Saturday, October 8, 2011

You say ‘potato’ I say ‘potahto’ – you say Qingdao I say Tsingtao!!

We arrived in China - Port of Qingdao - this morning and, after being cleared by the Chinese customs personnel who sailed with us from Busan (to go through the passports and check our entry visas), we were able to disembark. 

No organized tour today – we chose to take the shuttle bus to town and wander around on our own
 Our short drive downtown took us out of the port past a number of Chinese navy vessels (which we did not take pics of) 

and some decorative sculptures which might appear a bit out of place (?).

Then past apartment buildings in really bad shape – so much so I thought they were empty but actually saw people in some of the windows. Also drove past people doing business on the sidewalks like this scooter repair facility

Downtown was a mix of old and newer buildings. Many date back to the time (1897 – 1914) when this was a German enclave and treaty port. 

Japanese and allied troops invaded and defeated the German garrison at the outset of World War I. After a period of post-war Japanese occupation Qingdao was returned to China in 1922 only to be reinvaded and again occupied by Japan from 1938 – 1945.

One of the original German buildings is St Michaels Church where eight couples were having their wedding photos taken.

The Communist Party – victorious over the Nationalists in 1949 – opened the city to foreign investment with the requisite sign of Globalization – the Golden Arches.

Other perspectives of local food were provided by a visit to the supermarket in a modern department store.
At first glance it looked fairly conventional

But then, on closer examination, we saw boxed goodies you can buy that include a veritable Galapagos of reptiles!!

Walking down the street we saw an entrance to an alley lined by food stalls. Again things first looked a bit straightforward as we walked down the side street. Mostly seafood

You eat the sea urchin innards with a spoon

As the statue suggests many of the dishes were cooked kebab-style

Then we saw dishes consisting of the species we unwisely avoid in the West – scorpions, tarantulas, grasshoppers and sundry bugs were in glorious display.

In the middle of the complex there was a covered area with restaurants surrounding an area of tables. Again some statuary and a fish pond

Saw a few cute sights as we continued along – cute puppy watching the cruise passengers watching him

Cute baby – front view especially cute

Rear view indicates one way to save on diapers and achieve a rapid result

Also the photo op spot for framing your happy faces as you munch on your crunchy starfish!!

Didn’t drink any Tsingtao beer I just realized.
Money thing was a bit odd. Some shops take credit cards (like the official ‘friendship store’ which had great stuff to check out). An entrepreneur at the ‘friendship store’ was selling the official maps at $2 a piece (and took US currency). Other stores wouldn’t take Master Charge but would take Visa!! Others took debit not credit cards. Mostly foreign currency didn’t work (except for money changers on the street who happily took whatever)
A Salute to the Diamond Princess

1 comment:

  1. How freaking cool!!!! Did you try any of the local insects??? wedding pics are always fun- I salute the diamond princess blogger :)