A beach day … in China

image001 image007The sender suggested it’s Qingdao, Shandong Province but the red umbrellas sport Korean.

It’s highly developed, with neat rows up on rows of color/product coded umbrellas. It shows Asians doesn’t really like sun bathing for they prefer the fair skins.One of my family branches is from Shandong, Ji’Nan 济南 to be exact.

When Yishi graduated from her fancy university that needed 5 years to obtain a bachelor degree, we decided to celebrate by going to Qingdao 青岛.

It was 1985 when tourism hadn’t developed. Through her contact, we found a place to sleep with public shower for US$2 a night

First, the city landscape was extremely pretty, many red roof German colonial period buildings were still intact.

Second, the girls were pretty too. Who said Suzhou and Hangzhou produce beauty? But when they spoke, oh lord, I wished they didn’t. Their dialect and tooth were just below the radar.

One day we went to the downtown. Few fat so ladies were guarding the cross road – trying to enforce the pediatricians using the proper cross path when the traffic lights turned green. We two were chatting and laughing and violated the rule by crossing in the middle of the street. I had a red short on, looked out of place. With few quick dashes, Yishi was out of their reach but I, who was born with set of short legs, was left behind. One woman grabbed me firmly by the arm.

青岛 中山路 Zhongshan Lu, Qingdao, July 29, 1985
“Pay fine.”

It only took one second, I meant, one second to get a crowd circling us.

I felt embarrassed. Trying to get out of it, I first pretended that I didn’t understand Mandarin, Cantonese only.

But some one in the crowd shouted out Cantonese, explaining the fine.

It was 2 RMB.

The woman took it and wrote me a receipt.

I took it and throw it into the garbage can. Only to miss it.

“Another fine for littering.”

And the crowds were chanting for it.

Now I was angry, having just tasted the loath of locals toward returning Chinese, either from Hong Kong or USA. They seemed to feel it’s their birth right to rob us.

I was born and grew up in China for Pete’s sake.

The facial expression on that woman face was disgusting, a fisherman caught a big catch at end of the day.

“Pay.” She looked mean.

“Yes, make her pay.” The on lookers shouted.

Yishi was taking pictures with my Olympus OM 2.

Someone saw her and few went to her, demanding who she was and what was she doing.

“She’s taking pictures.”

DSCN8500This hour long boat ride in Qingdao that cost only 1.5 RMB on July 31, 1985

“Confiscate her camera.”

Few men were actually trying to grab OM2 from her.

“You have no right.” She warned them.

“Who are you?” The fat woman demanded.

“I’m a Qinghua University graduate.”

Believe it or not, that actually carried a lot of weight. The crowds began to leave.

She was mad at me 🙂 .. “Can’t you run faster?!” Our little inside joke .. that Irene is useless, this was just one more prove ..

Sorry it wasn’t a digital camera .. so I don’t have the pics ..

Next day, we went to hiking. The mini bus considered luxury than the public bus. We paid round trip fare and climbed up the mountain. There was a young couple in love was ahead of us; handsome and beauty. The lady was in high heels! When I was tried, Yishi made fun of me, with sneakers and I could not catch up with her, the girl on heels. Because I was slow, we were kind of late, but still within the time limit the drive set for us. But when we climbed down the mountain, the mini bus had left. They didn’t and still don’t care return business.

The beach. Ok. The beach. It was empty, very rocky but empty. We had great swim: we raced. She won since I’m bad at open water swimming. No one was in sight, yet.

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2 Responses to A beach day … in China

  1. Skipper says:

    Hey Kibbitzer,
    I know my chinese is at best kindergarten level, but I noticed some the writing on the beach umbrellas appear to be Korean. Is it really China?

  2. Skippure,

    You got me here. I’m not sure if it’s China.

    Somewhere over the rainbow?

    I’ve gotten a set of similar photos couple of years ago .. packed beach .. claimed to be China.

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