"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

N. China - Day 12 - Departure

"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." - Margaret Thatcher


N. China
Day 12 - 10th November - Departure

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"Law, order... the environment and sanitation, municipal affairs, public affairs, city water conservation, plant decor, upkeep of the grounds, city rivers and lakes... parking"
Chairman of the Neighborhood Watch - it'd be easier to list the things he was NOT in charge of

I saw two soldiers walking in step on the pavement. I thought they were off duty, but I guess they were in uniform so they still had to do so either way.

There was a KFC ad which kept playing on the subway, featuring office workers and kids going ecstatic at the line "开饭了!" ("Break out the rice!"). The date November 15th was then flashed. Seems they took a leaf from Indonesia's book.

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Slovakia's ripped Olympic aspirations

At McDonald's I ordered a Sausage McMuffin with Egg, as it was my last chance to have proper pork sausage. I asked to change the drink to orange juice, and was told it was "凉" (cool). I asked if there was hot orange juice. I don't know who drinks hot orange juice. Or maybe cold drinks for breakfast is inimical to Chinese culture (ergo why I couldn't get cold soya bean milk at KFC).

The McDonalds paper bag boasted that most of their outlets were 24 hour ones.

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"Welcome Again" (on the exit doors)

The PA system on the train said we should "尊老爱幼" ("Respect the Elderly and Love the Young"). Apparently this is a Chinese national value.

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The railway's "Four Capabilities"

At the airport I saw a Burger King and Kenny Rogers. I hadn't seen them anywhere else.

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"Train Disinfected Regularly"
I am somewhat comforted, given an airport staff member (with an ID and lanyard) also spat on the airport floor.

One girl at the airport didn't look too bad. I thought this was proof for one of my many theories, and that she was flying somewhere to work - then I saw her passport was Japanese.

They sold insurance at the airport. This was not comforting.

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"Advance the Chinese Service Develop a international Hub"

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"Tianjin Chestnut
Sand cookies with chocolate"

I waited until after I'd checked in to buy little snacks back to Singapore, but inside the International Departures area they sold mostly International foodstuff like Merci chocolates. I guess no one wanted Chinese produce.

The prices in duty free were also 1.5-2 times of that outside the International Departures area, because those travelling internationally would be able to afford it. Grr. Liquour at least was cheaper than in Singapore, but I was advised that the Bailey's sampler pack would not be able to pass through Hong Kong airport security. Gah.

Eventually I found some BJ snacks, but it took a lot of effort. They were 1¥ cheaper than in the main area though (27¥ vs 28¥).

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"Opening Hours 0:00-24:00"

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Hong Kong airport: "Beware of Electric Carts"
This sign made me realise that in China there is generally no penalty stated for offences - maybe because the courts are empowered to throw anything up to and including the death penalty at you.

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"We are committed to serve you at best!"
And at worst?

In a shop at Hong Kong airport: "Black Ice Fashion Readers are the latest fashion accessory that will improve your vision and enhance your appearance". This was the text of the eye test for said product (off the shelf prescription glasses; they didn't let me take a photo).

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I was feeling peckish as I'd had breakfast but no lunch, so I had a Taiwanese Pork Chop bun with grilled onions inside. It had a bit more character than the Macanese version, and was less one-dimensional.

One flight steward was called "Athens". Maybe "Sparta" was too manly a name.
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