Panyu (番禺) 25 Nov-10 Dec

We travelled to Panyu right after Akie’s driving test in Hong Kong. We went straight to get the van and drove to Panyu where we stayed for 2 weeks.

We picked up Daisy and Lavender from our part time helper (玉阿姨) on the second day. Our furry children didn’t react any differently even though we haven’t seen them for three weeks. A bit of a disappointment there.

Daisy immediately adapted to the new apartment and started eating and going to the toilet right away. It is the first time we use Chinese short rental APP (途家)to book accommodation. It offers a wide range of high quality rooms and apartments at reasonable prices (prices fluctuate depending on weekend and festive holidays like Christmas and CNY). Since we have pets and want to cook, we chose apartments with kitchen and a bit more spacious. It makes life much easier as you can extend your stay anytime on-line if you like the accommodation and have discounts if you stay longer.

Not only the apartments we stayed are smartly decorated, Kin was so delighted to find an electronic keyboard in our first apartment in Panyu so that he could practice his limited repertoire. We also find that loft apartments are popular (all the apartments we stayed in Panyu are loft style) and Daisy just loves climbing the stairs as she used to in our Shanghai apartment when she was very young. It took Lavender a while to realize that she could fly much higher than before and once she did, she kept chirping at the top of her voice when she dived from our loft bedroom. She seemed to feel quite at home and even took her bath on the first day.

On 30 Nov, as we needed to change apartment, we took Daisy and Lavender to the Guangzhou hardware market (黃埔機械五金城) to meet with Mr. Zhang (張永會) to discuss how we wanted to modify the van. Mr. Zhang introduced us to a stainless steel specialist Mr. Xiao (蕭谷雲). The hardware market is so huge that you could easily get lost but also could find absolutely anything for home and industrial use. We bought two big planks of wood for our storage shelf.

The van in hardware market
Daisy was assigned to guarding the van

We went to Mr. Xiao’s workshop two days later to start building the shelf. We spent 3 full days in the next week at the workshop and Mr. Xiao patiently tailor-made the shelf as I had so many different ideas. It was finally completed  on 8 Dec. We are very happy with it and was made just as I envisioned. We paid Mr. Xiao RMB 2,600 which we do think is worth every yuan.

Akie sanding the plank of wood for the top of the shelf
Securing the electrical system
Mr. Xiao and his wife

During the two weeks of shelf making, we also lived as Panyu-an. We took the local bus everywhere and found little gem eateries and cafe every day. Just when you least expected to find a decent cup of coffee amidst the local market and shops, a cosy little cafe is hidden in the little alley near the Clifford Estate. We even found an amazing vegetarian restaurant (生机蔬食料理) which served delicious 9-course meals at unbelievably inexpensive price. What struck us is the vast open space in the many established residential communities where mothers spend time with their babies and kids and dogs can play freely.

Like many second or third tiered cities, you can see construction sites of new commercial buildings and malls and infrastructural upgrades everywhere. We cannot help wonder if there is an oversupply of similar modern malls when you see many empty shop spaces.

Cafe with good coffee

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