Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Qingdao Market

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We decided we haven't spent enough money on goods so Ruth and Lynn found yet another market in Qingdao.

This one is the best so far. No pushiness, no grabbing, no yelling. Just a simple stroll through floors and floors of goods. Everything you can imagine is for sale here too. China has lots of goods for sale. It's a buyer's market.

Ruth has been looking for a pearl necklace so finally got one here. Lynn said they were so cheap she got one too. Our driver, on loan from Bill's company, took us to the market and then back to get something to eat. Of course, I needed a Starbucks fix.

While we ate, he went out and had our chops (Chinese stamps) carved by computer. Very professional. Even though I bought a stone chop in Yongshuo, the sculpted wooden chops of a horse and lion were very cool. They came with a magnetic cap so you don't get ink all over the desk.

We got some pictures printed of the folks we met in the villages and had the concierge print the Chinese addresses on the envelopes. I think village folks will get a kick out of having a picture of themselves and their child. I'd love to visit them again some day to see if they still have it displayed in their homes. We didn't see any photographs displayed anywhere in their homes. They are very poor farmers.

At the Kodak printing store I had a little trouble communicating with the Xiaojie (Miss) about what images I wanted, how big, and how many. To make matters worse my computer generated the the images from RAW format but didn't add the JPG suffix so their programs couldn't read them. "Wo Keyi ma?" (Can I?) is a great phrase to memorize because I showed her how to add the suffix and she was ecstatic. After that it was a breeze to get the pictures printed. I think I had 10 4x6 pictures printed for just a $2. She even cropped them for me. When she got the crop right I'd say: "Hao de." (That's good.) I learned that from the guy in front of me.

By the evening we didn't want to go out again. We had cocktails in the lounge and tried the Korean restaurant in the hotel. This hotel looked like it may have been a five star some years ago but I think they may have lost some of the stars since. The Korean restaurant was quiet so we went in and ordered. The strange thing was that no matter what we ordered they would point to the same picture on the menu. (Again, no one speaks English.) "Michael Jackson xi huan." (Michael Jackson likes this one.) So we took that as a hint that we ought to order the one dish. We did, but when it came it didn't look like the picture we had been pointing to. Lynn called the waitress over while Bill rolled his eyes. "It's okay Lynn. You will not be able to communicate what you want anyway. Let's just eat this." When the waitress came over and Lynn pointed out that the food "bu yiyang" (not the same) as the menu the waitress said: "It's only a picture, not the real thing." Oh, that explains it then.

But it was food and it wasn't bad. The wasabi (Japanese green hot paste) was the most potent I've ever had. I nearly burned out my sinuses. Yikes!

"Adventure is worth while in itself." -Amelia Earhart
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