After several weeks of planning to go for a walk down by the coast on our mutual day off and continually being foiled by the weather, Maggie and I got our chance to get some fresh air yesterday. Though we had intended to do a bit of a hike along Bing Hai Rd. (滨海路), from Tiger Beach (老虎滩), we ended up in Fu Jia Zhuang (付家庄), a resort community between Tiger Beach and Xing Hai Sq.
I knew the area a little, as I’ve spent the last two weeks teaching there, but had not had much chance to explore it. Now having poked around a bit more, it’s where I’d like to live for the rest of my days.
Ok, perhaps that’s being a bit dramatic. But honestly, the area is its own little world. Completely coated in lush green vegetation, largely isolated from the city’s pollution, and featuring one of the nicer (if not nicest) beach in Dalian – the place is top notch. Oh, and even on Dalian’s hottest days, it’s said to be 3-5 degrees cooler, which was true yesterday.
Though the rest of the city was basking in the mid-June sunshine, Fu Jia Zhuang was covered by a cool fog. It made the walk along the beach a bit eerie, but otherwise, it was a nice break from the heat.
The beach, unfortunately pebbly, was loaded with Russians and Chinese displaying far too much flesh for my simple conservative standards of what those of large body-types should be seen wearing in public. Pushing 300 lbs. of rather lobsterish Russian flesh into enough material to hardly create a cozy for my mobile phone… it’s just not right.
We left the beach and ran smack into the middle of a wedding photo shoot. Taking wedding photos is a bit backwards to what we’re used to in the West. They’re done weeks, sometimes months (or even a year) out from the wedding, not after the ceremony, as is common at least in Canada. Along with the standard collection of bridal dresses, there are an assortment of random other costumes. Yeah, costumes. We walked in on the soon-to-be-wed couple wearing full-camouflage (with matching skull-shaped dogtags) standing atop a jeep.
We continued up Bing Hai Rd. passed some amazing houses, whose steep pricetags have kept empty (something there’s no shortage of in Dalian). Though well out of the price range from my paltry earnings, I did take a moment or two to consider calling an agent and inquiring the price. It just seems weird to see houses in China. Like ones that don’t use plywood and stacked bricks for their roof.
After snapping some macro-photos of some bees, we hopped on the 702 and headed back to Olympic Square where we caught the English language showing of Poseidon
. Y’know how we all find our grooves in life… well, tragic and suspenseful maritime movies must be Petersen’s – adding this one to The Perfect Storm and Das Boot (The Boat). The movie was pretty “Hollywood”, but I expected nothing less, and enjoyed it.
We met a nice couple of Canadians in the theatre, and after the film the guy said that the movie was complete Hollywood crap. I couldn’t disagree, but who are these people that go to see a big budget summer action movie and are expecting anything else? I don’t get it.
We capped the night off with Maggie’s friends (and my co-worker Pam) at Noahs For Your Ark Bar (if anyone can explain the name, please comment). Hanging out with Maggie’s friends is always quite the contrast from hanging out with mine. When we’re with mine, she is usually silent and trying hard to understand the laowai speaking at regular (in ESL that reads WARP) speed. Ditto me when I’m with her group. However, it’s a great chance to practice my Chinese skills (and bask in the compliments of how GREAT my Chinese is – I love Chinese compliments… who says the sincerity of a statement need affect the quality of one’s ego boost?)