that 10 yuan made it a little more palatable.
I found the main warehouse gallery which now houses modern art, and watched a few short art films. That was about it.
The rest of the district is just small boutiques and of course a Starbucks.
I found a brew pub called Peko not too far away, so I decided to get some exercise and walked down there. It was easy to find because someone nice had posted very detailed directions on Tripadvisor. It was in a really cool little alley off of another alley, so it would've been tough to find on my own.
I ordered a beer flight and some barbecue skewers from the place next door.
I thought the owner was weird, he was yelling at his Chinese wife and also his son, who was happy and playing with a dump truck or something, harmlessly. His wife didn't feel like talking English to me and she called her husband the owner over, to talk to me. He grumbled and made me carry my own beers out to the table. Ugh. The beer was good, but I wouldn't go back there.
The barbecue was awesome, so if I ever did, I'd content myself with the Tsingtao instead of buying from that guy again.
I speed walked home, singing Counting Crows tunes (yeah I still haven't changed my library since Canada). There's nothing else on there. I'm dumb.
The woman I was sharing a room with kept her lamp on until midnight. I even had to tell her to turn the big light off in the room, because I guess it wasn't obvious that I was trying to sleep? Weird. I had my revenge though, when I woke up at 7 a.m., ready to tackle the day. I had planned to get a fancy hotel restaurant brunch buffet but then suddenly got lazy and walked down the street until I saw Wal-Mart. Honestly, how depressing is that. -And I got a box of Wal-Mart noodles and sat down in this park beside the art gallery I wanted to go to. It didn't open unti 9:30 so I had some time to kill.
The design gallery beside it was closed. Of course.
So then, I took the metro down to the Shenzhen Museum. I was confused because my Lonely Planet map had pointed me in a different direction than the written directions did. Some sort of Russian/Arab guy came to offer me unsolicited "help" and made me only more confused. Finally I found a security guard who sent me the right way. The written directions were correct.
The museum has a huge exhibit which must be funded by the banks, because it's the very detailed story of how Shenzhen became a Special Economic Zone in the 80s and all about all the things the factories made here and all of the different trade shows. I enjoyed this fancy car with a Chinese politician standing in front of it. I'm not sure who it was. Maybe Deng Xiaopeng?
There was also a really lovely exhibit from Tibet, which was thinly veiled as an attempt to culturally assimilate that region into China.
Aside from those things, there's a massive collection of taxidermied animals. I'm not sure we need these in this day and age. You can search out any videos of any animal on the internet, so... I'm not sure what the point of these dead things on display proves.
After that, I went back to the bus station and the ticket woman impatiently waved me over to the special desk, because she didn't understand my "Luoding". I refused and then she tried harder to understand and I got my ticket the non-handicapped way. I quickly picked up some more dim sum for the road and then drifted in and out of consciousness all the way home.