One Year in China

As of September 1st I’ve been in China for one year. It’s been an awesome experience, I regret nothing. I’ve made strong friendships, connections, and met a wonderful girl who gets cuter every day. It’s been months since my last blog post; I worked every day in the summer, then I had to scramble to fix some visa issues. Last week I traveled during the Chinese National Holiday, so I finally feel like I have enough decent photos to make a blog. I won’t be wordy, check captions below photos for info. Hope you enjoy it!

Not zombies, just people awaiting the opening of the grocery store I used to live above. I was trying to cut through the building to save time, came to find this door locked. I guess they don’t know about the back door, lol.

L2R: visiting my friend’s university dorm | dude I bought huoshao  from for a while | containers sitting outside the water filling place.

late night street massage | a strange scene after a late night BBQ bout

Guy tied by a rope climbing back into my room from the outside window from on the 28th floor. I needed more freon in my air conditioner.

Part of the city wall.

I just have to take a moment to let you all know: diapers don’t exist here. Kids not old enough to use the potty wear these pants with slits in them, so they can go to the bathroom wherever and whenever they’d like, and believe me: they do.

180 degree panorama from V1 Plaza in downtown Weifang. West side of the river, looking east.

A delicious pot-luck dinner full of foods I miss!

The Backyard, a bar my friend owns, celebrated it’s 6-month anniversary with a big party, red carpet and all. It’s definitely the best bar in town, if only for one reason: I can play any music I want!

180 degree panorama from the 32nd story roof of Tesco in downtown Weifang, facing west.

Part of our group had dinner at the local French restaurant.

Sahil’s dog Jenny got a much needed haircut.

I was contacted by someone who wanted a foreigner in their advertisement. It paid, and was something different, so I said why not!

There was a Taiwanese food expo so I went and checked it out. Here’s some guy posing with I have no idea, but I’m sure it has some historical / cultural significance.

A few weeks ago there were some anti-Japanese / boycott protests, the first time I’ve ever seen a demonstration first hand here, although by the time I got over to where it was, because of road closures due to the protests, it had mostly disbursed. Read about the disputed islands here.

Chinese National Holiday, a week off from work, and even though it’s one of the absolute worst times to travel, because hundreds of millions of people are also doing so, I had to seize the opportunity because I no longer work only on weekends. Here’s the scene at one of the main shopping centers downtown.

Nicole and I headed south to Jiangsu Provence to check out Nanjing, Suzho and the surrounding areas.

Nanjing City Wall

Because Nicole had gone to college here, she knew where all the best spots to eat were, and more importantly, because it was peak travel season, the non-touristy areas.

in the middle: duck blood soup

This Kung Fu themed restaurant was awesome. There’s no menu, you just tell them what you don’t like, and they bring you food. If you try it and don’t like it, they’ll throw it away in front of you. I doubt that ever happens though, because it was really delicious. I think more restaurants should be like this, it sure speeds up the ordering process! Also, the whole dialogue within the restaurant is specialized; for example, if you ask for chopsticks or a spoon, they won’t give it to you. Instead, you must ask for a ‘weapon’. If you want more water, it’s not called water, it’s ‘energy’ – and loads of others that I wasn’t able to pick up on. It was great.

Sunset on the Nanjing Massacre Museum. Read about the massacre here, if you’re not familiar with it. It’s a large reason for many Chinese people’s negative feelings towards Japanese.

Confucius Temple

We headed to Suzho and took a bus to this ancient village of Tongli.

Water reflecting onto the buildings.

Ancient Chinese sex museum. Quite interesting.

Hungry fish!

delicious pastry | pig elbow | breakfast roll; black rice, egg, salty breadstick

some kind of plant root that you can peel the outer shell and eat

Don’t forget to check out the subsequent pages to see earlier blog posts!
Until next time!


Facebook comments:

15 Responses to “One Year in China”
  1. Gay Chevara says:

    Fantastic pictures. I haven’t been to Tongli for many years and it’s not far from Shanghai.

    Great stuff. Congratulations on your first year – you are now an ‘old china hand’!!

    • phlezk says:

      thank you! yeah, I didn’t make it to Shanghai this time, but intentionally, not the best time to be in an already crowded city! I checked out a post of yours — how long have you been teaching here?

  2. ron says:

    Excellent photos. You should show some more photos from weifang. It looks like quite a quaint city.

  3. Jason says:

    Love the pictures of the naked babies in front of food areas and kids with slits in the pants sitting on benches and being held by their parents. It just further passes fecal matter everywhere. This describes the Chinese culture so well related to their child care & cleanliness. They are too poor to put diapers and too lazy to wrap their children in cloth diapers so they just let them piss and shit all over the place and spread hepatitis. Glad to see you have a Chinese GF, if you do have children with her someday please do not let her encourage them to piss and shit openly in public. It does nothing but further set back their culture. I have been here 2 years and am so sick of this kind of activity that parents encourage.

  4. Harsh says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Great storytelling. Almost seems like your readers went on the journey with you.

  5. Besudesu says:

    Beautiful pictures!! I’m spending a year abroad myself right now… time sure does fly doesn’t it?

  6. The Kung-Fu restaurant sounds awesome!
    And how do they condone the children pooping just anywhere? I mean, do the street cleaners take care of it at night or what? So strange. Are diapers just extra, unnecessary garbage for them to deal with?
    I love the photo of the candy-making process where the little girl has her arms spread out like a dragonfly while the person is making the dragonfly candy. Such a great photo angle :)
    The ancient Chinese sex museum looks quite interesting!
    The last photo of the temple is awesome; the skyscrapers look so concrete while the temple is embellished with vines and plants. Great juxtaposition!
    You rule <8

    • phlezk says:

      It was awesome!

      Yeah, I mean, pooping is more rare, but peeing is very normal. The cleaners yeah or just the rain/wind/etc.

      It’s actually an old building on Nanjing University campus, a lecture hall I think. But yeah the old vs. new thing.

      Thank you so much, dear! I always love your thoughtful comments.

  7. Misha says:

    Amazing!! So glad you got to have all these experiences :)

  8. 王开全 says:

    Wow。。。Photo fucking stick! 潍坊是个好地方 以后常来 : )

  9. Graham says:


    I know some of the people in your pictures.

    On of the guys in a group shot is Richard, wears glasses,
    I lived in Weifang for 4 years with my Chinese wife, so know almost all your Weifang images,

    Email me back and we can swap some images.


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