Sigma Pi reunion...on the other side of the world!

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2008

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Flag of China  , Guangdong,
Friday, December 19, 2008

A buddy and fraternity brother from college let me know last week that he was going to be coming to Guangzhou this week. He works for iRobot and was visiting their manufacturer over here. He was staying in a hotel about an hour away from the White Swan, but I figured that since we were already on the other side of the world, we could take the taxi ride to go visit him. I had to leave work a little early so that I could make it back to the White Swan to take a shower and collect Jacqui, then take the hour-long ride to Ethan's hotel, the Royal Marina Plaza, to meet between 18:30 and 19:00.

A problem came up though because the hotel had changed its name recently. So the name he gave me was the Grand Harbour Plaza. I'm sure that in Cantonese, the characters for Royal and Grand are about the same, and that Marina and Harbour are about the same. So I'm guessing they only needed to change the English signs on the outside of the building. Anyways, we weren't that late, got to his hotel at 18:40. But Ethan had called to tell me that they were going to be a little late at the factory.

So Jacqui and I took the opportunity to explore the hotel, which is really nice. Much more modern than the White Swan. We might think about staying there if I need to come back and visit this shop again. So after walking around and exploring both floors of the lobby, we went to the Star Lounge(ceiling is painted to look like a cloudy sky, and at night, little LEDs light up to make stars) and had a few drinks and talked until they showed. We(Jacqui, Ethan, 2 of Ethan's American coworkers, and I) went to the Japanese restaurant on the 2nd floor of the hotel. The food was very tasty, and not that expensive.

Then after dinner we walked down to the market and looked around for a while. Lots of junk for sale, but Jacqui did find a couple items she liked. Couldn't get the people to negotiate though. Must've been too early in the night.

After an hour or 2, we walked back to the hotel to have a drink before Jacqui and I left. Problem was, the bar was closed when we got back (23:38), even though it was supposed to be open til midnite. We weedled the bartender and waitress and got them to open back up so we could have a drink. Then some other guys came in an rode our coattails to get some drinks also. We only spent another 30 minutes there before it was time to go. Jacqui and I didn't get back to White Swan until right at 01:00. I went right to sleep after that, but poor Jacqui had some work she needed to finish so she was up til 4:00...

Pictures from China have been posted on Jacqui's Flickr. The China photoset is below. She hasn't loaded the photos from last night yet, but they'll be there soon.
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