Winter in Guangzhou

I originally wanted to come to Guangzhou to experience a different winter than in the north, but unexpectedly encountered a cold air mass. The temperature was higher, but not much different from the sub-zero weather in Tianjin.

The day before arriving in Guangzhou, I stayed near Nanchang after passing through Nanchang Station. It was already midnight when I arrived at the hotel. I tried a dish of sautéed pork with shepherd's purse at a nearby restaurant. The meat was fatty but not too greasy, and the vegetables were fresh, but there was nothing particularly outstanding about the other dishes.
Here, I saw for the first time the method of using a plastic basin to pour tea, which I only realized later was for rinsing the cups. The window of the room faced a flyover. As I still had work to do, I was feeling annoyed and restless. The chair next to the work desk was originally placed facing the inside of the room, but I deliberately moved it to the other side of the table so that I could see outside the window, and that's how I took this photo.

The most pleasant surprises are the ones you least expect. The next morning, when I opened the curtains, everything was covered in white. I didn't expect to encounter the biggest snowfall in Nanchang in 20 years.
The snowflakes were as big as goose feathers and looked beautiful. There were many people taking photos with the snow in front of the hotel in the morning, but it also brought some troubles. I had changed into a pair of sports shoes with mesh holes specifically for the trip to the south, but they proved to be a bit inadequate for the current road conditions. As expected, my shoes were wet all day.

After finishing my work, I rushed to Guangzhou in the afternoon. The driver told me that salt had been spread on the road and there was not much snow on the way. When I arrived at Nanchang West Station in the afternoon, it was crowded with people, and most of the train departure screens showed delayed information.
The good news was that my train was only delayed. Looking at the anxious pedestrians, I felt a bit lucky. On the train, I encountered a mother and son arguing with the train attendant. It seemed that they missed their connecting train because of the delay.
They asked who would be responsible for their accommodation and other losses. Naturally, the train attendant couldn't take responsibility. After explaining that it was a force majeure, which was still ineffective, they had to bring in the train conductor as a mediator.

Because the train was delayed, it was already late at night when I arrived in Guangzhou. It was windy and drizzling, and my down jacket was barely enough. There were no chain hotels near the South Station, so I found a hotel that stood out in a photo on the platform and walked there. However, it turned out to be different from what I expected. By this time, my stomach was growling, and fortunately, there were many restaurants in the area. I saw a Chaoshan cuisine restaurant and ordered frog congee and stir-fried vegetables.
Unexpectedly, the frog in the congee was not the countryside-style frog I imagined, but the meat was tender and slightly heavy. However, it also highlighted the freshness.

The next morning, because I got caught in the rain the night before without an umbrella, I bought one at a convenience store. The store was about 100 meters away from the subway station, and that was the only distance the umbrella served.

There were a few memorable lunches as well. Finally, I had my "countryside-style chicken". It was a way of eating that I had never seen before, similar to Tianjin-style hot pot where you slice the meat yourself, but with more southern-style seasoning. It should taste good with sesame sauce. The advantage of this way of eating is that the meat is extremely tender, but the only downside is that it's not easy to chew. Later, I had a similar experience of eating chicken directly in Shandong during a Chongqing hot pot meal, but the chicken was too tender and lost its chicken flavor. Another time, I had clay pot rice cooked in an electric rice cooker, which was probably authentic, but it lacked vegetables and became a bit greasy when eating alone. The other meals were nothing special, all having the same taste nationwide. It may be due to personal preferences, but it didn't match the inherent impression of Guangzhou cuisine being sweet.

There were too many things to handle, and when I was outdoors, I was basically switching between various modes of transportation in Guangzhou. Apart from walking, I mostly stayed underground, and I only caught a glimpse of the Pearl River near my accommodation. It was only later that I realized that the place I stayed was just a stone's throw away from the Xiaobai Tower where Mr. Lu Xun lived.

This trip to Guangzhou, due to the unexpected drop in temperature, I didn't get to experience the freshness that comes from the temperature difference. Upon careful consideration, if I had to find a slight difference between Guangzhou and other cities I have visited before, it seems that it's only the trilingual announcements on the subway.

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