Fun Before the Return [Life in GZ, Ed. 27]

GDTV World Face Time interview with GZ International Dragon Boat Team

This week’s update comes a bit later than usual, since I’ve been pre-occupied with getting my shit together before heading back home, but don’t worry—there’s a lot of fun packed into this one 🙂

Without further ado, my last week in Guangzhou before returning to America:

1 — Taiwan Tea Throwback
One of the highlights of my Taipei trip this year was all the TEA I drank, whether it was light oolong atop Maokong or the heavenly taro bubble milk tea near Taipei 101.

This week, in search for a place to chill before going to shop at the new Zara at Parc Central, I decided to check out the new tea room that opened behind Garden Hotel. Not surprisingly, a Chatime had been open for a few months in this location before this Nagi tea room replaced it. Can’t recall what was before Chatime, but this location was definitely three different businesses within the year I’ve been here.

As soon as I approached the shop, I saw through the windows a cupcake on someone’s table. After walking in, my eyes darted straight to the back, where a display of fresh cupcakes and cream puffs served as a half-partition to the small, disorderly kitchen to bake them. I chose the chocolate one.

With most of the tables taken, I took a seat right at the wooden counter, on the opposite end of where all the employees sat and chatted. I quickly decided on mint tea, realizing only afterward that mint and chocolate would be a perfect pairing.

And it was.

Even though I had my book with me, I ended up enjoying my time so much that I didn’t need the book. I simply sat at the counter, sipped the refreshing mint tea and savored the sinfully rich chocolate cupcake, all while happily Instagramming the view from my seat.

2 — GUYS, MY HAIR!!
I had been itching with anticipation over getting my hair and makeup done ever since I got my ombré. AND GUYS, IT LOOKS SO GOOD!

The only thing is that I definitely need to go back to get that back part fixed, as it’s not that smooth of a transition, but hey, not bad 😛

3 — Dragon Boat Adventure
And now the real adventure 😛

Even though this meant I worked on a Sunday, being able to check out the Guangzhou International Dragon Boat Team train was thrilling.

The interview went okay, considering the 200% humidity outside and constant threat of makeup melting off. Despite the curls in my hair inevitably flopping before the cameras rolled, some of the hairspray managed to keep the most important front curls somewhat in tact.

And then: FILMING THE TRAINING!

Even though the cameramen were worried about my wearing a dress and getting on the boat, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get on and follow the dragon boat. I am SO glad I did, even getting praise from the crew for tagging along, which I thought was a bit odd. Because this was just too fun not to do.

4 — Live Streaming Mania
The first time I was exposed to this phenomenon was at the W Fashion Week, where someone I had just met live-streamed the entire event, even adding me in it—I’m sure she got some extra money for that, because part of why it’s so popular is that viewers give the livestream stars money in the form of “cars” and other “gifts.” So if you have millions of followers gifting you these intangible items, then imagine how much money you could make…

And since then, I’ve noticed with increasing worry just how widespread this is, both in the media and in everyday observations.

Bloomberg covered it. WSJ picked it up even earlier. Forbes did a story.

And just on Monday when I got a mani-pedi, one of the young (like, high school age) employees sitting two seats away from me was on her phone the entire time. At one point, I saw that she was watching a livestream of two girls in their bedroom just talking and laughing at the camera, asking for money. And they were getting it. I can’t even imagine how many millions of viewers they had. What’s even weirder was that this girl was screenshotting the livestream—as in, she had one finger on the home button and another on the side, absolutely ready to take random screenshots for whatever equally random reason.

I’m amazed.

***

Next update to come when I’m in the U.S.?! ❤ ❤ ❤