A Travellerspoint blog

September 2012

The Tsingtao

In the morning, I am starving and take the bus as close as I can to what seems to be Beer Street. On my way there, I find a Chinese bakery and get whatever it is the girl in front of me ordered. OMG, so hungry, the cake is so good.

I feel guilty that I never went to the Tsingtao factory. So at 9:30 in the morning, there I am, standing in front of it. In the Lonely Planet, it says that you should try and find some rare "dark" Tsingtao and it gives you the Chinese name for it. So, I go around asking everyone where I can find this. Finally, an old man suddenly takes a pitcher and runs somewhere with my 40 yuan. I'm not sure if he will come back, but other people tell me to sit down, and wouldn't you know it, there he is again with the pitcher, full to the top. Apparently, you can't just buy one glass.

So there I am, all alone in the bright sunny morning, downing a pitcher of strong beer in a Chinese version of a German beer garden, with plastic flowers and a strange shimmery decorations, watching the early commuters make their way to work. It was probably the best way to experience Beer Street, I think.

After I finished that, I tried not to fall into the squat toilets, made it, and from there, it was about time to catch the ferry again. I walked there, hoping I'd find a place to eat on the way. I didn't find any. I'm still starving. I checked in to the ferry way early and asked the ticket lady if there was anywhere to eat around there. She shrugged her shoulders, giggled and just said "I don't knowwwwwww".

Great. I'm still starving from yesterday. So, I just pick a direction and walk toward what I think is downtown. I find a little blue collar-esque lunch cafe place and order whatever it is that will add up to the 50 yuan I have left to spend in my wallet. That is, a bunch of dumplings, some satay and some celery/bean/intestine salad. Yeah you read that right, CELERY BEAN INTESTINE SALAD. Suprisingly DELICOUS!

What I really wanted this whole time, was to find some beer that I could buy from out of a bag! Finally I found it at this tiny venue, but I was already drunk from the pitcher I drank! Crap! The best I could do was take a picture of it, for you, my dear readers. Next time I go to China, I will find beer in a bag and then drink it and take a picture of myself doing so, as is usual and as is what you have come to expect from me. My sincere apologies.

Back on the boat, I fall asleep. And I sleep and sleep and sleep. In customs, I saw my old kidnapster friends again, but I left them behind after I got on the shuttle to the ferry. I was TIRED.

Byebye China!

Byebye China!


Morning cake

Morning cake


Beer street

Beer street


Beer street

Beer street


Tsingtao brewery

Tsingtao brewery


These are all over the sidewalks

These are all over the sidewalks


A typical Chinese store

A typical Chinese store


Chinese store

Chinese store


Market (smelled baddddd)

Market (smelled baddddd)


Me vs. fresh Tsingtao

Me vs. fresh Tsingtao


German-Chinese beer garden

German-Chinese beer garden


Me vs. beer street

Me vs. beer street


Another leafy street

Another leafy street


On my way to the ferry

On my way to the ferry


Just some streets

Just some streets


Just some more streets

Just some more streets


Me vs. intestines (???)

Me vs. intestines (???)


Me vs. satay

Me vs. satay


Me vs. dumplings

Me vs. dumplings


FINALLY I found the beer in a bag...

FINALLY I found the beer in a bag...


Weidong ferry

Weidong ferry


Sunset on the deck

Sunset on the deck

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The lowdown on Qingdao

I woke up stupid early and watched the sun come up. When I finally got off of the ferry, it was about 10 a.m. I was late to meet my couchsurfing host Dan, but that was OK I guess. He told me to take a taxi to his house, but I later found out that it would've have been easier (and only 60 cents, as opposed to $15) if I had taken a bus!

Anywho, he was going to have Chinese Thanksgiving with some of his friends somewhere else, so he just kind of left me there, and then I went downtown on the bus myself. He said he didn't know HOW to use the bus, so I figured everything out on my own. Why would you not use the bus if it only costs 60 cents?!

He also told me not to go to Beer Street, the place which has a bunch of pubs and also the famous Tsingtao brewery. Whatever.

So for the first day I just sort of concentrated on visiting all the touristy things in the Lonely Planet that Nathalie gave me. A few churches, the governor's former residence, and a temple. All of which were nice, but the temple was the most interesting, because it was so busy! There were people from all over swarming this place, burning incense and tying these red plastic things to trees everywhere. I know that there is a special reason for all of this, but I am ignorant.

There were a bunch of little stores set up selling knick knacks, but there was also a little old couple cutting up intricate paper pictures. I bought one in the shape of a rooster because that's my Chinese astrological sign.

From there, I was getting hungry so I went to the beach and the boardwalk to find something to eat. I got a giant sweet potato, which was delicious, and then walked back to Dan's house. He was there, and I was still hungry, but he said there was nowhere to eat around his house and he gave me some homemade dumplings that his friends gave him before he left for home.

So we were talking about all of the various bar fights that Dan has been in while he was a bartender, and then all of a sudden he says he's bored (Thanks) and then immediately starts chatting on Skype, saying that his friend is coming over soon. So, I try and keep the conversation going while I'm assuming his friend is making his way over and Dan continues to Skype chat his whole contact list. His friend never comes and I start falling asleep, so I just give up waiting and go to bed. When I wake up, I find out that his friend never actually did visit. What a weirdo.

Some sort of space needle

Some sort of space needle


The cheesy mermaid on the boat

The cheesy mermaid on the boat


Morning sun on the deck

Morning sun on the deck


Morning sun

Morning sun


My cubby hole

My cubby hole


First glimpse of China!

First glimpse of China!


It's windy here

It's windy here


To remember how to get home

To remember how to get home


To remember how to get home

To remember how to get home


It was hot, I didn't know where to put my hair

It was hot, I didn't know where to put my hair


St. Michael's church

St. Michael's church


Wedding people

Wedding people


More wedding people

More wedding people


St. Michael's church

St. Michael's church


Supposed to say something about Mao

Supposed to say something about Mao


Supposed to say something about Mao

Supposed to say something about Mao


View from the top of the Lutheran church

View from the top of the Lutheran church


Clockworks in the tower

Clockworks in the tower


Lutheran church

Lutheran church


Lutheran church, more weddings

Lutheran church, more weddings


Qīngdǎo Yíng Bīnguǎn

Qīngdǎo Yíng Bīnguǎn


Leafy street

Leafy street


Tianhou temple

Tianhou temple


Tianhou temple

Tianhou temple


Paper cutters

Paper cutters


Tianhou temple

Tianhou temple


Tianhou temple

Tianhou temple


Tianhou temple

Tianhou temple


Tianhou temple

Tianhou temple


View of the beach

View of the beach


Boardwalk

Boardwalk


Beach

Beach


Beach

Beach


Me vs. sweet potato

Me vs. sweet potato


Massive boardwalk

Massive boardwalk


More beach

More beach

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The ferry to China

Saturday was the earliest day that I could catch the ferry to China and enjoy my five day holiday from school.

I woke up at 5 and walked down to the bus station. I had to catch a two/three hour bus to Incheon and then hop the ferry for 3:30. I wasn't sure how exactly to get around Incheon, so that's why I went super early. Also, I wanted to beat what might have been a crazy rush to get out of Korea for the week.

When I got there, I promptly took the wrong bus to the wrong ferry terminal. The ferry terminal I went to was about an hour walk from the right ferry terminal. I asked a few people how to find the other terminal (it's close to E Mart so it was easy), but they were all very worried about me walking that far. One man even tried to put me in his car and drive me there himself, because I refused to take a taxi! What? Noooo thank you sir.

Finally I got there and decided to purchase myself a little picnic. I found some apply flavoured soju and some chicken on a stick with sauce. I sat down in a little pagoda thingy and enjoy the silence. While I was munching on my meat on a stick, I noticed an old Korean couple point in my direction. I was hoping that they were pointing at something behind me when they slowly ambled over to my picnic area. Quickly behind them rush about eight more older Korean people. They gingerly laid down a bunch of newspaper and sat on it, breaking out the songpyeok and various other foods that they began to force feed me. They heard that I was travelling alone and were predictably shocked. They told me that they would take care of me and that I shouldn't worry about anything.

I don't know what they might have thought I was worried about, but I soon found out. After we boarded the ferry, they brought me to their room where they kept pouring me soju and beer and giving me various types of dried fish to eat. They said that I should never go out on the deck alone, because Chinese people would rob me and then throw me overboard. They also said that I should sleep in their room, because in my room (which had about 50 bunk beds) there were men who would probably stare at me while I slept.

Uh... OK. So I stayed there until the boat started moving, and then I went up on the deck and watched us leave Korea. I met the only other foreigner there, who was a Swiss guy traveling around for a few months. I told him that he would help me hide from my kidnappers. He agreed. We stood around until it got too cold. On our way in, I found my tormentors. They had been looking "all over" for me. I was in fact, only on the other side of the boat. I didn't even go up any stairs! Chucksong said that he couldn't even EAT he was so worried that someone had already thrown me overboard. So of course, I apologized, (because this is all my fault) and told him that I was tired, and wanted to go sleep in my own bed. Remarkably, they let me collect my backpack and return to my bunk to sleep in peace and quiet, with weird Asian men staring at me or not.

My cubby hole

My cubby hole


7 a.m. bus to Incheon

7 a.m. bus to Incheon


Chicken on a stick for lunch

Chicken on a stick for lunch


My Korean kidnappers

My Korean kidnappers


My Korean kidnappers

My Korean kidnappers


The rush to the ferry

The rush to the ferry


I'm going to the ferry!

I'm going to the ferry!


They brought me to their room

They brought me to their room


Drunk Korean men

Drunk Korean men


Me vs. dried octopus

Me vs. dried octopus


Bye bye Korea!

Bye bye Korea!


Bye bye Incheon!

Bye bye Incheon!


Leaving Incheon with flash

Leaving Incheon with flash


Leaving Incheon without flash

Leaving Incheon without flash

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What's for lunch?

One day, I went to the cafeteria and on my plate, someone had put a small fish, with the head still attached. At first I was surprised, but then I ate it and it was delicious.

A fish with a face!

A fish with a face!

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Seodong Festival

The next day, Nicole and I went again to the festival and we got some pancakes. I wasn't sure how to work the whole sitting down situation, and we kind of screwed it up. The owners of the restaurant however, gave us some makeoli for free and basically laughed at us the whole time.

I think this was the night of the fashion show. There was a big parade of fashion which uses traditional Korean paper. It was interesting.

Traditional singers

Traditional singers


Me vs. pancake

Me vs. pancake


Fashion show

Fashion show


Fashion show

Fashion show


Lady making our pancakes

Lady making our pancakes

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Seodong Festival

On the first night of the Seodong festival (Love festival), Nicole, Sheldon and I went to go see Resident Evil FIVE. I didn't even know there were two of them. Before the movie started I was like "OMG, I hope there are zombies in this movie!"

Nicole: "Uhhh... do you know what resident evil even is?"

Me: "No? Are there zombies"

Nicole: ....

Movie starts: ZOMBIES

OK, so after that we go and see some KPop and check out the scene. It was kind of boring, so we just went home.

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My birthday party

Well, no one could come to my birthday party except for my neighbour Nicole. We went over to the sports park, where they have a waterfall that dances to music. We brought champagne and a cake. We ate a lot of the cake (mostly I did) and then watched the water fountain. It was good times.

We went back to NPub, the foreigner bar, where we met up with Nathalie and later on Jo, Melanie and the rest of the regular people at the bar. I don't go there much, but there are alright people.

Me vs. birthday cake

Me vs. birthday cake

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So gross

This is what they put on my plate for lunch. I thought it was noodles, so I took a big bite. However, it was a bunch of tiny dried fish with nuts and sugar. Gross!

From now on, I look very closely at my food.

I ate this

I ate this

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Duck dinner

The Iksan Diner's Club went to have a duck dinner. It was outside of the city in the midst of the rice paddies and the duck was roasted with pine needles. Delicious.

On our way there, I remember we stopped at a red light beside some chickens going to slaughter. Aw.

After dinner, we went to Baskin Robbins, which has different flavours than in Canada. Can you say POP ROCKS ICE CREAM?

Yes, it is my new favourite flavour.

The restaurant

The restaurant


Our duck dinner

Our duck dinner


Me vs. duck

Me vs. duck


Suzanne on Muwang-ro

Suzanne on Muwang-ro


Muwang-ro

Muwang-ro

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Spanish Flamenco Dance Show

K, who I met randomly in the park, gave me a ticket to the Spanish flamenco dance show. It was amazing! I took a video and here it is.

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New vice principal

There was a new vice principal and when I walked into the teacher's lounge, it was like a jungle.

Lots of flowers

Lots of flowers

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