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August 31st, 2014:

Fat Wife

Buy your wife a gift certificate to this store = frying pan to the head.

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An Outing

A local newspaper, the China Daily, has been putting on cultural events for their “VIP Readers” (foreigners living in Shenyang). The last one that I went on was to the local Forbidden City. It was educational and interesting. When I saw the opportunity to go on the next outing, I jumped on it.

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If there isn't a photo, then it didn't happen.

If there isn’t a photo, then it didn’t happen.

The Fairy Lake is a wetland, and is the largest lotus lake in China (apparently).

Yes, we're going on that boat, because that's what Chinese eco-tourism is all about.

Yes, we’re going on that boat, because that’s what Chinese eco-tourism is all about.

The event was co-sponsored by a local project of the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). On the boat, as we toured the lake, a university professor that works on a local wetlands project gave a short talk about the role and importance of wetlands in local ecologies.

I'm on a boat.

I’m on a boat. Doesn’t the tacky lamp with the gold fringe add an outdoorsy feel?

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Getting out of the city was nice. I miss large bodies of water.

The event was co-sponsored by a local project of the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). On the boat, as we toured the lake, a university professor that works on a local wetlands project gave a short talk about the role and importance of wetlands in local ecologies.

Lotus plants. The leaves are huge.

Lotus plants. The leaves are huge.

The flowers have already bloomed, and the seed pods are ready for harvesting (eating).

The flowers have already bloomed, and the seed pods are ready for harvesting (eating).

Then they fed us lunch. Lunch was a highlight of the trip, partly because of the good food, but also it was a chance to socialize with some of the other foreigners on the trip. I met an American wife of a German consular officer, who has served in several countries, including North Korea (“it was really nice” ?!). There were people from several German and French business and cultural offices. We talked shop, comparing our experiences with cultural affairs.

Yummy lunch with several local dishes.

Yummy lunch with several local dishes.

Me and a diplomat from the (South) Korean consulate. He studied both in Germany and the US. Nice guy.

Me and a diplomat from the (South) Korean consulate. He studied both in Germany and the US. Nice guy, and impressively smart.

China Daily employee who arranges these cultural outings.

China Daily employee who arranges these cultural outings.

The professor who works with the WWF.

The professor who works with the WWF.

Then we got back on the bus and toured an expo park. The park attempted to “combine” different aspects of Chinese culture, including architecture, literature and agriculture. The combination was… interesting.

Then we got back on the bus and headed back to Shenyang. As we were leaving the city, there was the traditional ritual of saying goodbye. The bus stopped at the edge of the city, and city officials, our hosts for the event, were there at the city limits to say goodbye (or to ensure that we left their city?).

Thank you for coming.

Thank you for coming.

Good bye!

Good bye!

This outing wasn’t quite as educational as the last one, but it was nice to get out of the city, and I saw some parts of the Northeast that I hadn’t seen before. I also experienced the current state of the local highway infrastructure in the region. Development continues in that area, ’nuff said.

 

Better not late than late

Here’s a unique marketing idea: make a big sign promoting a food festival on the plaza, and put it up after the festival is all over. Genius.

"Hey, Bubba, let's go to that food festival on the plaza!" "Great idea, Elmer, too bad it's already over."

“Hey, Bubba, let’s go to that food festival on the plaza!” “Great idea, Elmer, too bad it’s already over.”

Yuck

There is a wide variety of sausage in the local markets. On a whim, I decided to try some. I bought two varieties: a hot and spicy “garlic crispy”, and “special class ham” sausage. I thought that maybe one kind would be a good lunch meat option. Boy, was I wrong.

Do. Not. Eat. This.

Do. Not. Eat. This.

I could go into detail about how bad they tasted, but sometimes it’s better to leave the past in the past.

The Chinese people have no reason to fear a sausage shortage after a rush on the market from a certain bearded hungry foreigner.