I’m still in Shenzhen, China. I wish I wasn’t.
I’m on day two of recovering from a massive, massive hangover. I guess I’ll get to why a few paragraphs down.
So, it’s been almost exactly two months since I last posted. A lot has happened, but also a lot hasn’t happened. It’s mostly just living and working, but harder.
In the time since I’ve posted I’ve moved into a new hotel, settled into a routine, found some hobbies and have continued to be amazed by how gross China is. It pains me to say that, because I feel like you should try to understand other cultures and not compare them to your own… but damn man, it’s fucking nasty here.
Anyway, I live in Shenya Business Hotel now. It’s a Business Hotel because they decided to call it a Business Hotel, presumably to attract Business People. There is nothing Business like about it. My room smells like sewage most of the time. Not, like, a little bit. Like a huge fucking open sewer.
I’ve had to install mosquito poison in my room because I was getting eaten alive every night. I still have no idea where they were coming from. The drain, I think. My windows and doors are closed.
In the pictures above you will see a cool picture of a sanitized glass! Awesome! Except that little paper slip that says it’s sanitized just comes out of a stack on the maid’s cart. When you use one and throw it away she just rinses the glass out in the toilet (I assume) and puts a new slip on.
There is poop in the hallways. Often.
Last night someone threw up in the hallway so the manager came and yelled at people and beat on doors for 30 minutes. At 3am.
There is a machine across the street that we call the Squonk Machine, because that’s the sound it makes. It makes it night and day, loud as fuck, and has been since we got here. It’s part of some construction thing and they honestly run it almost 24/7. It’s awful.
On the upside, I mentioned hobbies. It’s really just one. I love wandering the electronics markets and documenting what I find there. Every Saturday I get up fairly early, have a healthy breakfast at McDonalds and then go wander the markets for 6 or 12 hours. When I find something neat, or rare, or that might help me in my projects I take a picture of it, take a business card and then document it in this spreadsheet.
I would love to just make it my life to create the Google of Huaqiang Bei but I am pretty tired of the smell of poop.
One of the good things is that we’ve discovered a great pizza place called NYPD. We go every Saturday to absolutely pig out on pizza and pretty decent beer. That’s the cause of the absurd hangover I mentioned. We’ve gotten to know the owner pretty well and he kinda expects us every Saturday and usually rolls out the red carpet for us. Well, this week we get there and they are out of draft beer! THE NERVE! We give him a little bit of gentle ribbing and then get on with emptying the bottle fridge.
So we’re waiting, and waiting, and waiting for our pizza and it’s taking forever to show up. Thompson, the owner, comes up and sees we don’t have pizza or draft beer and decides to just dump a ton of beer into a box with ice and give it to us. For free. So that basically turned the night into a shit show. We drank all that beer, ate all that pizza and then went back to the office and started drinking whiskey straight from a bottle we found. At some point I got in a punching contest with an Alaskan hockey player and that’s about all I remember.
That puts us at today, which has been fairly crappy. Just recovering and wishing it was tomorrow.
I know I sound pretty down on China, but that’s only because it’s awful. Seriously, don’t go.