Fitness, Partying, and Covid Testing - Have Vaccine, Will Travel -- The Pre-Recovery - CycleBlaze

January 30, 2021

Fitness, Partying, and Covid Testing

Off to Shenzhen

The original plan was to stay nearby the Fuzhou train station and take advantage of the free hotel shuttle, but I actually forgot to complete the train booking.  That meant needing to book something else from the south station which was 25km across town.  Plus this city was one of the worst in China for biking, not at all cycle friendly and terribly dangerous driving styles.  It was not fun fighting all this mayhem but eventually I made it and hauled the bike through the station to board the train.

Yue Hotel in Fuzhou. Quite good!
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Famous local food street
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Chou dofu, aka smelly tofu. Yes it smells terrible but it tastes delicious
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I found a bar and wanted some western food, but none was to be found. So it was spicy chicken, the next best choice
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What is that building in the artificial island?
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Empty train station. Travel was down at least 75% this year compared to last
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The way it should be
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The train ride was a pleasant surprise.  Normally at this time it is a nightmare to travel around in China, but with so few people doing it, this turned out to be one of the best train trips I ever recall.  I enjoyed my coffee and read an awesome book on why we need to sleep more and how nobody is doing it.   The pleasant time passed quickly as it always does, then a nice breezy arrival into Shenzhen.  They were not that strict at the entrance with checking codes, etc...

Home for the next few days
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The hotel staff were very helpful and of course I had to show an app with my travel history that included Shanghai.  The strategy was to pick a hotel with the same name and it seemed to work.  They had me sign a few forms and said they'd call me because of my travel history, but nobody did.  

The next mission was to apply for a local health code and it was successful!  It was not an easy feat because the entire form was in Chinese and they wanted detailed information on all my travel and residence history since Jan 1 2020.  I tried to fill in as much as I could and basically list the time out of China as having traveled in Thailand before the end of March 2020.  The system must have accepted the result because I got the green code.  This will make life a lot easier.

The said green code came in handy right away because after checking in, I was off to an InterNations party.  But first I wanted something to eat, and all the shops and small restaurants were inside some sort of alley compound that was blocked off except for one entrance.  At the entrance they made me show the green code as well as scan another QR code displaying travel history.  This one was a lot more detailed than the ones they have me scan in hotels, and it showed all the places I had been.  The police officers were satisfied, took my temperature, and I walked in to get some local food.  Then the party itself was in a 5-star hotel and nobody checked anything of the above.  Go figure.  

Shenzhen at night
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The party was a major hoot. It just so happened that the key sponsors were F45, which is the group fitness chain I do most of my training in. They had opened 5 studios in Shenzhen, and most of them during the pandemic last year. They had lots of promotion offers and I made friends with some of the studio owners who hooked me up with a free trial
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There was of course an after-party at some famous bar area, and pretty much everyone from F45 attended.  I met a lot of cool people there, and it turned out this city was quite a happening place and very enjoyable.  The plan would possibly be changed.  I was supposed to bike to Guangzhou next, but it turns out that most of the happening stuff is in Shenzhen and after talking to more and more people, it seemed to make more sense to stay here and then later ask if my fiancee would come join me down here for the Spring Festival, which she then agreed to.

First class, cardio-based training
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Second class, weights-based training
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Next order of business, apply for a second virus test.  I had been in contact with a lab earlier that said they could schedule an appointment in Shenzhen.  It was in an area called Shekou which is where most of the expats live, so I set out to bike there. 

Unfortunately, Shenzhen is not very bike friendly and they have literally sidelined all the bikes to the sidewalk.  The good news is they don't crack down so hard on bikes as they do in Shanghai, so they more or less leave you alone to ride on the sidewalk as you please.  The areas on the sidewalk designated for bikes are quite wide and you can get around reasonably well. It would not be a good idea to ride on the main roads, that seems to be where the boundary lines are in this city, and I quickly figured it out.

What will probably happen next is I'm going to move hotels to the Shekou area after the virus test results come out and stay there for a few more days, then leave the bike in Shekou.  After that I'll take a bus to Guangzhou and party there for a few days.

But after talking to more and more expats in Shenzhen, it turns out that Shekou is the happening spot and they also have their own party place called 'Sea World' that is worth checking out.

That can't be good
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Very cool, I like this city already
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Today's ride: 95 km (59 miles)
Total: 532 km (330 miles)

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