Well Spent / Wasted

        Most interesting was a random traveler I met as I walked away from the closed train station in Shenzen ( = within-China border town next to Hong Kong), unnaturally awake at 2 in the morning. Renda does operations in Johannesburg for South Africa Air. Taking a notably different approach to travel than me, she's here for 3 days to buy clothes. Said she gave a traveler she met all her cash and deposit of payback was delayed; this sounds fishy as all hell, but I'm not sketched enough to let it bother me.
        We kill a few hours at some 24-hour place that serves, appropriately enough, Chinese food. I'm amazed by her description of South African courting rituals, which include but are not limited to 4+ celebrations, a dowry, negotiating uncles, and a "5-year warranty:" you can return a bride to her family and get your dowry back if she doesn't pop one out within 5 years! In Renda's case, her fiancee's uncles have sent a letter to her parents naming the date when they'll come, without her fiancee, to negotiate. So involved are the families that Renda doesn't even know when the date is. A world of difference from a Vegas weekend, but not necessarily any less sketchy.
        So, having taken 3 flights, at least as many buses, a train, and a cab, we'll call the day at an end with me snoozing on a train en route from Shenzen to Guangzhou.

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