Saturday, February 19, 2011

China - Shanghai and Hangzhou


Shanghai is badass. There is just a really good feel to it. Lots of culture and an amazing skyline. If I were to choose a place in China to live, it would be Shanghai. 
view from the Bund

 weird cold fruit thing

Biran: Chinas next top model


 Financial District at night

The Bund

On our way out of our hotel, we asked what was the best way to get to Hangzhou. Not one person said bus, so we taxied to the train station. Some bro grabbed our bags, and told us there was no train for two hours. He lead us to a bus station, charged us 3x the normal price and then asked for a tip. Brooooo. Looking back we made some retarded decisions on the trip and its no wonder why they target the tourists. Oh well. So, we chucked our bags on the bus and then almost got into a fight. someone was sitting in our seat, and we were in someone elses. Biran almost threw down. About 20 minutes into the two hour bus ride, Biran was busting to pee. She was contemplating peeing in my bag. You know you're desperate when you consider peeing in a bag. Probably some bladder damage, but im glad she made it.
It was an interesting journey.


On our hotel voucher, they described Hangzhou as 'Paradise on Earth'. Clearly there was a mistake in the translation. To me, it was dirtier than any other place I have visited and it wasn't some small lake-front community. It is a massive city on a tiny lake. We checked out the main attraction, West Lake. Living half my life in Canada and the other half in New Zealand, the scenery didn't do it for me. However, I suppose it didn't help that it was winter. It would be much more beautiful when the trees aren't bare and the lake not frozen. 

Escorts -After weeks of travelling, dragging my suitcase through massive crowds, my back was stuffed. I could hardly stand. We made our way back to the nicest hotel of our trip and headed to the spa. At the reception we asked about the different massages and the lady gave us a very vague description of each. Thai massage is harder than the Japanese massage, and the chinese massage was the most gentle. We decided on the Japanese massage and were put in different rooms. Biran asked if we could get the massage done in the same room but the request was rejected. Biran waited with me so she could explain what was wrong with my back. We were sitting on a chair, munching on some sugar cane, drinking green tea when this little, young girl popped her head through the door only to retreat straight away. weird. Seconds later another girl did the same thing. Somethings up. Biran asked again whether we could get the massage done in the same room. They looked tempted but a little unsure of the whole thing. They then asked repeatedly if I was Biran's boyfriend, to which Biran answered, yes. One of the girls then told Biran to tell me to take off my clothes and put on some plastic shorts, then told Biran to go wash her feet. This is when we knew our suspicions were true. The clues were there, we were just a little slow. After few moments of questions and answers back and forth, Biran told me this place is indeed what we joked about: a whore house. No thanks.

I felt dirty just being there. The girls were so young, the massages were as cheap as going to a movie, and they were actually considering doing sexual acts for both Biran and I, in the same room. In China, if you have any little suspicion whether or not it's a whore house, it is.

Onwards to Harbin

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day - music

Not a fan of of Valentines day but I am a fan of music

Biran arrives home this afternoon. Cutting the session short to go pick her up and we'll head out to dinner later tonight.

Getting smoked in the propbet but there is still 2 weeks to go. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

P^3 poker, prop bet, photos

Finally getting back into the swing of things.

The eight hour days seem to go by quicker, I'm panicking and miss-clicking a lot less while multi-tabling. Im extremely happy how things are going.  At the start of the year I said I wasn't going to play as much as last year. However, I am really loving it right now and I hope I can continue to get the volume in. I'm aiming for 800 games a week, ~90% 180 mans. With that amount of volume, the swings will go by quicker and it will be rare to see a losing month. Biran arrives back from China on Monday. Looking forward to seeing and spending time with her. We will be on the hunt of a place to rent, hopefully some baller pad, but more likely a run-down, moist cardboard-like structure.

So, with much of my time invested with Biran, and house hunting, the rest will be grinding the 180 mans. I have a propbet with one of  my buddies and Pocarr student, Look4Waldo. It is extremely high stakes because the loser of the prop bet will have to have this pic as an avatar for a whole month.

Definitely gives us motivation to play. Your going down Steve! i hope..

more photos from Macau

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eastern World (pt2)


Biran and I headed to Macau via Ferry. The weather was less than ideal but it was only a one hour trip from Hong Kong. We hopped off the ferry and picked up our bags, which we paid to get them checked in and loaded onto the ferry for us. It was dumb. We got ripped off because you can take your bags onto the ferry as a carry on. But what makes us really dumb, is that we did the same thing on our way back.

We searched for the free shuttle to our hotel for at least half an hour and eventually made our way to the hotel. When booking our hotels location was key. Somehow, we ended up no where near the casinos but in that's not very far since Macau is only ~25km^2. The hotel was nice and included a bed that could almost sleep Phil Helmuth and his ego.

At night we started drinking the cheap brews and headed to the Venetian. The casinos are very similar to the ones in Vegas, except a little smaller, and there is fewer over weight grandmas grinding the slots. There was a big bar in a tent-like thing in the middle of the casino, so we ordered a few drinks and were treated like loyalty. A live band kept us entertained, which had more members in it than people at the bar. They were really friendly and extremely talented. I felt the need to yell out 'YOU'RE FUCKING AWESOME!,' after the guitarist was done covering a Jimi Hendrix song because he was in fact, he was truly amazing. I didn't end up playing poker in Macau because I was on holiday and to me, playing live poker is not fun. Flame me all you want.

The next day we took a visit to the ruins of St Pauls, but not till I threw up a few times and lied in the fetal position for a couple of hours. Too many Mojitos! You get a pretty good view of the city from there and can really see Macau. It's not all big lights and fancy cars. Like a lot of China, there is a lot diversity in terms of wealth.

Overall, Macau is sweet. It really is the Vegas of the East. If I enjoyed playing live poker I could see it being one of my favorite city's in the world. Time to learn how to have fun at live tables.

Next stop Shanghai.