Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 8: Dongguan

Front view of the hotel

I had a lovely day off. Saturday night at dinner, the hotel had 4 singers strolling around the tables.

In China, quite a number of Filipinos come to work in two specialties, domestic help and entertainment. Walk into any hotel bar in China and 98% of the singers and musicians are Filipinos.

It is our invariable ability to sing with an American accent. I’ve strolled past several hotel bars, the better the hotel, the better the entertainment. At the Shanghai Renaissance, the singers were so beautiful, they looked like starlets. Then there are the lower level hotels where the entertainment can sing, but they don’t have that ‘star’ quality.

Well, at this hotel resort, the singers were no different. They didn’t have the ‘sleazy’ feel that some hotels like to promote. These singer, 2 men & 2 women, had a more familial feel. The group felt like they were couples, one man older, one woman older. They weren’t actually related to each other, but they promoted a clean cut image.

I saw them as I came down the stairs and they younger woman looked up at me and we exchanged smiles. When you are roaming a foreign land with unfamiliar faces, then you see a face that looks familiar, you smile. Most Filipinos can spot another Filipino at first glance. Just once I messed up and thought a Thai person was Filipino.

When I settled myself at a table, they approached me and I started talking to them. How serendipitous to meet a woman from my island and spoke my dialect! I process my environment and my languages by osmosis, so while I’m in China, my head is full of the Chinese language and the longer I stay, the more the words start to take on familiarity. I’ve often said that give me a month of complete immersion, I’d be fluent in Chinese. So a week into my stay, it’s starting to sink in with me.
To hear unaccented English is a treat, to hear and speak my dialect is absolute heaven. It isn’t until I hear her speak that I get hit by a wave of homesickness. Not for Chicago, but for that island east of the South China Seas. The language reminds me of white hot vertical noon eye glare, majestic coconut trees and glorious aquamarine seas. Enough.

Random photo alert:

I hung out at the hotel, where else am I going to go? This is a small town, I could stroll around the villas, but wasn’t sure if I were allowed. Besides, I really, really like my big king size bed. I haven’t had a chance to roll around one for as long as I want.

This place is considered a high end weekend getaway for moneyed HK residents. There are villas available for families and I think those are condos on the other side of the lake. 

This is my morning shots as I strolled around after breakfast. It’s an overcast day but at least it’s warm.

It was early enough that I didn't see a lot of people out here, no joggers, no walkers, no one. The silence was beautiful and added to the moment.

The sun was fighting the smog/clouds whatever muck was in the air. But there are fish in this little lake, little bubbles popped to the surface, a quiet splash, a bird's lonely call in the distant. It was what I needed.

I'm thinking these are condos around the lake, there was a causeway that would let me cross, but I didn't really feel like doing a lot of walking, yes, I had reports & emails waiting to be finished. I just wanted some air.
This next pix is this quiet area that I found just beneath the service road. I saw mostly employees crossing the road, not too many actual guests are interested, I guess.

And this shot leaves me thinking of my long lost island home, palm trees set me thinking, if I saw coconut trees, I'm be uselessly lost in reminiscence.

This is the terrace that was unfortunately not opened for breakfast, off to the side is the glass walls of the main dining area.

They have this fake beach swimming pool that was actually interesting. The early morning time left the beach newly raked over and completely bereft of any footprints. It was a pristine scene.

I call this their infinity pool, it's too damn pretty to go swimming in!
The pool snakes around the property for a nicely extended lazy river and around the back, the area has this beautiful garden area that looks like they turn on the water only during special occasions to give off a babbling brook motif.

If this little bridge had some water shooting off underneath it, it would have looked perfect. But as it is, it's also lovely as well.

This had some water still in it.

Here's my beautiful room the bathroom has this window separating it from the bedroom with sliding/swinging wood doors(?)
This is the shot from my bedroom looking into the bathroom.

This is from the bathroom looking out into the open window, you can see my pillows over there by the tub. It absolutely relieves any claustrophobia anyone might have.

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