Our last day in Guangzhou was a memorable one. After going to the electronics market a few days earlier we decided we would return. Today is that day. We started with another great breakfast at the Hilton Garden Hotel. They put on a pretty good spread and if you leave breakfast wanting it is to no fault of the hotel staff. Our driver picked us up and dropped us at the market where we jumped in with both feet like the veterans we are. Our guide cautioned us saying the prices are very good here but the quality is not the best. This was evident with the Bose speakers we tested. It sounded like they had stuck a 1970 transistor radio into a speaker box and slapped the Bose logo on it. Sorry we will pass on those. Other Bluetooth speakers we had purchased a few days back do sound good and the price, about $6 cannot be beat. Beats be Dre are also on sale here. The sound quality is actually pretty amazing so we picked up a few more. The kids got some last time Myriam went to China and they are still around so good on ya China for building a decent product that currently matches the ones in the US for only $7.
A flurry of electronic purchases followed and by the time we left the market, about 2 hours after we got there we walked out with stuff I had even forgotten we purchased. The markets here are crowded loud, large and overwhelming. Once you escape you literally stand across the street and take a deep relaxing breath. It is just too much. You think I would rather be a high value target in the intersection than do that again.
We got back to the hotel and showed Mady and Ron our spoils of war. Mady did not go as she was not feeling well again and Ron stayed behind to take care of her. Some of the things were so cool that Myriam decided to enter the belly of the beast a second time. While the rest of the group packed bags and got ready to head to the airport Myriam took a cab ride back to the market and purchased more of the cool things and returned. She has mastered the intersection and apparently has moved onto the markets to get the rush.
When she returned we were mostly packed so a few of us went to get lunch and bring it back to the others for a quick bite then off to the airport. When we got to the airport, Richard, our guide, helped us get though check in. We left Seattle with 11 bags. Left two bags in Hefei, and had twelve and the Guangzhou airport. Stupid fuzzy math. All the kids and a few of the adults are traveling with power banks. Those little battery packs that charge your phone when there is no outlets. We were a bit surprised when they said you could not check them, they had to be carried onto the plane. So we went through the bags and located all of them. It was not that difficult as most were charged and ready to go in our carry-ons. When we got though security they stopped and ran our bags through several times. Michael’s computer bag was the first to be searched. Next Mady did not remove her kindle and that drew suspicion and the kindle and bag were checked again. Michael’s bag was also released less one power bank. It would appear the power bank purchased was too big and had to essentially be declared. So with about 70 minutes to departure Myriam reversed her tracks. She left security, headed all the way back to the check in to declare the battery and get it “its own ticket.” The Guangzhou airport is huge, as are all the airports in China. Myriam went back to get our battery a ticket which looked a awful lot like a quart sized zip lock bag, got through security again and made it to the plan with about 20 minutes to spare.
The plane ride was an uneventful one. We flew on a 747 double decker quite comfortable for the three hour plane ride. Most of us got a little sleep. Then it was time to deplane and collect our 12 bags of stuff. We broke the luggage conveyor when a box of folders purchased for the office got stuck twice. The box is not a box any more but he contents are not any worse for wear. We collected our things found our drive who then promptly got lost in Beijing. We circled the blocks a few times, he made some calls, we made some calls, and Nolan was wondering if we were going to get mugged or carjacked in the neighborhood we were in.
We eventually found our place lugged our stuff to the 7th floor and settled in. It is a three bedroom condo with enough amenities to get us by until we get home. Myriam and Michal set out about midnight to go find milk. They walked about a half mile in each direction and finally found a little shack filled with smokes, beer and about 5 guys’ playing cards who looked quite surprised to see two Americans standing in front of them rocking an imaginary baby in their arms and asking for milk. The managed orange juice and milk in a pouch and returned to the condo about 1:00 AM where the old day ended and the new day began with sleep.