Bye Bye QingDao

Our third day in QingDao (Thursday, August 8th)  started off with food once again!

Kai took us to a fish place, a specialty stewed fish place where the fish came out on little heated pans like below:

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It was pretty cool, because you could choose the fish and watch them kill it, and then 15 minutes later the fish came out like above. They then bring some noodle bunches and vegetables that they put them in the sauce around the fish and they wait for it to cook while we first eat the fish.  They also had really delicious bread (like pita bread).

We also had this drink (herbal tea) called Jia Duo Bao which was delicious cold! It’s a popular drink in China. :)

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On our way our of the restaurant we saw this interesting talent show going on downstairs:

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After “breaklunch” Kai took us to “Mini QingDao” which is this little island that you can get to by bridge. He was really looking forward to showing us this little cafe, which upon arrival we learned had closed down. :( But the island itself was really nice!
On our way there, we were driving along the coast and we could see all these rocks which I found beautiful, especially right up against the city like that:
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Mini QingDao had some very dramatic signs:

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The view from the island:

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Me, Grace, Kai, and Earnestine:

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Kai took me out onto this little pier that fisherman fished from, but it also had a great view of everything:

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View of the island from the pier:
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When we got back, I found Earnestine and Grace collecting sea glass so I did the same. :D

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After that, we headed over to Annvita Tea Room, an English Tea Shop that Kai said was one of the best in QingDao.
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Kai ordered his favorite Oolong Tea, Grace ordered some kind of marzipan milk tea, Earnestine ordered an Anti-Aging tea, and I ordered something with milk (already forgot but it was delicious!!). We all tried each other’s. :)
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We spent a nice time in the tea room, looking out the window (our table was right up against the window looking out over the marina) that Kai was very excited to sit at.
During our tea time, Kai got a call about his friend getting a fever and needing to go to the hospital, so we told him we would be ok on our own, and he dropped us off at this really swanky, fancy restaurant in which we had a private room and our own bathroom.  He told us to take our time, so we did, and sat there and ate for 4 hours. When we left, we were the 2nd to last people to leave, and our poor waiter was so relieved to see us finally leaving.

Anyway, this is what it looked liked!

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Clams:
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Shrimp cupcakes:
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More inky dumplings (anti-cancer!):
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Fried pork:

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FIsh:

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Dessert:

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So once we ate (we took an hour long break, sitting around on the couch and drinking our beer from fancy glasses, and then ate our second half of dinner because we were so full), we tried to as mentioned stick around as long as we could as we were waiting for Kai to come back. When we finally gave up keeping our waiter there for so long, we went outside and played some hand games:
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Until Kai came back and took us to eat MORE food! He came back expecting us to still be in the restaurant, because he was hungry for food. He had ordered take out before, but it was soup and they didn’t give him any soup or chopsticks so he couldn’t eat it and was starving at this point. So it was on to another restaurant for us!
This time he took us to his childhood friend’s restaurant, where he ordered a burger for himself and rose wine for us.
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He also got us some REALLY SPICY meat on a stick  (which he exclaimed excitedly as “BARBEQUE!”).
When we got into the car to head home, a motorcyclist hit Kai’s car as he was making a U-Turn, so we were all in shock as we watched Kai get out and pay the kid some money. When he came back he explained that the kid had no license, no light on his bike, but because he was young, Kai felt bad and gave him some cash. I was like what. I would not have given him anything, and even called the police to teach him a lesson and take away his license.
After that eventful ride home, we went to sleep and knew that our last day (Friday, August 9th) would be a calm one.

We started it off slow because Earnestine had a little bit of a stomach ache, and headed to the mall to walk around.  We bought some rings, and then stopped for lunch at a restaurant.  Then Earnestine started feeling really sick, and I tried to get some help from the waiters but the language barrier being what it is, they just smiled at me as I tried to wave them over to our table frantically. I don’t do well in these kinds of situations, but luckily everything resolved itself, and Kai came by, and took us all to the hospital so Earnestine could get some medicine and feel better.  It was super interesting being in a Chinese Hospital. They had a special medical treatment area for foreigners, and although Grace and I were hoping we would run into a pair of beautiful boy foreigners who’s friend coincidentally was also at the hospital there, we had no luck. We ran into a pair of scruffy looking Europeans whom we were scared to talk to, but soon enough Kai and Earnestine emerged and we began our walk over to our final food experience, Kai’s final reservation.

It was a hot pot place, and I had left my camera in the car so I unfortunately have no pictures (but I think I already bombarded you all with enough).  One really cool thing that I wish I could capture was this crazy guy that ran around with dough for noodles, waving it around like a ribbon and almost slapping people in the face with it as entertainment. He did it for our table and it was amazing. I might be able to find a picture of it through Grace’s photos, but I will check!

We shared that dinner with Kai’s friend who would later drive us to the airport and drop us off as we waited for our delayed flight to Xi’an.

I liked QingDao. :) I liked it a lot actually, and although I don’t miss the heat, I am really happy we went and visited.  We were given a lot of opportunities to check out some of the local restaurants with Kai, as well as some of the local sights. Kai also drove us basically everywhere, so it was really nice to not have to figure out subways, buses, etc by ourselves. It was really nice of him to do this. Actually everybody in China has so far been over the top nice to us and it is amazing! It really gives us a closer look at the culture and lives of these people, and prevents us from wandering around by ourselves, lost and confused, trying to avoid tourist traps.  I am going to miss Kai and his crocs, the endless amounts of seafood we ate, and the sea!
Anyway, although QingDao didn’t have the big attractions like the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army, it was still time well spent as we got to try new foods, new customs, and got more of a feel for China in a relatively laid back port city.
A
PS: Sorry about the rapid fire of these posts! I am trying to catch up to where I am right now, which is Xi’an! I am almost there!
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