Oh dear, his grannies are in town

Today is an exciting day for the family. My mum and dad flew in for Christmas! Today is also the Winter Solstice (冬至), a festive day when Chinese family get together to eat glutinous rice balls (汤圆) that symbolise reunion. We will all meet in Hong Kong airport and then make our way to Xiamen via a 3-hour train from Shenzhen the next morning.

Elkan is nervous meeting the grannies. Being the only child in the travel group, he gets all the nagging from the old folks. I can understand his fear (whenever Elkan isn’t around, the grannies will start to nag at me!). He calls my dad “creepy grandpa” after our last vacation in Maldives 2 years ago. Both sharing the same room, my dad kept talking to him late into the night. Couldn’t understand the dialogue, Elkan wasn’t sure if my dad was talking to him or talking to himself. Elkan totally freaked himself that night.

Thanks to my massive gadgets (projector and speakers – I’ll explain later) and gears (drone and cameras), we had a difficult time getting a cab to the airport. Luckily for us, we met a cab driver who excels in “brick-game”. With a little tweaking, the cabbie managed to pack all our luggage into the cab. Oops…Due to this slight delay, my parents were at the arrival gate 20 minutes before our cab arrived. (And I arrived even later as I was “replenishing” more gears at the airport DJI-pop-up store.)

After a quick (and heavy) dim sum lunch at the airport, we departed for Shenzhen. We will be staying one night in Shenzhen as we will be taking a morning train to Xiamen the following day.

Thanks to an invitation and recommendation by a friend who is working at DJI, I brought the entire family to visit a new city attraction, the Shenzhen OCT Harbour (欢乐海岸). Located within the Hongshulin Mangrove Forest, the 1.2m-sqm OCT Harbour hosts many China’s firsts – China’s first international waterfront shopping, first 5-star cinema, first multimedia water theatre and eco-tourism exhibition complex. With such a cool foggy weather and so many glittering structures, the OCT Harbour is so beautiful and magical at night. I am surprise to find such a place in Shenzhen.

DJI just opened its first flagship store 2 days ago here at the OCT Harbour and that is main reason why I am here tonight. It is housed in an iconic building and the showroom is huge. Thankfully, it wasn’t as crowded and crazy like its opening day. There wasn’t a lot of people tonight. I had all the space to myself to browse and interact with the friendly shop staffs.

I spent close to 45 minutes in the store and bought a couple of accessories and shared an informal retail-audit report with my friend. Overall experience: B+. It looks good but the instore engagements aren’t interactive enough to trigger purchase. There are little product demos that allow users to test the drones or the cameras. In short, it isn’t very “experiential and interactive”. It looks like a pretty modern showroom with lots of repetitive drones. I guess this place is more for new users than regulars like myself. All the shop staffs were extremely friendly but the first two staffs who I engaged separately couldn’t offer me deeper technical advices. Only one shop staff was impressive and he took an effort to fetch me an item that was out of stock.

We had our Winter Solstice dinner at a Taiwanese hotpot restaurant and glutinous rice balls desserts at our favourite Hong Kong Honeymoon Dessert. Elkan got himself totally drenched playing at the water fountain. We had a great cozy evening at the harbour. Love the weather and the lovely company!

Tomorrow will be another long day of traveling. Tracy and Elkan are now in my room waiting for me to setup the projector to screen our favourite Singapore TV drama. Yes, now you know why I bring along a portable projector and speakers.

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