Saturday, December 1, 2012

Zhuhai--Part 2

The next day dawned ... Tuesday the 27th and the plan was to go sightseeing the city. We -included Raja's Indian friend, Rabi (who took a day off)and his wife Deepa who have been in Zhuhai for about a month. Raja of course was at work.

At about 9 am Raja's Chinese friend who speaks English, picked us ( Rabi, Deepa and me) and we drove first to a historical place Chen Fang's residence. Chen Fang was China's first consul to Hawaii and first overseas Chinese millionaire. After his return to China in 1890, along with his Hawaiian wife (of Royal family), he engaged in a lot of charity work. The Emperor Gaungxu allowed the construction of the stone archways as a recognition of Chen Fang's philanthropy. Apart from the the stone arches, the residence had interesting pieces of architecture which was a mixture of Chinese and Western. He had about 7 children of his first wife, a Chinese and 17 of his second wife, the Hawaiian.
One of the  halls has wax figures of well-known people of Zhuhai, including a famous, erudite monk, and China's very first world table- tennis champion.

Our next stop was to see the quintessential of Zhuhai, the iconic, Fisher girl statue on the waters of Xianglu Bay. Standing on a rock, she is a symbol of grace and beauty, draped by a fishing net and hands holding aloft a huge pearl. There is a legend around it, which sounds quite I won't repeat it here. 

We did some other visits such as a huge museum chronicling the people who built the city of Zhuhai,including the person who first used block printing as an art. But the highlight of the day were the visits to Chen Fang's residence and the Fisher girl statue.

In the evening we dined at Rabi and Deepa's house.... a simple Indian meal and they shared with me the travails of living in a city where you do not know the local language. They get by to a large extent with a pocket dictionary....searching for the English word and showing it to shop assistants for them to read the Chinese translation! 

The next couple of days, I spent sketching, marking Stats papers that I had carried with me, going for walks around the hotel and capturing local life through my camera. The weather was chilly with a slight drizzle almost continuously. 
Friday's dinner was at a Chinese restaurant, hosted by Raja's counterpart at Jutal and it was the first time I could manage a meal with chopsticks...vegetarian meal of course!
And now we are in HK for a few days, before I return to Singapore alone, while Raja goes back to work in Zhuhai for another week.

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