青岛 (Qingdao)

Linhai, Zhejiang, China | 中国浙江省临海市

旅行 To Travel
Lǚxíng 语音: [ˈtra-vəl]或者[ˈtrævəl]
To Travel/Travel 旅行
Today's word of the day, for reasons that are probably obvious, is "旅行."  今天的词汇词是“to travel”因为我春节去了青岛

It's been a long time since I last wrote. Thank you very much Tatyana for reminding me – you were the one who got me started with this whole blog thing in the first place, and I told you I'd do better than I have… Sorry about that :P To all those of you who still check back for updates, I also apologize. I'll try to do better. I've been postponing because I've been a bit busy, but really that's just an excuse. I've had plenty of time to craft some updates for the blog. I'll try to keep at least one update per week (two if possible) from now until I return to America, and perhaps I'll keep it up even then. You'll notice some changes to the format of the blog. I decided I'd update the appearance and style a bit, and I'll be writing a bit in Chinese as well for my Chinese friends.

I'll fill you in on what's happened up until now later. Because right now I want to tell you about my recent trip to Qingdao, a city with two major tourist attractions: the sea and the Qingdao Beer made there (Germans occupied the city for a very long time, so it's gotta have its beer).

I went to Shandong Province because my friend Elina (my first Chinese teacher here – I met her at Nancy's Bar) invited me to come spend Chinese New Year at her home. I figured it'd be a great way to see some more of China, so I accepted her invitation.

Getting there was an adventure in itself. I departed Linhai on the 1st of February at about 12:30 for Shanghai. It's a four hour or so train ride, but it was reasonably comfortable and the time passed quickly. Four hours on a train is really nothing compared to 14 on an airplane. I stayed at a hostel (the Blue Mountain EXPO Youth Hostel) that was very close to the Metro line I'd need to take the next morning, because I had to leave very early. I originally planned to go see some of that section of Shanghai, but ended up staying in the bar to do some homework (well, and some people decided to watch Megamind on the projector, and I hadn't seen it before, so…) When I returned to my room I met an awesome couple from the UK and talked with them for about an hour. They were fascinating! They graduated several years ago and decided they wanted to spend a year traveling, so they've been saving their money to allow them to. They're planning to hit as much of East Asia as they can on this trip. You meet the most interesting people when you travel in hostels!

The next morning I left very early for Qingdao (my train left at 07:30). Joy bought me a first class ticket (which only costs a few dollars more than a regular ticket) for that leg of the trip, so it was quite comfortable, though very long (the trip to Qingdao takes ten hours by train), and relatively expensive (about 400 RMB, or $60) – cheaper than an airplane, though.

The second of February was Chinese New Year, so when I arrived Elina picked me up and we went to her home in Jimo, an hour from Qingdao. When we got there I helped her make some dumplings and watched her make some food (I asked if I could, because I love studying how to make food here), set of a ton of firecrackers with her husband, and we ate food and watched the Chinese New Year Party on TV. Honestly that program is like nothing I've seen before – it's a massive party with some of the most spectacular performances you could imagine, and it lasts for five hours! I'm definitely going to have to find and watch it online next year ('cause I'll be in America for Chinese New Year).

An interesting custom in China: Some of the New Year Dumplings are made with 1 Jiao coins in them. If you eat a dumpling with a coin it's supposed to mean good fortune for you in the coming year. I ate three of these dumplings :)

The next day was a rest day – everyone needs to recover, because everyone goes to bed very late, and a lot of people drink a ton of baijiu (rice alcohol with incredible potency) and get completely hammered. I actually tasted a little baijiu before I realized what I was drinking – it looks almost exactly like water. Let's just say I don't like the taste of alcohol at all.

Anyhow, we got up late, and Elina's husband took me to Elina's workplace where used one of the computers to get online for a bit. I couldn't log into BYU-I's website, so I just browsed taobao (an awesome site which somewhat resembles Amazon.com) and talked with friends on QQ. We had lunch at the hotel employee cafeteria, which was really quite good. I was surprised – I'm used to cafeteria food here being mediocre. After which we returned to her office, I talked with friends some more, and she took a nap at her desk (she was just there to be on-station). We had dinner back at her home that night, and that was pretty much the day.

The third day we went to Mount Mashan in the morning, which was fun! We climbed the mountain to a temple at the top where Elina prayed, then we went back down. It was very, very pretty – the scenery reminded me a bit of home, actually. We had lunch back at her apartment.

Ah, Elina and her husband have an extremely cute three-year-old daughter named Ronron (I don't know exactly how to write it). After she got comfortable around me she dragged me all over the place to play with her, which was way fun. Little kids are awesome! She really liked giving me sunflower seeds, for some reason, which I thought was kind of fun.

The evening of the third day I got to meet some family friends who live upstairs – they're her husband's best friend and his wife and four-year-old son. Elina's husband is a soldier who has been living in Qingdao for about seven years. He and his friend were both moved to Qingdao at the same time, and have lived near each other ever since. It was awesome to watch the families interact!

On the final day in Jimo we spent the morning resting and relaxing again, then I said by to Elina's husband and went with her, Ronron, and her older brother to Qingdao. They found me an inexpensive business hotel room (we tried a really cheap Chinese traveler's hotel first, but they can't house foreigners) and then we went to dinner at a ramen place, then said goodbye. That night I went to see May 4th Square (where I sent a flying lantern into the air after a very persistent saleswoman persuaded me to buy it for 5 RMB) and a few other areas near where I was living and then got lost on my way back to my hotel (I do that a lot in China…) I finally found my way back and rested, preparing to go see Qingdao the next day.

I actually spent the next morning planning, which was nice – it allowed me to fully use the day, even though I didn't follow my plans perfectly. I figured out a few places I really wanted to see, then went and hammered them all out. I started back at May 4th Square, after stopping at a Pizza Hut for lunch (I wanted to eat more authentic food, but I couldn't find a restaurant at the section of town I was in – I should have waited, because I found the food bus shortly after eating there). From May 4th Square I went to Music Square, then walked along the boardwalk until I got to Little Qingdao (quite a distance, actually – it took about two or three hours). I saw the lighthouse at Little Qingdao, then went to the aquarium, the Qingdao Underwater World.

The Underwater World was discounted 40 RMB from its regular price (100 RMB this time of year) because one of the attractions there was closed, so I decided it'd definitely be worth seeing. I'm certainly glad I chose to! They had an awesome jellyfish exhibit, a great underwater life museum, and an awesome aqua tunnel (you stood on a conveyer which went under a huge aquarium). At the exit they had a really good seafood store, so I bought a bunch of seafood to bring back and share with my friends, largely because Trudy had jokingly asked me to.

I walked from the aquarium for a long ways, trying to find a night market I'd heard about. I ended up getting hopelessly lost and had to have a taxi take me there. The night market in Qingdao is huge, even bigger than Hangzhou, though there are fewer goods of questionable origin being sold in Qingdao…

I returned to the hotel around 19:00 or so, completely worn out (I'd walked in excess of 20 kilometers). I decided to go to bed early, which was a good idea because I had to get to the train station to go back to Shanghai the next morning.

The trip back was another adventure, because I couldn't buy a ticket for the whole way. I had to buy a ticket that would only take me 1/3 the way and upgrade it on the train. What this meant was that I didn't have a seat about seven hours of the ride. Normally you can find empty seats, but because it was Chinese New Year the train was oversold. So I stood for about seven hours. Surprisingly I was less tired when I arrived in Shanghai as a result… Crazy how that works, isn't it?

I went out and had some extremely spicy noodles (I love hot food) for dinner, then spent the night at a hostel in Shanghai. The next morning I took another train to Linhai, arriving around noon. The rest of the day was awesome, but it's a story for another time – this entry's already practically a novel.

Anyhow, thus was my trip to Qingdao. If you have any questions, requests, or comments, please feel free to add them!

~Steven Collins

因为我现在有很多中国朋友,我认为现在两个语言(汉语和英语)些我的日记最好的。现在对我写的汉语比较难,所以我可能要些有错啊。如果你们要帮助我,你们可以后面些我应该些什么,和我要在这里些对的啊。我现在打算一个星期一两次在这里些。回来美国的时候还不知道如果我要些。。。可能如果我有很多中国朋友问我我在美国做什么,要继续写。

春节我去了青岛看我第一个中文老师和她的老公和小女儿。和他们一起玩四天左右。坐火车去青岛比较方便啊:我先从临海去上海了,然后在上海住在旅舍一天。我喜欢旅行的时候住在旅舍因为旅舍有很有意思的人。我见到一些英国的人在这里看看中国和隔壁的国家。我们讨论了一个小时左右,然后我睡了因为第二天需要很早去火车站。

我07:30从上海去青岛了。火车比较舒服,可是比较长的时间啊,十个小时多。到青岛的时候我和我的朋友Elina和她得女儿一起去她的公寓了,从青岛离一个小时左右就到了。然后我们吃了饭、点燃了鞭炮、和看中国新年晚会了。我很喜欢那个晚会,和下个过年打算上网看(明年我在美国春节)。

春节以后我们休息了。在他们的家底三天我们去马山,离他们的家近,爬山了。是非常美丽的地方啊!呵呵,我很喜欢爬山。

Elina和她的老公有非常可爱的女儿啊,呵呵。她今年四岁了。她习惯我以后常常想要和我一起玩,我认为是很可爱的。她常常给了我小好吃的。

最后天我在青岛住了,因为是比较方便从青岛看青岛的地方。我去了很多有意思的地方:看了海边、看了五四广场、音乐广场、小青岛、青岛海底世界、和青岛夜市。左路了很多,二十公里左右。比较早回来我的酒店因为很累啊。

第二天我回来上海了。因为他们没有从青岛去上海的票我只买了那条火车的票,然后补票了。他们没有够多的椅子,所以七个小时左右我站着了。是很有意思的啊,呵呵。下次我要比较早买我的票。

我在上海呆了一天,然后回来临海了。呵呵,这个假期玩的开心了啊!回来以后也是很好的啊,可是我要一会些做了什么啊。

~小麦

About wence

I'm the one who started this whole blog (at Tatyana's behest) to chronicle my adventures in China. I've since returned to America and am slowly but surely rediscovering the wonderful world of blogging.
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One Response to 青岛 (Qingdao)

  1. Tatyana says:

    I've always wanted to do what that UK couple did… save up tons of money and just travel. Unfortunately having a job to save up that kind of money means you can't take that much time off to travel. Such an annoying Catch-22!!!
     
    Sounds like you are still having an incredible time… man I always get so envious when I read your entries! I love how people embrace you wherever you go and help you enjoy the true China experience. I guess you have to go further away from the main cities to get treated like royalty haha If you were in Hong Kong for instance I don't know if so many people would be attached to you since they see foreigners all the time! But I could be wrong. 
     
    I could not imagine standing for seven hours by the way! Holy cow!! What a trooper, but I guess all the experiences you are having are worth it <3