The story of the survival of a vegetarian in
If my flight was from
It was a Monday, and my boss called me to discuss a particular important issue. I went to his cabin as usual with a pen and note and noted down as he said regarding a business meet in
I really have to thank my dear travel agent (SOTC), he took all measures to make the trip successful. I almost ate his head off on the first day, regarding the visa documents. I think I would have called him atleast 25 times, no exaggeration, on a single day to clear my 1001 doubts… I checked the temperature there and found it to be around 20 to 28°C. I skipped the winter wear and packed the rest. Well, I successfully got my Visa and took of to
I went to the
Then I got into the flight. Thanks to Jet airways, I watched Fashion, a movie I wanted to watch on silver screen badly but couldn’t. It was good. Rather, really good. Hats off to Madhur Bhandarkar. Three and a half hours and I landed in
Well, then and I reached the hotel and checked in. I was given the 16th floor. Never have I lived in a 16th floor so far in my life. I was given a lovely room with a view.
The next thought as of now was lunch. I went down to see what’s there in the restaurant. It was a list of ducks, pork, beef, shrimp etc etc etc. Oh my God! I went out and walked through the length and breadth of the road to see if I could get some vegetarian food at all. Nothing of that sort. I went to the neighboring food store to get a few bananas. I got a few bananas and water for ¥14, that’s Rs.98 and went back to room. Know what, all these conversions horrified me. Then I slept off for the rest of the day and had a dinner of Mushroom Peas Masala, thanks to MTR Ready foods that I had carried with me.
I kick started the day at 6:30 with a fantastic bath with the hand held shower (No buckets, no mugs). Dressed up in the power of Power dressing, I went down to see what’s in for breakfast. The sight of the buffet horrified me. I scanned through the dishes on display, only to reminded of what my travel agent said. Chinese prefer Fish oil in frying even vegetarian stuff...!!! I settled for a few leaves of boiled lettuce, a 5 cm boiled corn, yoghurt cup, a cup of rasna and bun filled with cream. A soup spoon served as a normal spoon for me and I went off to work.
On my way, I checked out the window site-seeing. I passed through the
Also, I crossed the Pazhou (Pa-Chow) Pagoda aka Flower Pagoda. Constructed in 1597 and completed in 1600, the Pazhou Pagoda is situated on a hillock, which was a small pipa-shaped island in the middle of the Pearl River. Because of its special location, the pagoda was far more than a Buddhist monument. Almost every merchant ship sailing for Canton was navigated by this great landmark. It is said that, adjacent to the pagoda were two temples, but both collapsed due to poor maintenance. For this piece of info bout the unknown tower, I got to see thru the window, I have to thank google and www.gz.gov.cn.
Chinese dressing was absolutely upto trend. With skyhigh heels and lacy stockings and hot pants and short skirts and purple colors, everything was in accordance to international hot trends. It was perfect. My 2.5” heels almost became insignificant against their 5” heels. A few fashion disasters also were witnessed. A lady with short skirt with long trench coat made me wonder if she forgot her bottoms until she removed her coat!!!
My lunch consisted of a cheese sandwich and a cuppa cappuccino. My hopes of becoming a vegan from a vegetarian completely vanished after seeing the variety I had there. Cheese sandwich was the only option. It costed ¥12 and cappuccino costed ¥30. Wow, my drink was costlier than my food!
After returning to the hotel I again went to the shop to get water. 2 lts of water was ¥5. I just scanned the varieties available in the shop. It was pretty good. From fruits to dry fruits to icecreams to chips to other things… Errr… Did I just say other things..??? What are those.??? There was a pack of what I though was ‘Mor Milagai’ – Slit chilies immersed in buttermilk and dried, essentially a South Indian delicacy. I tried to analyze the pack when I saw the pack beneath it. It had 3 duck legs soaked in God knows what. I moved away and returned back to room. Dinner was my own MTR Veg Pulav.
Again after dressing up in business suit, I checked out, what in for me in the restaurant. Today my breakfast was a few boiled lettuce leaves again, a boiled pumpkin pieces and a cup of rasna and a cream filled bun. Today I though I’ll try my hand in the chop sticks. I tried to pick a lettuce leaf with my chop sticks and it flew and landed beside my neighbor’s plate. Disaster thy name was that. I looked at him and he didn’t seem to bother. I looked up to see if any one else noticed. But all were busy with their own platter. I kept the chopsticks aside and put my fingers to work.
I left to work again. And my lunch was the same as Day 1. I met few interesting persons today.
One was a native of
By the time the day got over, tiredness and legpain with the all work no play day made me decide, the next day had to start with a can of Red Bull. This day I bought a few bananas, a few cherry tomatoes, a few little mangoes, and water, all for ¥13. My dinner was MTR Tomato Rice.
As I contemplated the horrifying experience the previous day with chop sticks, I decided to settle with those bananas for breakfast. Healthy, indeed. And ofcourse, as I had decided the previous day, Red Bull too. It was 12¥ for a small can. That made it 12 x 7 = 84 bucks. It is Rs.45 in
Today, at work, I met few more interesting people. A lady asked me if I was an Indian. I said “Yes, Why.?”. She said “Indians’ eyes are beautiful, so are yours”. Oh my..!!! My undereye dark circles appeared ‘beautiful’ for her…?????
Another lady asked me “Isn’t Indian film industry huge?” I guffawed and said “Yes. Very huge”. She – “Oh! Recently one film is very famous. One Millionaire film”. I said “Slumdog Millionaire”. She asked “What’s the meaning of Slumdog? Does it mean ‘From very poor place’?” Rather a tricky question for me as the glory of
Then, my lunch was the same, as if I had options. By this time, I had become an expert in eating cherry tomatoes. I checked the price of Red Bull can in this store, and reality struck me, it was ¥6. It was double rate in corporate complexes. Well, I got my can for the next day from here and retired for the day.
My breakfast was again bananas and Red Bull. I got the traditional dress of
This day I opted for some sight seeing, it was Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Memorial hall, it was the view through the window I loved watching. Dr. Sun Yat Sen is the reformer of Modern China. It was a lovely garden with a museum. I couldn’t see the museum coz it was till 5 pm and I landed there at 6.
It was so lovely to see the kids playing here with their parents or grandparents. It was a fantastic place for those seeking solitude.
Awesome place with so many trees and the traditionally built building among the sky scrapers beside. An evening there would be the best way to spend in peace.
Wow, after a fine trip it was now to return to mother land. I asked the receptionist to get me a taxi to go to the airport. He said that I just need to wave my hand to the passing by taxi. I said that I knew that but wanted him to say that I needed to go to the
I checked in and reached my boarding gate. My mild headache made me opt for the coffee at the coffee shop there. The menu card also said Hot Chocolate. Wow, a great luxury medicine to take for the head ache. It was ¥55, that’s Rs.500 including the card charges!!! But my headache demanded it. I ordered for a Hot Chocolate, but as fate took a twist and I got a damn
Then I reached the magnificent