Archive for the ‘Linyi’ Category

Kao Di Gua

12 December 07

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Baked sweet potato vendor
Linyi, China

More Wordless Wednesday here.

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It’s That Time Again

12 December 07

It’s Snowing!

She’s Got Legs

5 December 07

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Fancy a dumpster dive?
Linyi, China

See more Wordless Wednesday here.

Street Hut

5 December 07

Or, Something Delicious.

There’s a new street food sensation in our neighborhood and for 1.5 RMB (20 US cents or 14 Euro cents) you’ve got yourself a mini-meal.

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Chinese-style pizza takeaway

Chinese-style pizza is a great find. Why pay over 100 RMB for Pizza Hut when you can have Street Hut? Street Hut makes their pizza right in front of your eyes and bakes it in their oven while you wait. The lines* are long, and even the cold can’t keep customers from coming. (*There really is no such thing as a line or queue here, you just jump in and shove your money through the window.)

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I love street food!

Street Hut pizza is simple – on first glance, I thought I saw cheese and sausage, but really it is just made of a crunchy crust, hot chili flakes, oil and fried fat bits. I know that sounds appalling, but believe me, it is a true delight! With my North American genes, maybe it is not something I should eat everyday, however. (Okay, okay, there might be a small scrap of meat attached to the the fat bits.)

Street Hut appears to be run by a few enterprising twenty-somethings. They couldn’t make the pizzas fast enough, which makes me hopeful they will be around for a long time to come.

Pizza Hut Lands in Linyi

26 November 07

This post was much better the first time I wrote it, but then it was eaten by the Great Firewall of China. I’ll try to rewrite it but frankly, I am so annoyed and frustrated and TIRED of this ridiculous censorship and the fact that I have to use a special program just to see my own damn blog that I feel like revealing all of China’s state secrets right here, today.

But I won’t. Everyone already knows about them, anyway. Instead, I will tell you about eating out at Pizza Hut. Because what is more hard-hitting: exposing China’s corruption and propaganda or discussing the insidious infiltration of Western fast food chains?

Pizza Hut just opened its doors in Linyi. This is a pretty big deal, evidently. There were long lines out the door for the first week. Linyi already has KFC and McDonald’s, so all we need now is a Starbuck’s and the holy quartet of fast food will be complete – fried chicken, hamburgers, pizza and coffee creations. I’m not radically anti-fast food or anything (actually, I’m a few rungs down from radical, but I’m definitely on the ladder). I don’t like fast food much, but I do eat it from time to time. Eating American fast food in China, however, is kind of like a little escape into a familiar corner when you just feel overwhelmed by all the craziness. American fast-food restaurants represent the easy choice and on bewildering China days, it is the sanest choice. (Besides, it helps you to appreciate the diversity and taste of Chinese restaurants!)

So it was with curiosity and a pizza craving that we set off to see Pizza Hut for ourselves. Kunzilla was right. Pizza Hut is a high-class joint in China. All the Linyi elite were there. The whole place has the feel of a fancy European cafeteria. I even felt a little under dressed.

The menu is very familiar. All the usual chain restaurant appetizers and salads are there with the pasta dishes and pizzas you’d expect to find. The biggest difference is in the portions. The small pizza is 9″ and the large 12″ and that is it. No mega-super-sized pizzas or drinks on offer here.

We had fried calamari, (no joke about the small portions, there were literally three or four rings!) two pizzas – one “edge” style without crust and one “pan” style, and a cranberry crisp cheesecake for dessert (again, a completely normal sized portion for most of the world, but an American would have asked to see the manager.) The food was as expected. It must all come from a central processing plant, anyway, as it all tastes the same everywhere. I’ll admit I enjoyed the pizza. Pizza is such a great food. How can you go wrong with bread, cheese, pepperoni and veggies, and you can eat it all with your hands! Yes, you are supposed to eat pizza eat with your hands. I stand firm on this.

The biggest shock, of course, came with the bill. Eating out in Linyi is super-cheap. You never have to cook a single meal if you don’t want to, since eating at restaurants and noodle shops will set you back the same or less amount of money. The DH and I regularly spend less than $10 for dinner. Our bill (we splurged) came to 230RMB (20 Euros or 31 USD). !!???!!! Twenty Euros for a two-person meal!!? (Well, we did have leftover pizza for brunch the next day.) Outrageous!

My recommendation for the best pizza in China is The Tree in Beijing. They offer thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, great Belgian beers and free wi-fi. Located in the Sanlitun area, close to the embassy district, you will definitely pay Western-style prices for food and drink, but it is fresh, delicious and unique. Of course, the best pizza in Linyi is still to be found at my friend L’s house. She makes it from scratch.

Linyi and Yi He Riverside Park

5 November 07

One of the things I love about China is that every time you leave your house, you will see something new and different. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, China reminds me you have not seen anything.

Linyi is a river city. The name Linyi means (and maybe Kunzilla can correct me if I am wrong here!!) “Close to the Yi.” Yi is the name of the river here.

One of the best features of Linyi is the landscaping that lines the banks of the river along its course through the city. There are bike and walking paths, benches, fountains, exercise areas, lots of trees and plants and spots for fishing (although the fishing is very poor.)

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This weekend the DH and I rode our bikes along the trails down river. I learned a lot of things on this trip, the most important thing being Chinese bicycle seats are not made for trips over 15 minutes. I also learned that on a certain, secluded stretch of our road, old men sit under the trees chatting with each other while their caged birds also chat with each other. I learned that the old bicycle repair man doesn’t charge anything for airing up your tires. I learned that we are still celebrities in our neighborhood, and even more so when riding bicycles.

I learned that the city has built large new tennis courts along the river, but there doesn’t seem to be a way inside of them. I learned that Linyi has the world’s largest rubber dam. (That has not been verified conclusively, but I say let Linyi have the achievement!!)

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Linyi’s Rubber Dam (that cylindrical concrete looking thing)

I learned not to ride your bicycle along a river with your mouth open. (gnats. not pleasant.) I learned that at times the bike path is made of yellow brick. I learned that parts of the bike path are obstructed by this very badly placed house…

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House built right on top of the path. ?

Linyi Photos from http://www.linyi.gov.cn

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I also learned that Linyi – a city of somewhere between three and seven million people – can be peaceful and calm. On the banks of the river there is an escape.

Making Progress

28 September 07

First it was Out With the Old. Then it was In With the New.

Now they’re making progress:

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At ground zero of Linyi’s newest construction explosion.

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Whether or not it will actually look like this when complete is debatable…

Flying

13 September 07

I don’t blog very much about work here in China. I’m not sure why, other than the fact that for the most part my work is monotonous and boring. However, we are experiencing interesting times right now – working for the second private flight school in China as it begins its flight operations. I think I will write more about what it is like to teach students basic aviation vocabulary and watch them as they learn more theory, practice in the flight simulators and finally, begin flying.

Today that is not my concern, though. For the last few days, the DH has been up flying several times.

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 This is my view of the aircraft hangar and ramp area, from my office window. Here the DH and a FI are waiting for the taxi clearance from the control tower. I am not really afraid when the DH goes flying. I don’t really think about it too much, to be honest. It’s just what he does – and what he loves. And what he does really well. I know that he is highly capable, so I just don’t worry.

I did, however, hold my breath slightly as the airplane began its ground roll and lifted off down the runway.

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Here they are taxiing on to the runway. And in case you are wondering, they are flying a 1996 Cessna 172R – a single-engine piston aircraft long used for flight training and recreational flying. (In other words – dependable, proven and safe)

Look for more posts on life at a Chinese flight academy…

A Day at the Lake

12 September 07

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This past Sunday we took a little countryside outing with our friends D. & L. We traveled via car to this lake, surrounded by small hills and agricultural plots. The air and water were clean and the temperature was balmy. We had a big lunch out on this pavilion over the water.

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We ordered a chicken, and as is the custom here, we were served the entire chicken, head and feet included. We passed the head onto this guy, who promptly ate it all.

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The pavilion is part of a small hotel and restaurant. These are a few of the chalets available for rent – 200RMB a night. ($26.50)

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One of the highlights of the hotel is the driving range:

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Yes, that is the driving range. You hit the ball out into the lake. There used to be areas cleared for doing this, but it seems there hasn’t been a big demand for the range in quite a while.
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Above you can see DH practicing his swing (and trying to find the ball in the weeds). Look closely at the head in the second picture. That is the gentleman who swims around picking up the golf balls AS you are hitting them into the water.

🙂 It was nice to get out of Linyi.

In With the New

8 September 07

China is experiencing a construction boom. Everywhere you look, in every city, there is massive construction. New apartments, office buildings, malls, train stations, etc. – you name it, they are building it.

Back in July, I posted a photo of the demolished neighborhood close to my apartment building. Now that all the enterprising locals have finished picking through the site for valuables, and the debris has been cleared away, 15 construction cranes have appeared. As I predicted, progress is coming to He Dong, the east side of the river. Soon our river view will be obstructed by new and modern apartment towers. It is happening all across Eastern China.

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