MONEY OF CHINA
Money out of the Far East is as dazzling as the signs, pics and symbols (all beautiful in Zhuhai) on it. But I just do not understand one thing of it! And was happy to leave my brother with the "money" problems ...
What I did understand was that in Zhuhai you cannot pay with Hongkong or Macau Dollars. Actually I heard stories of people managing to pay in Macau Dollars, though lost a lot of money for wrong understanding ... ofcourse!
The principal Zhuhai money is the CNY (Chinese Yuan) which is the same as Rembini, or RMB, so is referred to RMB. But in the language of the people it is the Y U A N. The Y U A N - notes/bills are 1 - 2 - 5 - 10 - 20 - 50 - 100. My pic is one of the two-yuan ... I loved the money from Zhuhai!
100 YUAN = 9.34 EURO (last rate)
"The Pearl of Southern China"
Well, two years on and now you'll find me here in Zhuhai. What a wonderous difference compared with the steppe of Inner Mongolia!
Some describe this place with the phrase, "Like Shenzhen is to Hong Kong, Zhuhai is to Macau." It is a border city, a gateway of special economic activity, and for now, my new home.
In a radical departure, I've taken my future into my own hands. I've set aside the teacher's mantel, and rolled up the sleeves of a modern day trading executive.
In some ways, it's hard to step aside from the challenging, yet comfortable, respectable life of a Director of Studies. The daily challenges and unpredictability are easily compartmentalised into mostly human factors.
Now as a trader of goods, the world is the stage not the classroom, and the things that are unpredictable start with the next order and run right through the fulfillment process, not ceasing until the money finally hits the bank.
In a sense, that's a pretty tough way to live, because when the orders stop, so does the money, and the food, and so forth.
Zhuhai city has mostly broad, clean streets. Unlike other places, it is next to impossible to register a motor cycle here. Some have purportedly mentioned that you cannot, even if you wanted to, ride an old-style military bike and sidecar outfit into the SEZ without very special permission.
It has a very active port market area, Gongbei, that deals with a variety of goods at various and sometime dubious prices (...is that "really" genuine?) It's nearby walking street, street mall during the day is flush with open air coffee shops and fruit juice stands through to boutique stores for various womens fashions. In the night the stalls transform into ecelctic bars attracting foreigner and local alike as well as the usual evening distractions (or hazzards) of the female persuasion.
Nearby there is the well established Bar Street, with standard drinks starting usually around 30 rmb. This street is often frequented by Western Foreigners and is handy as a first reference to meet others. The street also hosts a number of reasonable discos.
As with all cities, long term locals have their favorite hangouts which are not usually in the redlight districts or mainstream bar regions. For me, it's Allen's Story Bar, V Club, The Feel House, Sandz Beachside Bar, Cheers and Dynamics Pizza.
Speaking of pizza, the food in Zhuhai is excellent! It is truly cosmopolitan, running the gammut from Indian, Thai, Portuguese, to Southern Chinese, Hunanese, Sichuan-style, Japanese to European styles via the hotel groups.
The region is superb for making bbq's and quality, fresh german sausages are available from a couple of outlets. Bread is a delight from several bakeries, especially if you don't go in for the standard, chinese 'sweet' glazed bread. nor is there a major shortage of western comfort foods - later I'll provide a cheese cake recipe - wonderful stuff!
For industry and commerce its a happening place. for sight-seeing it has its temples, gardens and mountainous lookouts. For a smallish Chinese city, to quote one expat, "Zhuhai is paradise on Earth, why would you go anywhere else?"