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Published: October 10th 2012
Qilo Normal University is located right in the centre of the city on Lishan Lu very near the intersection of Huayuan Lu
Today the sun was shining, the skies were blue, I finished teaching at 10-10am so time to explore my surroundings.
So after lunch, laundry and vacuuming, I stepped out and went east along Lishan Lu.
I suspect the more east I went the more expensive things got, streets immaculate and swept, gardens manicured and clipped and expensive looking shops and restaurants.
Some of the more expensive places have flower gardens outside the entrance, hundreds of plants pots all neatly displayed and flowering to perfection.
There are contrasts though with a gritty street seller on one corner and on the other a boutique.
Most buildings, the streets, cars really everything is covered with a fine layer of dust. There is so much construction going on that it just blows in from everywhere and settles. The city employees a variety of methods to rid the streets of grime and rubbish from tiny ladies in hi vis orange with a big broom to the very modern street sweepers.
Shan means mountains and Lu is Road. Li?
After a brisk 50 minute walk I came to expat heaven, an RT MART which is like a huge Kmart/Coles with foreign food even in some areas, KFC and McDonalds with a McCafe.
Also in this area there is a U Mart which is stocked full of expat foods from Holland, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand.
And this little expat was after cheese! Quite a selection was available really, with french soft cheeses, cheddars, and real slices.
Got myself some NZ Anchor cheddar Y28-60 for a 230gms block, which is $5-50 quite OK considering the air miles etc. Butter was another little luxurious purchase. Really this is the only thing I have been missing; just a small thing like this can make a huge difference to life and living.
The reward for my big walk was a latte and brownie at McD served by a lovely young fellow with brilliant English. Y32- approx. $6-50, again comparable to our price in our wages, but this must be so expensive for the Chinese. There were not a lot of customers really.
When you can buy 2 meat and vege
Washing on the line
Loved the colour scheme happening here
filled bun things for Y1-60 why would you buy a hamburger for Y20- plus.
And to top this off McD had Western toilets and toilet paper! Sheer joy and bliss.
Back west along Lishan Lu and then turn right onto Huayuan Lu.
I grabbed some street food near the uni entrance to munch as I walked.
Watched some stalls working and chose a crepe which was filled with shallots and bok choy, grated carrots, a beaten egg, made from scratch with a ball of dough, filled and laid out and cooked on a griddle.
Total cost Y4-50 which is less the $1- This was so filling I had trouble eating it all, would be great with some cooked chicken for a meal.
Huayuan Lu in the opposite direction to Daming Lake, took me to the grittier end of town for sure. Saw beggars, street people and an old man busking, with so many street sellers, food stalls and little alleyways and pavement shops.
Lots of food sellers were cooking things on sticks, veges, tofu, squid, chicken, unidentified?
I walked until I came to Hong Lu Square and I
need to go back during the day to have a better look. Massive building looking something like a castle appears out of nowhere, with a massive entry and park area surrounding it.
Not sure if it was German built like Qing Dao, but I will go back in the daylight to check it out.
Near this square is another McD and McCafe, RT Mart and KFC, and its only 25 min walk from uni, bargain. Now if you know me, you will know that no day is complete without one real coffee before midday.
Today was my first day I have had one since Friday, major major coffee withdrawals happening here, plunger coffees have been OK but are not quite the same!
My best find today was a living plant in a pot for my balcony. I am really missing nature and blue skies and water and living things. Have been cutting a few leaves and blooms off the garden nearby to put in a vase, but have really wanted a real plant. Unimart and Carrefour had them for about Y20 and tonight I found an old man and a cart who
sold me a flowering plant for Y6-. It’s sitting happily on my balcony, a very welcome addition to life here.
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