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First snow in Dalian

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DALIAN, CHINA - JANUARY 15:  Passengers sleep ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

On the battlements Posted by Hello

As you can see in the photo above we got snow Thursday night Nov 25. The photo was taken by Yuan on Friday 11/26 at about 2PM Dalian time. We had just walked up about 100 steps leading up to the main entry to Xinghai Castle cum Dalian Shell Museum. When we found out that the entry fee was Y30/person, we declined the opportunity to visit the Shell collection. It is a fact that we can see lots of clam varieties at the local street fish market as well as other samples of shellfish and just plain fish for free.

On our way to the battlements we had an interesting encounter with a “supervisor” of the State Electricity utility. I had stopped to take a more careful look at utility workmen who were well on their way to completing construction of a new electricity transmission tower. I was intrigued by the evidence the 25 m high tower had been built in less than two weeks without cranes or power lift. This seemed to be supported by the way in which the workers were perched on the tower and its extensions in the last stages of construction.

Yuan suggested that I may want to take a photo since it obviously caught my interest. I had not paid much attention to a panel truck that we had walked past opposite the tower on the pedestrian walkway next to the waste water canal. While I was lining up my shot a “supervisor” stepped out of the panel truck and after a verbal exchange with Yuan in Mandarin he told her that taking a photo there was verboten since that site was a “state secret”!!

The one thing that is pervasive in Dalian is the presence of “security” people who enforce rules about mundane matters like using a normal exit entrance or not. Yesterday we had the encounter described above involving a “state secret” and another when we tried to use a conveniently placed exit from the Xinghai Exhibition Hall and were told that use of that exit was against the rules. In fact, we had used that exit a few weeks previous to save steps on our way home.

Another perplexing aspect in Dalian is the surprisingly large number of business and residential properties which are empty, although new, or derelict though not so old. Yuan seems to think that it’s just a matter of natural demand not catching up with the prices set by the builder/developers. That may be the case. But it seems very odd to me that a landmark building in downtown Dalian has been empty for about ten years now even though the building stands out in the night skyline because of its top to bottom highlighting. Who pays the electricity bill??

I finally went to Dave’s Bar, the local bar touted on the Internet by Caucasian visitors to Dalian. I had a bottle of stout ale brewed in Seoul, SK (cost Y15 or about $2CDN at current forex rates) but the visit didn’t fill me with great desire for a return visit. There were a few Caucasians seemingly enjoying a brew and chat in the bar, but neither they nor I made any effort to connect.

The suprising thing to me since I have been walking around is that most Caucasian’s in Dalian don’t seem very friendly, or is it me??

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2004/11/26 at 17:16

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