Photos and stories about my expat experience in China, currently in Bejing.
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Saturday, July 26, 2008


Some Chinglish I encountered along the way in China. I noticed that the Chinese don't take it so seriously if their massive bill-boards are correctly spelled or not. Actually, they created a whole new language, which is much more funny and entertaining than our boring Western English.

Restaurant names such as:
"Shandong burns a chicken"
"Pan bone soup"
"Breath away bistro" - must be very spicy food there:)
"Earthen pot gruel"
Dishes are called:
"Delicious chicken"
"Dace and rape with celery"
"Mouth watering Chicken"
"Beef killed Korean style"
Businesses are called:
"Glorious happiness and harmony"
In Suzhou they are building some business center, and the bill-boards read: "69 years of foundation in Hong Kong. 9 Centuries in your ninth"

and so forth...

Here some funny examples:

Taiwanese restaurant
Not very funny actually, but serious business

I love the prececessed meat. (This pic I took in Metro, which is a German Supermarket chain in Shanghai...)

(Inside toilet, warning for slippery floor)

"Whatever you do, please do not surmount the parapet!"

"A parapet is a wall-like barrier at the edge of a roof or structure. It may serve to prevent unwanted falls over the edge or it may be a defensive, constructional or stylistic feature.", Wikipedia.
Technically correct, but who is carrying a dictionary around Mount Lu...?
Scared of robbers maybe; they sell kitchens!

"Be attention to fall down" and "Please grip the bar"
Inside train toilet
I was shocked after seeing this. Inside a McDonald's toilet, there was a message board, with "I'm lovin' it" imprinted on it. However, they put some information on the Sichuan earthquake there, so now it looks like a rather tasteless joke.

Inside a train toilet

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wedding in Hunan & trip to Inner Monolia

I've been touring around China for the past 3 weeks. First I went to my girlfriend's hometown for her brother's wedding, and we stayed a while in Dong Kou town with her family. Then we took a train (29 hours on a hard seat) to Inner Mongolia to visit the plains.

We had dinner at McConkey restaurant. Name sound familiar? ;)

Or what about the world famous TWYHDJ restaurant? Good food and draft beer 0,60 Eur!

This is Dong Kou; a small town in the mountains of Hunan province. It seemed that I was the only foreigner there, and people stared, but it wasn't too bad (I'm used to that by now).
We visited many relatives, who live in some small villages in the mountains...
And were overloaded with gifts. This big jerrycan is filled with home made fruit wine, which we enjoyed every day since then. Other local food is spicy dried tofu, dried pork (of which we took 2 kilos back home) and home made rice wine.This is the house of Chen Yi's parents, and we stayed here 10 days. Her parents have some chickens and ducks, and every day one of them was killed and cooked. omg, I really stuffed myself in these 10 days. 3 huge meals every day, with a good glass of rice wine every time.

It was nice to escape the crazy noise and hot stuffy weather in Shanghai & Suzhou, and hang around in the mountains of Hunan for 2 weeks. I really needed a break.
The lucky couple
On the wedding day there was a massive meal, as there were 200+ guests...
who all shot firecrackers upon arrival. It is a tradition.
Lots of eating and drinking
On the day before the wedding we visited the bride's family...
and brought chicken and pork :)
Their house is in the mountains, surrounded by farms and rivers
little nephew
The bride's grandmother
I've never seen so much fireworks

The day before te wedding, 4:00 AM sharp, a pig was slaughtered
chopped up......and brought to the house. The price of this (fat) pig is 150 Euros
Snakes for sale in Changsha, the city we flew to before going to Chen Yi's hometown. Note the scissors and blood stains..

We did many fun and envirnomentally friendly activities, such as dynamite fishing

good fun
We also went swimming in the river, which was so cold because of the mountain water. The weather was really too hot to do anything else there.
After all the celebrations we took a long train to Baotou, to visit my friend who lives there. Unfortunaly, we couldn't stay very long, but still had a chance to walk around the town and eat some local delicacies.
Then we went to the plains of Inner Mongolia and drank horse milk wine.

It has been hard finding train tickets, I guess because of the summer holidays and the Beijing Olypmics. All the sleeper trains are booked full and even the seats were crowded. I am now in Hohhot (capital of Inner Mongolia) waiting for the train back home. We still cannot go directly to Shanghai, and so we have to go to another city first (Zhengzhou), on a hard seat again for 18 hours. Then, tomorrow, another long ride back home, where I have to take care of my visa stuff, and other boring things.