Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One night in Guangzhou.....

Ok I want you all to start singing to the tune made famous in the 80's by Murray Head.

Now that I have half of you smiling and humming along, and the other half searching google.....
guard cats
That's exactly what we just did. One night was enough to recharge my (puzzle) batteries and make me feel like me again.

Michael (aka SmaZ) and I left for GZ after my class on Monday. This meant a late arrival in GZ, but the professional (keener) in me wouldn't allow me to cancel classes. Upon arrival we headed straight to the warehouse of Mf8 (Mr. Fok-who I've been told has a different name in Putonghua) and chatted for a bit.  I snapped a nice photo of some rock candy I saw sitting around.  Sadly, I couldn't get photos of the cats by the puzzles. Silly things left every time I tried to snap a picture of them.  I really enjoyed taking photos of his guard cats! as well as new puzzles. We sat and chatted for around an hour before heading out to dinner with a nice little group of puzzlers-13 of us in all. Ming even brought his girlfriend who is WAY too pretty for him. Throughout dinner the puzzles kept coming out. By the end of the night we had no less than 50! on the table. Everyone always brings something they have been enjoying and I bring some if my recent finds or my favorites from IPP. Sadly, this trip followed immediately after the first 1/2 marathon I've run with my husband and I only had time to grab a few gifts and a bag that was on my desk. My contribution this time was pretty sparse and it only highlighted how long it's been since I've had a boys and toys! (And how much I missed them!)

Of course, no buys and toys can be called such without copious amounts of beer, but this time I had a surprise in my bag! Oyster Bay! I needed a bottle for the train ride and...well, it needed finishing! All had a glass of my (second) favorite wine and the fun began.

Food is almost as important as puzzles (and beer) and the meal lasted a whopping three hours, but when you are with such great company it seems like only minutes.  It was great to see and play with AJ's new puzzles.  Although the blue one doesn't work as well as he wanted, but I have a feeling he'll come up with a solution for it soon enough.  A few Hanayama puzzles were brought out onto the table to be twisted and separated as well as a few brass puzzles I brought along.    
the Hanayama toys
a broken lock
 Ming brought out out a pile of the Hanayama mini puzzles that have recently come out.  He managed to find them somewhere at a good price and was passing them out to all who purchased them.  Nice guy gave me a number that I don't have.

Ming's girlfriend managed to take apart a lock puzzle that was exchanged at IPP, but she pulled it a bit beyond the spot of solving.  No problem, 2 puzzles.  They got it back together again and the play  carried on.

After dinner Mr. Wong, Michael, Ming and I went on to have a 'second dinner' a 1/2 dozen bottles of beer and a lot more puzzle talk!
puzzle purchases

The next day we met again and spent a long time running around looking in a place I'll call "Mannings" because I'm just not sure of the name of the place but I sure enjoy going there. It's 7 floors of wholesale shops.  4 of which are girly things and toys!  Heaven.  I purchased a few toys there, but not my usual haul.  It seems I've got most of what I've been looking for.  Can anyone tell me how that happened?

We ended up back at the Mf8 warehouse for a bit of talk before our last dinner together.  Mr. Fok very kindly gave Michael and I a copy of Eitian's star and a sweet desert cake.  At dinner he brought out a couple of his new puzzles.  The crazy puzzle was molded a few years back but had flaws so it's being redesigned.  If I understood write, it should be coming out within the next half year.  The other holey puzzle shown here is on the way as well.  A couple of nice little toys to play with so save your pennies!

As always, it was hard to leave.  I'm hoping the next trip isn't as far apart as this one has been.

Rock candy