There is this weird thing with Shenzhen: it is great and bad at the same time.
The great things are the way the lifestyle is. It’s slowed down even somewhat quiet and calming compared to Hong Kong. The coffee shops and restaurants are not in a rush to get you out as soon as possible. They let you sit and relax for the day. It feels good and makes everything just good. The staff is not pushy with the “get you in and get you out feeling” found in Hong Kong. It is just nicer.
The bad comes with the trust, the manners, the way things come together. It is rushed, un-organized and just well weird. The confidence in the quality of the food is questionable since the chances of the restaurant cutting corners are high. There are stories of recycled cooking oil used over and over again. Signs can say they don’t do it, but it is not trusted.
On the sidewalks, ride-share bicycles are digging behind trying to get you off the sidewalk, but there is nowhere to go. The bikes are cutting you off. Lately, these same bikes are scattered all over the place. Today there was one left abandoned in the middle of a turning lane of a highway. In the newer areas walking the sidewalks are nice. They are tree covered and cool but sometimes with uneven pavement.
Getting around on the subways can be a frustrating hassle. It is like moving through a maze of barriers trying to organize people with metal detectors as security guards play games on their phones. It is not about security but the vision of security.
With all of this; it is still a nice weekend getaway. The food in Shenzhen has more taste and is cheaper than in Hong Kong. For me, the people may not be as friendly, but it could be lost in the translation. It is China, and I do like it.