To Your Heart's Content

Friday, January 06, 2006

Qingdao and hasbrowns

Well Happy New Years to everybody! New Years resolution, you ask? To stem the normalization of my life here in Beijing. But as we all know, who the hell really believes the resolution will last for more than a few months, sometimes days!

Went to Qingdao for New Years with a few good friends, Igor, Erika, and Reka. A coastal city with a population of 8 million, its unique quality lies in the contrast of European architecture with the Chinese lifestyle. Overlooking the sea with a relatively clement climate, Qingdao was once occupied by the Germans in the very early 20th century, who put some serious time and effort into making it as German as possible. The city's architectural charm and layout was kept intact thus creating an eerie atmosphere: one is at once surrounded by German ancient-fortress architecture all the while being in a Chinese city with the norms of Chinese modern life. Reka is Hungarian and she noted how some buildings even reminded her of Romanian cottages! It is quite astonishing. Besides the architecture, however, there is not much otherwise special about the city. It does brew China's most popular and purportedly only exported beer (TsingTao), surprise, surprise! Good ol' Germans. And the beach is nice. But I hear in summer the city is flooded with tourists, that one can be hard-pressed to even find a place to stay.

It was also here where Igor was introduced for the first time to McDonald's hashbrowns! I think he appreciated them more than the trip itself! Nothing beats those little bastards, they're soo good! Yum yum. Thanks Ronny.

Some pics will be posted soon...


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