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Published: November 21st 2011
Arriving in Shanghai
more new high-rise appartment buldings
TAIZHOU CITY-SOUTH CHINA
The new college I teach at is a smaller university in smallish city near where the old and new Grand Canal met the Yangtze River, north of Shanghai(3 hours away) Called ‘Taizhou’ in Jiangsu province. It is one of the many medium sized cities on the huge Shanghai delta and very flat and not on the tourist track.
It does have parks around a ‘square waterway/canal area around the city centre and is OK for walking. Like everywhere else, the old is being pulled down and new high rise apartments replacing them, even in the city centre. Expanding into the countryside, new medical research /university centers are also going up everywhere.
Before I left, new supermarkets seemed to be opening every weekend; just in time for Christmas. In spite of all the new shops, you could still see radishes and other vegetables drying on tables or hanging with clothes on the main streets. Still, the old part is disappearing fast, but I have managed to get a few photos of life on the old streets.
There is not much you can really say about Taizhou.
Fireworks go off any minute of the day,
Map of Taizhou
appartment at campusabout 2 kilometres to centre of city. parks and waterways form 'square' around city.
even occasionally in the middle of the night.
The only English speaking TV channel here continues with some good documentaries and new places to see in China and news from China and the world from ‘a different perspective’. There also seems to be more American movies on the other channels, sometimes in English, but the choice is not that great. The only American TV show you see here is CSI.
Many richer people now seem to eat a lot of western food. KFC and MacDonalds are very popular of course and still rather expensive here. When I was leaving the first Starbucks was opening in the city.
Many western style restaurants will serve like a mini western smorgasbord on one plate. The may be boiled vegetables, a large slab of meat, slice of pitza, and spaghetti bolognas all together. It looks really weird to me.
ORDERING DRINKS AT A RESTAURANT IN CHINA
You know you are in China when you ask for a glass of water and the water that arrives is very hot. Also iced coffee is just as popular as hot coffee, so if you want a glass of cold
water and hot coffee, you need to be on the ball. My pronunciation is still not very good so I usually end up pointing at the dictionary. I have about given up trying to learn Mandarin. People will tell you that they are speaking mandarin and not native dialogue, so the dictionary must be wrong. For example according to the dictionary, you are supposed to pronounce ‘hot’ as ‘re’ when all the Chinese people tell me you should say ‘zur’; it’s very frustrating!
Worse than that; they sometimes do not refrigerate beer; so when you order a COLD beer, it comes poured over ice cubes, often in a wine glass! Aggghhh!!!
There are very few ‘don’t do this’ signs in China and when there are, they are usually ignored anyway.
No Smoking signs are completely ignored; even at hospitals. One teacher told me about when he went to a hospital for a medical check up. The doctor doing the test offered him a cigarette, in the hospital, before the medical check up!
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