October 7, 2007 – Description of Dalian

Most people take cabs because they’re so cheap. Somewhat like Manhattan, mostly cabs on the street.

Chinese in Dalian appear taller than in other parts of the country. People here are more conservative than in other parts of China. I see quite a few older people in their Mao outfits. Less women wear high heels here. Maybe it’s the weather. Dalian is only 100 years old. That’s very new for a city in China. Apparently, it was built by the Japanese and then occupied by the Russians.

There are several Russian students here. Both Russia and North Korea are just a stone’s throw away. Still I notice that most Chinese stare at foreigners. Most Chinese are very friendly. I think they stare, because it is unusual to see a non-Asian. I think they are very curious about America and other non-Asian countries. Here old age takes priority over gender. When I’m on a bus, young girls get up and offer me their seat. (Yeah, I guess I am that old.) They also prefer that men walk ahead on them when entering a building or climbing steps.

Most of the food here is unusual but good. Dalian being a seaport, most restaurants serve seafood. The food is slimy and hard to pick up using metal chopsticks, but its still good. Had my first live fish today. We picked a fish from the tank, and the chef slammed the fish against the wall. It was okay. I also had jellyfish for lunch. It was different but good.

Ping pong is still the most popular sport in China Monday,

October 8

Unlike Beijing and southern China, there is no pollution in Dalian. The air is fresh and clean.

Most of the cars here are Chinese, although you see quite a few Hyundais, Buicks, and Toyotas. Many Chinese cars are small and have only three wheels, like a tricycle. Some of the bigger Chinese cars look like popular western brands. I saw one Chinese car that looked very much like a Ferrari. 

Although you can buy an ample supply of toilet paper for your apartment. There is no toilet paper in the universities, restaurants, or public facilities. You must bring your own toilet paper.

Now I somewhat know how it feels be a minority in the USA without knowledge of written or spoken English. In this part of China, everything is written in Chinese, including the remote controls for the heating system, DVD, and television. When you go to a restaurant, most of the time, there is no English menu. Everything is written in Chinese, often with no pictures. I can get by with my limited Chinese language skills, but it’s not easy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love this place.  I’m just pointing out the differences between their country and ours.  I bet that Chinese find our country just as different and strange.  Probably, several Chinese in the USA today are writing home, telling their friends how different America is from China.  They are probably laughing at many of the differences.


About blueturtle7645

I love learning the Chinese language and reading about Chinese history and culture.
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