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March 28, 2008

A day trip into China

Early on during our visit to Macau we decided we would visit mainland China. This means applying for a visa a day in advance, so we headed to an internet cafe on Macau that sold them. They also offered so much in the way of bootleg and pirate games, DVDs and music, that you did wonder if you were going to get a genuine visa, but after an hour's wait we emerged triumphantly clutching our piece of paper.

The border between Macau and China is marked by a Portuguese monument, a symbolic gate. This is now dwarfed by the industrial scale border post behind it, as tens of thousands of people cross in either direction every day.


Once we got through the border crossing, I have to confess that we didn't venture very far into China at all. Directly outside the border post is the entrance to a massive underground shopping mall, and that is where we spent the day. When I say massive, I mean massive. We were in there for hours, but I think we can barely have covered a third of it. It was a succession of small alleys crammed with shops selling clothes, gadgets, souvenirs, DVDs, books, boots, lingerie, children's toys, you name it.


One thing I wish I'd managed to snatch a picture of was a Chinese edition DVD box-set of the 2nd series of Doctor Who. The cover depicted Dave Tennant, Billie Piper, several Cybermen, and the enticing strapline:

"A slow-runner through to a fantastic fast finish of the race"

Not an edition that had been copy-approved by BBC Worldwide I'd wager!

I did manage to spot a couple of odd things though. First of all, in China, Bono et al have gone into sock manufacturing.


And I suppose someone needs to make them somewhere so they can be used for props in drama, but I was a little surprised to see Nazi desk flags on sale.


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