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Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Friday, August 16, 2019

A False Sign of Free Meals at a Roast Duck Restaurant in Nanning

"免费加饭 - Free meals" sign at a restaurant
"Free meals"

No readers have insisted to me that they expect a free lunch, but I still feel bad about the extreme lack of posts here recently. I certainly can't blame things on a shortage of potential material.

In regards to the photo above, I took it last night at a restaurant in Nanning which features local-style roast duck noodle and rice dishes. I wasn't surprised to later discover that both Baidu's and Google's translation tools translate "免费加饭" as "Free meals", as seen on the top sign on the window. Google Translate, which is freely accessible in China, at least does a better job if the phrase is separated in half.

In short, no, you can't really expect to get a free meal at this restaurant. But you can expect "Free additional rice". Their rice dishes come with plenty for my needs, but many people in China appreciate an opportunity to load up on it.

So there will be more soon, both in terms of posts and of rice.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Dropping at Night in Nanning

Drop bar & cclub at the Minge Lake (Folk Song Lake) Bar Street in Nanning
In front of Drop at the Minge Lake (Folk Song Lake) Bar Street in Nanning

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Unreal Seaside Life in Guangxi

Today in Nanning I had a number of experiences with nature I rather enjoyed. This experience probably wouldn't count though:

Diorama with dolphins and egrets at the Guangxi Planning Exhibition Hall
Diorama at the Guangxi Planning Exhibition Hall in Nanning


I think that one bird might be looking at me on porpoise, despite the dolphins.

OK, another post, another day. I egret there there haven't been more lately.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A Wheel of a Sunset in Nanning

Happy Ferris Wheel (幸福摩天轮) at the Fengling Children's Park (凤岭儿童公园) in Nanning before sunset
Happy Ferris Wheel (幸福摩天轮) at the Fengling Children's Park (凤岭儿童公园) in Nanning

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Token Story from Nanning

Today in Nanning a family exited a train at a stop near the western end of the Line 1 metro. One of them, a young girl, paused just before exiting and turned around. For a brief moment she looked conflicted. Her grandmother (I presume), also still on the train, seemed to recognize the issue and hollered something in a local dialect. She and the girl then quickly exited the train just before the doors closed.

The family remained together.

Two of their subway tokens did not remain with them though.

two tokens left on a subway train bench in Nanning


I wondered if the girl could have retrieved the tokens in time if she had acted immediately. I also wondered what they would now do without them. I'm not sure about the former. It would have been close, but I think she had a shot. Still, a risk. Regarding the latter, my first guess was they would have their two kids duck under the turnstiles to exit the station and hope nothing came of it. Or they could just report the problem before exiting and hope for the best.

I left the tokens where they sat. They probably couldn't serve much use now, but at least they had each other.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Enjoying the Water Not Far from Nanning's Changyou Pavilion

Oh boy, I definitely didn't plan on taking such a long break since my previous post, which explained how a photo of the Changyou Pavilion in Nanning could be mistaken as a view of Nanchang. So to get back into the swing of things, hopefully, here is a view of the Changyou Pavilion from the other side of the Yong River.

people swimming and boating in the Yong River with the Changyou Pavilion in the distance


This photo was taken from a designated swimming area at the Jiangbin Leisure Park. As the photo suggests, people were taking advantage of it on yet another hot and sunny summer day in Nanning.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Deceptive Pavilion: The Answer to Latest "Which City in China is This?" is Nanning

I was going to wait longer until revealing the answer to the most recent edition of "Which city is this?", but I will provide it now since I already have the most excellent answer:


The answer is excellent because Arnauld chose the option I provided which could have tripped me up before too and he chose it for the same reason.

Nanchang's iconic Pavilion of Prince Teng stands next to the Ganjiang River. I last visited Nanchang in 2011, though I am not sure whether I visited the pavilion then. I definitely visited it in 2008. The nearby bridge in the photo I shared might have given me pause, but China can build a lot of bridges in 11 years. Off the top of my head, the pavilion in the photo would have looked quite similar. And the river!

But instead, I took the photo in central Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Yesterday when I first saw Nanning's Changyou Pavilion (畅游阁), which stands next to the Yong River (邕江), it puzzled me because I had no memory of it. This later made sense when I discovered the pavilion wasn't opened until 2016 (link in Chinese). The last time I was in Nanning was 2011.

So a genuine congrats to Arnauld on his most excellent wrong answer.

And now you can see why I went with a set of cities to choose from that all began with "nan". I first thought of Nanchang as what I might guess instead of Nanning and then decided to stick the "nan" theme. And yes, I made up Nannannan'nan.

To continue the theme of tough photos, here is a one of one of the first scenes of Nanning I saw during my most recent return to the city:

a view of central Nanning, Guangxi


I definitely wouldn't have been able to identify the city from this photo.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Which City in China is This?: The First Multiple Choice Version

I haven't been posting as much as I would've liked lately, but I hope to change that soon. More on the way about my last full day in Yulin, which very much didn't go as planned, and some things from my more recent time in Macau, which also didn't go as planned but all still went quite well.

To make sure I post something pronto, today will be a return to the "Which city is this?"* challenge — fitting since it is a city I returned to after several visits years ago. I arrived yesterday afternoon and have kept myself rather occupied since.

Here we go:

Nice try


I chose this photo I took today in part because the scene struck me as one that shouldn't be too hard to figure out, yet I suspected I wouldn't have recognized it even yesterday. So I will make this a little easier than past challenges by making it multiple choice.

Here we go:

A)  Nanchang
B)  Nanjing
C)  Nanning
D)  Nanyang
E)  Nannannan'nan
F)  Nan of the above

Super-smart readers will notice a pattern in the options. One wrong answer first came to mind because it would have especially tempted me.

I will divert back to earlier topics next, so you have some time.

Nan.


Update: Answer here.



* I thought about whether to go with "which" or "what" here. I first went with "which" based on instinct. I then found an article on the topic that offered support for my choice, at least for today.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Girls Power Mural Outloud in Macau

Recently I shared some art on display in Taipa, Macau. For a contrast, here is a mural I stumbled across at night on the street Travessa da Assunção just off of Rua do Almirante Sérgio in one of the historic areas of Macau Peninsula that feel like another world from the casinos not far away:



The artist Rainbo was born in Hunan and now lives in Hong Kong. You can find out more about her and her work here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Camphorwood Dog Meat Rice Noodles Food Cart in Yulin

After checking into my hotel the first night I arrived in Yulin, Guangxi, and before finding a special location, one of the first things I came across when I set out to explore the city were several outdoor food carts. Appropriate for the city, a couple of them served dog meat.

Camphorwood Dog Meat Rice Noodles (樟木狗肉米粉) street food cart


Like the restaurant I later saw in Yulin that had Budweiser advertising, the food cart in the above photo featured camphorwood dog meat, though in this case with rice noodles (樟木狗肉米粉). And though the food cart is smaller than that restaurant and much smaller than Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant, it is yet another sign of the everyday nature of eating dog meat in Yulin.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A Brief Look at Yulin's First Crispy Skin (Dog) Meat Restaurant

Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant on both sides of Xinmin Road

While walking around Yulin on a Wednesday in May I stumbled upon a restaurant which has locations on both sides of Xinmen Road (新民路) at the intersection with Jiangbin Road (江滨路). The signs indicated the name of the restaurant was Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant (玉林第一家脆皮肉馆).



In many parts of China the Chinese character for "meat" (肉) without any specific indication of the animal would suggest the restaurant features pork. But Yulin isn't one of those parts, and it is common, though not universal (for example, a dog meat restaurant with Budweiser advertising), for restaurants that feature dog meat (狗肉) to not explicitly indicate the animal involved in their name. Soon I had little doubt that this was a dog meat restaurant, though, since there were several locations where they were carving dog meat outside.

men bringing out cooked dogs to be carved


The restaurant's website is more explicit and uses the name Yulin's First Crispy Dog Meat Restaurant (玉林第一家脆皮狗肉馆).

Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant website explicitly using "dog meat" in its name


And the website also provides info about their dog meat.

information about dog meat


It was probably too early for big crowds at the time, but the plentiful outdoor seating in addition to the seating inside the restaurants indicated they were prepared for them.

outdoor tables at Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant


I later learned that the intersection where I found this restaurant is not so surprisingly a popular location for people to celebrate the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in June.

So some simple points that are relevant in general and will provide some context for a story I will tell about my experiences at that festival:
  • The restaurant is one of many signs that dog meat is plainly available year round in Yulin.
  • Of course, the restaurant having two locations at the same intersection and the ample seating suggests it is (or at least was) doing quite a bit of business. And it is far from the only dog meat restaurant in Yulin.
  • The hanging dog meat at outdoor carving tables shows the degree of openness about eating dog meat.

cooked dogs hanging at an outdoor carving table at Yulin's First Crispy Skin Meat Restaurant

  • At no point was I asked not to take photos. I never even had a sense there was concern. In fact, the photo above captures a moment during which one woman who works at the restaurant was laughing about my interest. She soon jovially invited me to order some dog meat. I declined, politely saying I was already full. Later, based on my actions she apparently recognized I was wondering whether the locations on both sides of the street were truly the same restaurant. It's not something I see everyday and imitators aren't exactly uncommon in China. She helpfully approached and said they were indeed the same restaurant.

I wasn't surprised to find a big dog meat restaurant in Yulin. And I wasn't at all surprised to see dog meat hanging outside. These are both things I've seen plenty of times elsewhere in China. But what happened during my next visit to this location and what followed did surprise me.

I definitely didn't take as many photographs. More about that later.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Yunlong Bridge on a Sunny Day in Yulin

I had planned to post more context by now for a story I will tell, but I have been derailed. To get back on the rails, here is a photo of Yunlong Bridge (云龙桥) on the hot and sunny afternoon I observed Yulin's Lychee and Dog Meat festival not far away.

Person holding umbrella while riding a motor scooter on Yunlong Bridge (云龙桥) in Yulin


More later of course . . .

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Day When Police Didn't Stop Me From Taking Photos at Nanqiao Market in Yulin, China

Yulin's Nanqiao (South Bridge) Market (玉林南桥市场)
Nanqiao Market (南桥市场) in Yulin, Guangxi


In numerous cities in China and elsewhere in the world, I often visit wet markets. Each one has its own character, and they offer a glimpse into local culture. They can also be a great place to pick up some cheap and tasty prepared food. Last month in Yulin I stumbled upon the Nanqiao Market (南桥市场) on Jiangbin Road (江滨路). I took relatively few photos, since the market was rather quiet and many stalls weren't in use at the time.

I hadn't planned to mention this market around now, but my first experiences there provide some useful context for a story I have to tell. So I will add that while I was there on the first Monday of May, no police officers stopped me from taking photographs and no strangers clearly prepared to block access to certain areas accompanied me uninvited. Instead, my time there was relatively uneventful, except for meeting two friendly boys excited to meet a foreigner. In addition to the one above, below are some more photos I took there that day, like I have taken without problem at many other wet markets in China.



Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
Wet market on a wet day


pork aisle at Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
"Pork row"


clothes for sale at Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
Some dry goods for sale at the wet market


Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
Many stalls didn't have any activity


two boys at Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
One boy does his homework. One boy provides entertainment.


Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
I of course freely roamed about.


vegetables for sale at Nanqiao Market in Yulin (玉林南桥市场)
Some color

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Almost Injured by a Motor Scooter While Being Closely Watched in Yulin

man riding a motorcycle the wrong direction on a road


I took the above photo of the crosswalk in Yulin because something unexpected happened to me there. As I attempted to cross it a woman riding a motor scooter passed so closely in front of me that our bodies touched. I didn't see her coming because she was driving the wrong direction on a portion of road used for making right turns at an intersection. She presumably saw me, though, unless she had taken things to another level by driving the wrong direction on a road and not looking forward. After I took two photos of the crosswalk following the incident, a man riding a motorcycle in the above photo kindly provided me an opportunity to capture a moment of somebody doing something similar to what the woman had done. Fortunately, he didn't feel inspired to include the almost-injure-somebody part.

Incredibly, something even more unexpected was happening to me during the close encounter, yet I didn't know it at the time. I was being followed by at least one person wearing plain clothes. Noticing something curious later caused me to become suspicious. Actions I then took confirmed my concern. And later experiences confirmed my belief this was not just some random person who was innocently curious about the rare foreigner they happened to notice.

Instead, the reason the person was following me was clearly tied to my observations that afternoon of the first day of the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin. I had had interactions, also unexpected, with relevant authorities and what I suspect were relevant unofficial authorities. More followed that day.

So, this touches on why I didn't post anything here on the first day of the festival. It also touches on why there was no post yesterday when I spent eight hours on the first relevant bus. Needless to say, I'm not in Yulin anymore.

Also, needless to say, I have a story to tell.

Now, I wonder what my follower(s) thought when I was nearly hit. I'm not even sure if a more unfortunate event had occurred whether it would've simplified or complicated matters for them.

More later.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

This Dog's For You: Budweiser Advertising at a Dog Meat Restaurant in Yulin

Tomorrow is a special day in Yulin, Guangxi — the first and biggest day of the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. And for the first time, I will be observing the festival person. I hope to better provide some important context that I feel much past reporting in Western media about the festival lacked. So there will certainly be multiple posts here in the future about dogs in Yulin, the festival, and the more general culture of eating dog meat in China.

To get the ball rolling, in the spirit of highlighting the everyday side of eating dog meat in China I will first share a photo of one of the easy-to-find restaurants which feature or serve dog meat in Yulin year round like many (many) other restaurants I have seen across China — no festival required. So here is the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant (樟木狗肉管) on Dabei Road:

Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant (樟木狗肉管) in Yulin, Guangxi


Restaurant signs with advertising for alcohol — typically baijiu or beer — are a common sight in (at least some parts of) China, and the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant didn't pass up on this practice which at the very least helps save money on signs.

So if you want to wash down your dog meat with a cold (or outdoor / room temperature) American Budweiser beer, Camphorwood might be the perfect place.

Budweiser themed sign for the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant


The signs with Budweiser advertising would really be something if they included Budweiser's retired dog mascot Spuds MacKenzie.

Regardless, the Budweiser slogan on the sign says, "Be Your True Self". So fear not if you don't want dog meat. According to the sign you can get assorted cow or pig innards & meat there too — also with a Bud.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Lingering Father's Day Display in Yulin

At least one sign of Father's Day in Yulin could still be found today at the Nancheng Department Store (南城百货).

Father's Day display at Nancheng Department Store in Yulin, Guangxi


It isn't unusual in China for holiday displays in stores or restaurant to remain long after the respective holiday is long past. The special Father's Day promotion was over according to the posted dates. But perhaps people could still get a deal if they asked.

Anta "Dare to Dream" shirt

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Motorcycles, Dinosaurs, and Drums: Some Father's Day Fun in Yulin, China

In the past, I have shared signs of Mother's Day in China, whether in Guiyang, Hengyang, or Zigong. However, I have never done the same with Father's Day. The main reason is that I typically don't see anything as dramatic in terms of types or amount of business promotions.

This year was the same. But I did see some children spending time with their fathers.*

So to bring some balance, I will share that this evening on Father's Day in Yulin, Guangxi, I saw a girl help her father win a motorcycle race . . .

daughter riding a fake motorcycle with father as he plays the Speed Rider 2 video game


. . . a boy help his father shoot some menacing dinosaurs . . .

Father and son playing Jurassic Park video game


. . . and another boy play a drum duet with his father.

Father playing drum video game while son play inactive drums next to him


And on this note, Happy Father's Day to the fathers out there.






*I didn't verify the relationships, but I consider this a low risk claim to make.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Students, Tear Gas, and Masks: Today's Hong Kong Extradition Protests in 42 Tweets

people protesting proposed extradition law in Hong Kong
Photo taken by Chung-wah Chow of the protest in Hong Kong today before police cracked down

The march in Hong Kong two days ago against a proposed extradition bill was not the end.

Today in Hong Kong people continued to protest. Today in Hong Kong the police responded with tear gas and more.

Below is a series of selected tweets covering a variety of topics regarding the protests that I shared after checking into Twitter this afternoon. They are presented here in the order I shared them, not the order in which the tweets originally occurred, with the exception of the first two since they provide overviews of what has motivated then protests. As usual, if you are viewing this post through an RSS reader and the images, videos, or referenced tweets don't tweets appear, try viewing the original post.

The last tweet was made not long before publishing this post. As it indicates, the protests haven't ended. What will happen next isn't at all clear.

















































Added note: Although there were relevant reports, the word "blood" in the original title was changed to "masks" since none of the above tweets directly mention them.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Yulin Too Has a Horse Flying for Tourism

Some readers may have noticed that a photo of Yulin's Youth Square in a recent post included a sculpture based on the iconic Flying Horse of Gansu bronze sculpture similar to the one at the Ganzhou Railway Station in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, I featured last year. Indeed, as in Ganzhou, the horse is a symbol for the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the base of the sculpture indicates the city was identified as a "Top Tourist City of China".

Unlike the sculpture in Ganzhou, the one in Yulin is surrounded by area frequented by pedestrians — or on some days skateboarders.


"Top Tourist City of China" Flying Horse of Gansu sculpture at Youth Square in Yulin, Guangxi


My impression is that in their central districts Ganzhou offers more for tourists than does Yulin. However, I suspect Yulin's award may be for the many sights in its other districts. In any case, Yulin has its horse sculpture.