Thursday, July 06, 2006

Having fun in Harbin

Chinese performer
Teaching can be fun but let's face it, it is also a lot of work. There are lots of things to do in Harbin and one of my favorite things to do is to take a taxi to the older part of Harbin by the Songhua river. There is a street called Center street. As with many cities the river has been and continues to be a vital part of the economy and this is the historic center of Harbin. Harbin was the eastern terminal of the Trans Siberian Railway, so the Russians have been here for a long time. There are many Russian building in Harbin and some of the nicest ones are here on Center street. It is a 4 or five block stretch of shops and wonderful architecture. You have the multi-national businesses here like KFC and McDonalds and you will recognize some of the major labels in clothing too. Basically it's a shopping paradise. There are no cars on this street, it is for strolling, there is only one street that crosses the large cobblestones that the Japanese put in during their occupation.

Many people who you meet might assume you are Russian at first, assuming you are a Caucasian. Although many are now good at spotting the differences between the Russians and the American, Aussies, Brits, or Canucks that populate the teaching ranks. I do frequently get asked if I am Russian, to that I say "Wo shi Mei Gua Ren".

today's pictures are from Center street. It was the 4th of July back home so I was in a mood to get out, cut loose a little, so Michele and I jumped in a taxi. The street is wide and the streets that meet have no cars. The street basically is one block and the cars are a block away from you, so you have side streets that have different shops or in this case a beer garden. Harbin beer is the oldest in China and in my opinion the best, and most everyone enjoys beer. In the summer performers will take to the portable stage. Here we have some beautiful Russian girls doing their thing. You will also find Russian performers at the discos or nightclubs. Chinese seem to love a show and this one is free at Center street. The area was upgraded this year and now has a canopy over the area with a beer station in the center. The outer edges of the street area have single vendor food booths. You may want to try some barbecued lamb, or oysters, noodles, or knaw on some boney pieces of chicken. There is a wide variety of choices. Have a pitcher of beer for 10 yuan and enjoy the show, both on the stage and in the audience.

Chinese performerChinese children
Be good to yourself and to others.
Add to My Yahoo!
Worldtour aka Larry Rhoe


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