“Hey, take a look at that outfit,” my friend whispered over lunch at an outdoor cafe.
I turned and saw a middle-aged woman wearing rainbow-splattered clothes from head to toe.
“What’s written across her chest?” I asked upon spotting a bit of black text in a white box covering the top half of her shirt.
“She’s coming closer, let’s see.”
And then we started laughing so hard we could barely breathe.
“It’s all just a fucking illusion,” was printed across her happy, rainbow-hued top.
Sadly I did not get the chance to photograph it because I wasn’t willing to leave this delicious lunch to photo-stalk her:
As we were already in the middle of a surreal China experience, the t-shirt completely tipped us over the edge of merriment. We were enjoying a day out across the border in Shenzhen (thank you 10-year China visa!) and had decided to visit Splendid China (锦绣中华), a park area filled with miniature versions of all the important buildings and monuments of China. With one short visit, we were able to travel across distances, through time and in size!
Please note that according to a sign at the entrance, children, but also adults over 70 years of age, are strictly forbidden from entering the park without a responsible escort (sorry independent septuagenarians!).
Also, because the grounds are extensive, visitors can be transported throughout the grounds either by mini-train (our choice) or via two-person mobility scooters (should have been our choice).
Leaving the autumnal sun and greenery of the park and heading back to the Lo Wu border crossing, we did wonder if our lovely day out was just “a fucking illusion.” Isn’t Shenzhen an overgrown urban wasteland useful only for tailoring, pedicures and mistress-housing and where your kidneys will be harvested the moment you set foot in a taxi? That’s what half of Hong Kong thinks. Even my Cantonese hair dresser who works within sight of the border.
I assure you that we left Shenzhen with bellies full of spicy chicken, smiles on our faces and no post-operative scars.