Saturday, February 18, 2006

China Trip II - Tianjin City

The second weekend there, we went up to Tianjin City. It's the third biggest city in China and it's province has one of the biggest ports in the country, at Tangu. At one point, Tianjin was occupied by many foreign countries and aspects of the European rule can still be seen in the architecture.

The grand staircase at our hotel, the Renaissance Tianjin Hotel.

We went to a Hot Pot restaurant, but this was a communal type hot pot, with a big pot with boiling broth in the middle of the table. The menu items were written on a paper fan.

You ordered the raw ingredients that went into the Hot Pot. Note the "live" options.

Frozen raw shrimp

The Hot Pot with spicy on one side and bascially bland on the other side. It wasn't that spicy at all, just flavorfull.

The Group, from bottom: XiXi (Shen's girlfriend), Shen, Jenny (hidden), Brian, Pawel, Rich, Andy, Ted, (me), Mike (expat living in TEDA) and Grace.

Beef is always good

This guy freaked me out. He was just living a little while back and had not completely died. The meat from inside the fish is displayed on the plate. His head kept twitching and giving me the frights. I dont mind eating animals but I just dont want to see them moving around on the table, especially after they're dead. The other guys were dissappointed in me, after seeing the Indian Jones film with them eating live monkey brains. Not for me. The fish meat cooked did taste good though.

Chinglish. We started speaking like this so that the Chinese could understand us better. "You taking me to hotel?", instead of "Can you take me to the hotel?"

A riced-out Citroen outside a night club. I saw many cars with massive exhauts and fancy distasteful body work.

Cosy's, a relaxed little pub, which also had a Filipino band playing.

A shopping mall next to our hotel that actually sold "real" goods.

Our Motorola phones for sale in a Nokia showcase.

Three girls dancing outside a book store, promoting something. Strange to see this in daylight in front of everyone. Things are really progressive here compared to its image.

Hamsters and turtles for sale

Tianjin was more of a bicycle city than Beijing

Handwarmers for two wheelers. Here in the states and other countries, we have electrically heated grips or gloves to warm our hands in cold riding climate. A simple cost effective alternative is to wear massive gloves attached to the handle bars. Interesting.

The entrance to Culture Street. An ancient market for various goods. It was recently renovated

Me at Culture Street. The lanterns were put up for the recent Chinese New Year celebrations.

The old with the new...

A cabby who I managed to have an engaging conversation with about seat belt safety with neither of us understand the other's language. I was trying to tell him to wear his seat belt but he said, in America, you drive very fast and need seat belt, but in China, we drive very slowly (agreed) and no need for seat belt. Didnt agree with his logic and was amused that we could communicate without spoken language. Note the bad teeth. Most people in China have terrible teeth. I think it's from chewing tobacco.

A fancy street sign

Look, it's Chicago. The European influences in the local architecture.

Our hotel, looking very modern.

Dinner at a Thai restaurant. Picture taken with the inhouse Corona Girl. So, of course we were drinking Coronas.

Green Chicken Curry, which Pawel just drank like soup and faced the consequences later that night...

Lunch at a T.G.I. Friday's. Food was excellent and a change in cuisine was nice.

A very modern looking building on our way out of town.

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