Shekou Sister Weekend

pickles

I finally got my Chinese visa which means I can visit Shekou, China, also known as where my amazing mèimei (younger sister) lives with her husband, Go Joe Bear! FYI: Americans do not need a visa to visit me in Taiwan (just saying). Where’s Scott you ask? He’s in America, on bidness, and on his birthday. Don’t worry, they have strong IPA there. Back here it’s Sisterland, Asia and we got the party started!

Because I’m a graphic designer and I like visuals and I like information, I like to create information graphics, like this. I framed one for each of us because after 10 years we are finally living in the same time zone and it feels pretty damn good.

By the way, do you like my new stamp up top? That’s the character for Passionfruit!

SisterMapA short 1 hour and 40 minute flight and I land in Hong Kong, then hop on a 30 minute ferry and land in this cool brand spanking new port where I see this chick cruising up to meet me. As a big sister would, I  immediately did a helmet fitting on her. She swears she doesn’t wear it like this all the time.

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Shenzhen Shekou Port Ferry

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Where A is Average

Tatiana teaches 6 graders, at QSI (Quality Schools International). These kids have high standards. The kids told her A means average, B is below average, C you can’t eat dinner, D don’t come home. No need to crack the whip on these youngsters! Go Joe Bear also teaches here, in the high school. He teaches AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) and general chemistry.

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NERD ALERT

She runs the Maker Program. Scott’s so proud of you!

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Common street vendor food, basically the largest Cliff bar in the world.
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Nestled up 26 floors is their nest amongst the sky scrapers

JACKPOT

Some things you can not find at IKEA such as this decorative, perhaps even award winning bok choy which came with their apartment. Yes, I am jealous.

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The views are pretty cool
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My sister has a way with beautiful plant nooks!
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Joe has the magic touch with fish, while I have a knack for naming. Currently there’s Slinky, Hidey Hole, Star Search and Crabster.
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The coolest spoons, aka nose pickers ever!
NO BRASS HORNS PLEASE

There’s a lot of beeping here and believe me, we all WISH it were brass horns. I pray to the goddesses of sanity that Taiwan doesn’t catch honky fever.

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Dafen Oil Painting Village

This place is an impressive matrix of tiny alleys, nooks and crannies spotted with artists, frame makers and never ending art supplies. We strolled the alleys in awe.

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A family lingering on their front stoop, admiring the latest creation across the way
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Tati contemplates a purchase, but it’s too much and we walk.
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The fragrance of oils lingers everywhere… which reminds us of our mom’s art studio growing up.
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Rolling large canvases up at twilight.
Merging New & Old Worlds
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Aside from the sister selfies, this is a favorite!
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Quietly and unpretentiously working away on a grand masterpiece
THE CALLIGRAPHY BRUSHES = WOW!

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FRESH AIR PLAY TIME

Kudos to the city of Skekou for planning a network of parks and paths. It’s a lifeline for dense urban living! We did a full day bike ride all along the water front, which is gorgeous. Parts of it reminds me of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The parks are full of life and activity as it’s quite rare to have your own yard at home. Something I noticed both in Taichung and now Shekou is that the parks seem to be rather tidy, well managed and highly respected by all.

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Dashahe Park
大沙河公园

We stumbled upon this park, a park within a park, that was rather magical. It was so quiet and charming and then it opened up to a large field dedicated to kite flying. This is where you’ll find Tati when she needs a dose of Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing).

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Go Joe Bear & Sporty Spice
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Large butterfly kites for the kids to play in and around

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The young and old(er) work out & play together here.
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We made a plan!
BIKE TRAIL HYDRATION STATION
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Fresh coconuts and cane sugar. You can’t beat that Gatorade!
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This didn’t fit in my bike’s water bottle holder.
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What sunscreen in Asia looks like. How cute is her fold up bike? VERY!

SISTER DATE NIGHT!

Tati took me to a Hungarian (organic) wine tasting, hosted by the winemaker himself at Cheers Wine Cellar. We didn’t know what to expect, which is pretty much every day in Asia! It was lovely, fancy and an intimate group of people which included mostly locals, the Hungarian wine makers, a Swede, a German and us.

The wine maker, Csaba Malatinszky shared a bit about each wine, then the chef shared his inspiration (in Chinese and perfect English). Malatinszky is a former sommelier in Budapest and he produces about 100 thousand bottles of wine a year, mainly blue grape variety (Pinot Noir, Kekfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot). The wines were out of this world! Here’s the Malatinszky website if you want to learn more about Hungarian wines.

PRESIDENT ELECT AND HER CHIEF OF STAFF
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Yea, those are shoulder pads! Shoulder pads of power.
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Csaba Malatinszky, the wine maker wanted a photo with the Prez and her COS! Can you blame him?

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Tati didn’t wear sunscreen on our long bike ride, because I told her it was a low UV index day, which is was at the time and then the sun came out. So… just call her pinky!
The President and her people

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And then our feet got drunk

Yes, that’s right. Our feet were soaked in a blend of water and wine. I doubt it was the good vintage, but it did give our toe nails a pretty pink stain. As you can see below, this is a foot massage. Ok, ok, they’re getting to that part, but first the back work. Foot massages over here (and in Taichung) are way more than just foot massages. Of course neither of us can read Chinese so we never really know what we’re ordering. Apparently we ordered the “drunk foot and lower back massage breaker”!

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SNOOZY DAY MARKET

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Tat’s market is incredible! She stocked up at the veggie stand.
FARM TO TABLE!
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Shekou’s version of the Flying Fish Market in Seattle
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Get your snakes, turtle and frogs right here!

TWO DUMPLINGS LIVING ABROAD

And that’s a wrap on my sister trip. Xièxiè mèimei! I miss you already, but I know you’re not far away now. Looking forward to more foot massages, market strolling and stuffing of our faces. My oh my, what an adventure we’re both on!

P.S. My breakfast oatmeal just went to 11 with Taikoo Date and Pepper Red. Thank you! I had no idea it had so many benefits aside from tasting amazing. We are kicking mornings in the face now!

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Street pot stickers = delicious! Not snake as my mom seems to think. Ha ha!


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One thought on “Shekou Sister Weekend

  1. I have to break it to ya–that wine-tasting master is Harrison Ford. I would like one of those “drunken feet’ massages—“I’ll have one of those”! Love these pics. I am so glad you grlz can get together. TAT!!! Amazing school space. Love your Maker Faire.
    Love your room. You seem so happy. Bee good. Love, Your KTG Please tell me that last food on a stick is not……well…you know…snake. I TOLD you girls to never eat snake, but do you listen??? Stick to chicken salad sandwiches that are well refrigerated. xxx Mama

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