Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kay's TARA - China 1

The hour long reality show ended sometime last November. It was one show that everyone in the family never wanted to miss. No matter how late we were, we’d rush home to catch the thrilling weekly episodes together. Of course each one of us had our own favourite teams and there were those which we collectively disliked.

I remember posting harsh status on my FB about the unbecoming behaviour of a member in a team which we wanted so much to be eliminated. And I wasn’t alone, there were others who felt the same as I did. Reading the status trails now puts me in chuckles as I look back at our occasional silliness and over imaginative comments.

Well, that was how much impact of this reality show – the Amazing Race Asia (TARA) Season 4 had on us. At season finale, our favourite team, the Richards – team from the Philippines claimed top spot and confidently walked home with the US$100,000 prize reward.

During TARA season 4, we saw similar places where we had tracked during our own previous travels. And it was kind of exciting seeing teams going at logger heads trying to solve clues and asking for directions in places which were so foreign to them. Of course this was all familiar to us during our travels!! And how very well we could relate to the challenges the teams faced.

The non speaking English countries were the most grappling. Try giving an instruction like “I want to get to the airport” to a Mandarin speaking cab driver in Hangzhou China for example. Tough…tough but one can never under estimate one’s creativeness at desperate times. I must have used all my might to get that what I thought a simple message across. Thank God someone understood my octopus like arms waving gestures and helped decode into plain Mandarin to the waiting cab driver. Fuhhhh…..talk about luck!!

In the next few postings, I will feature our amazing race like encounters and adventures similar to those of TARA teams.

My TARA flag off is travel from Hangzhou to Shanghai, October 2009

View of down town Hangzhou from Hangzhou Cheng Zhan Railway Station located in the downtown district at 1, Huan Cheng Dong Lu, Shangcheng District.

Still early, volume of cars was manageable

Since Shanghai is only two hours by train from Hangzhou many locals commute daily.

Make sure you know which platform to take. One wrong step may take you to another city in China.

Ticket from Hangzhou to Shanghai on the fast train cost 64Yuan (about RM30. You can buy train tickets 3 days in advance.

Mentelaah lah map tu....all in Mandarin yar!!

Just a short wait for the train

Average speed of the train 160km/hour. Everyday, over 100 high-speed trains run between these two cities from early morning at 06:32 to around 21:00.

Already in Shanghai....in less than 2 hours


Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Kay,
Kalau nak mcm TARA, kenalah show the videos....baru ada scene stress, depressed and excited tu. purrr....meow!

kay_leeda said...

Dear CatIS,

Ni TARA senior citizen, cannot larr hectic sangat. Bab-bab stress tu ada, but behind the scene. Cannot arr post muka panjang 2km merajuk bila tak dapat masuk kedai tu kan...