Qingdao or Tsingtao?

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

Well, this week was eventful. After arriving in Yantai and getting orientation out of the way, we decided to head to Qingdao while we had the chance.
After a 4 hour train ride, we arrived. It was an interesting ride. I got put into a room with an older couple and another man probably about my age. He had in his possession, a fantastic little radio with a very long metal antenna. I’m pretty sure it was circa 1985.

The first hostel we stayed at was actually pretty good. The location was in the middle of the camera district and there were also a lot of seafood restaurants. We had already eaten unfortunately. I’m sure it would have been amazing. I need to find where Yantai’s version of this is.

That night we decided to go out. We found a cab that seemed to drive us all over the city before going to one of the furthest nightclubs from our hostel. After further inspection, it really didn’t seem like our kind of scene, so we left and walked to some other place that looked promising.

The name, Club New York. The girls got wrist bands for all you can drink lady’s night. The funny thing was that they thought it would last all night. It didn’t, just until midnight and they each only got two drinks, so it ended up being about the same price for them without the wristbands.

One interesting aspect of the night were two Russian girls. They would go out on the dance floor and basically just pelvic thrust intensely. It was pretty funny. I ended up talking to them for a little bit when the girls went to get their second round. One of them just kept asking me if I thought she was pretty, or if I thought she was fat. The other didn’t speak English. They are law students in Russia. That was pretty much the whole conversation except for them trying to teach me some basic Russian words.

After Kristen knocked my beer off of the table and broke the glass, we got the bill and headed home. It was a much faster ride compared to the one there.
The next morning I woke up early and went to the camera shop to see if they could clean my lens that had some kind of build up on one of the inner pieces of glass. The only one that was open at that time had a huge Canon sign out front, but really didn’t have much for Canon products. The man looked at the lens and shook his head no.

After that rejection I walked down to the big camera store and they were still closed. I sat down on some steps and waited for them to open. Across the street a Nikon store was open, but I figured they would not be able to mess with Canon lenses. A man and his cute Cocker Spaniel came by me. The dog was interested in playing and jumped into my lap After petting it for a while, I decided to give the Nikon store a go. Two hours later, I had a clean lens!
In that mean time we walked around. Catherine felt sick so we walked her back to the hostel then ventured to a 8 story mall. It was pretty big, but I had no money to spend on anything in there, so I headed back to the camera store.

Once we got back to the hostel, we picked up our bags and headed over to another hostel we had booked. The cabbies really had no idea where the hostels were in Qingdao, and since we didn’t know the town, it got a little frustrating.

The new hostel was called The Observatory. It used to be an actual observatory, so it was pretty cool to go inside the top part and check it out. They also had a rooftop bar. The downside, we had to get four beds in an eight bed room. The other people were slobs, and they ended up being 14 year old Chinese kids that were with a huge group. The room smelled bad, so we headed off to find the Tsingtao Brewery.

The part of town that the brewery is in is called Beer Street. It was pretty awesome. We went on the tour and got an English speaking guide. It was interesting to learn about the history. Germans had started it, but eventually sold it to the Chinese, who quickly lost it to the Japanese via a war. After the tour we got to try a pitcher of Tsingtao, then I bought some souvenirs for people.

The next thing on our agenda was food. We found a nice little seafood place. they had some awesome razor clams and regular clams. It was a pretty good meal, and I was happy as a clam! So dorky.

Two of the other teachers were also in Qingdao and one of the girls had family showing her around there. She told us about this indoor mall, so we went to check it out. It was a lot like Caesar’s Palace with the clouds and ponds everywhere. I picked up some more souvenirs and then we went back to our hostel.

I will say that the hostile did a good job including meal. They had a free BBQ dinner and omelet breakfast. They also had all you can drink Tsingtao for ¥20, or about $2.45. Not a bad deal if I must say.

Later in the night we went to another bar and played pool. We were all pretty tired and went back and headed to bed. The only train was at 6 in the morning, so we got a very nice bus back to Yantai. Tomorrow, we have to test the kids and place them into levels.


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