Today, I went to the bank to send money home. To do this, I have to go to my Chinese bank and withdraw my money. Because the ATMs only let you take our 3000 RMB per transaction, and I was taking out 23,000 RMB, I had to wait for a teller window. About 30 minutes later, I had my money.
I then had to go downtown to another bank that does Western Union. There is only one person that does Western Union there, so I had to wait for her. Another 30 minutes, because she was busy with another customer. And, another 30 minutes for her to process the transaction. This is what 23,000 RMB looks like. I wish it was US dollars. But, its value is only about $3500 USD. But, you do feel rich when you have a wad of money like that in your pocket.
So, my banking is completed, and it is lunch time. Feeling a need for western food, I hit up the local Dico’s. I think it is from Thailand. It is our version of KFC. But, the food tastes better to me and the cost is less.
After dinner, I decided to take my bike for a ride. It is a beautiful day. I decide to go out to the lake park in the New City part of town. There is less traffic out there. And, I had not been to the park for several months since spring arrived. What a wonderful trip.
One the way, I ride past one of the main government buildings, City Park, and an area that they are developing into a park across the road. I noticed a strange structure being built. I am not sure if it will be a building or just an ornament of gigantic proportions. But, it will be interesting to see it when it is complete.
I get to the park and there are so few people there. It is a Monday, so most are working. That is fine with me. Some peace and quiet time to myself is what I was seeking here. There is a row of very nice, expensive looking homes overlooking the park. I am not sure anyone is living in them yet. But, they look very nice. And, the pictures of me…see the tall tree to the left that kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. It is not a tree really. It is a cell phone tower. I see these often in natural setting. Kind of cool I think.
After a leisurely ride through this park, I exit and continue on my way. This is the new city of Shangrao. Building are going up all over the place. I think they will eventually get filled in about 3-5 years. But, that is how China plans their cities. They just build a city. Not just one or two buildings at a time. It is quite remarkable. But, there is a housing bubble here that will be bursting in a few years if China is not careful. And, under current policy, these apartments are bought…but they must be turned back over tot he government after 70 years. I am not sure what they will do about the policy when that happens. If you have a house in the county, it is yours to hand down to generations. But, these building are destined to be torn down after 70 years and replaced. That is why they have the policy…supposedly. Seventy years from now, I will be looking over a cloud from heaven to see how China handles this situation. I am curious.
On my way back into town, I rode along the river. I saw these guys doing some fishing and snapped a shot of them.
I rode by a favorite hangout of my friend BJ. He likes to grab a cup of coffee at the café. Sure enough, he was there. He had just arrived. So, spent some time with him and drinking an iced tea. He had been deciding to get a bicycle too. After my adventures today, he decided to buy one. So, I took him to the place I bought mine and he got himself a bike. Afterwards, we went on a nice ride for about an hour. It was good.
And that was my day. I am now sitting at home relaxing. My legs are fine from biking for about 6 hours. But, my bottom is very sore. Time to relax and rest.