I guess it must be around exam time right now for universities. Good luck to anyone taking final-year exams, the end is in sight and adulthood really isn’t as difficult or as scary as it seems, I promise!
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how national holidays in China usually make you work a couple of Sundays to make up for the lost work days and yup, this happens to be one of those 6-day weeks that make you eternally glad the weekend exists. The reason is International worker’s Day (May 1st-4th). Officially declared a national holiday in 1946, labour day is a celebration of workers around the country, meaning it has more of a “go and have some fun” vibe rather than the more traditional “go and visit your family in the country” type of feel that most of the other holidays have.
All of this means that around 160 million domestic tourists travelled around China over the 4-day break and thankfully, this time, our weary little group of foreigners were some of them! A short journey east from Shenzhen took us to a small coastal town where we were able to rent a villa big enough for everyone both close enough to the beach for the ‘lounge all day on the beach’ kind of people (like, who even are those people?) and to the hills for those of us who prefer to spend our days hiking in relative peace and quiet. Well, apart from the buzzing of a drone or two… That said, maybe if we’d checked the weather, we may have chosen something a little further South and sunny for a beach trip than just along the coast.
Eh, next time! Jumping back into Shenzhen life and returning to work on a Sunday may be a pain – especially when it becomes a 6 day week but I mean, if it’s between that and not having a longer holiday at all, I’ll happily work a couple of Sundays a year… (Disclaimer: This is probably only because the scheduling people made it so that I taught 1 class on Sunday. I 10/10 would collapse at my desk if I had to teach a full load on a Sunday!) Thankfully, this Sunday was made worthwhile by the guys at a Shekou (Shenzhen’s expat-zone) pet store, who messaged me that they’d received a couple of 3-month old Shiba puppies if I wanted to swing by after work for a play!
Other than the holiday and the puppies, these couple of weeks have been a bit of a return to the norm – especially when it comes to these posts, with a quick afternoon jaunt across the border into Hong Kong. An evening spent people-watching at Man Mo Temple – a tribute to both the gods of literature and war – and picking up some coffee beans from ‘Why50’, a small café in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood that has worked out that about 50 coffee beans go into the perfect espresso, was just what the doctor ordered to get through the long week.
Last weekend also saw an ‘International Food & Drink Festival’ roll into Shenzhen. Shenzhen may be one of China’s most international cities – something definitely helped by being so close to Hong Kong and all of its foreign shops/ foods etc (I mean, Marks and Spencer’s simply food, hellooo!), but foreign food is still a bit of a rarity and, I mean, any excuse to not look at a menu and resort to guess work!
Anyway, I’m off to pretend to plan my lessons while actually playing with some puppies so have a good one! This post happens to be the last in this little series of blog posts by me so follow me on instagram (@latte.wanderer) for more stuff from out here in China, and check out my website for travel and coffee guides. If you have any questions about living and working in Shenzhen then don’t hesitate to DM and I’ll get back to you as soon as.