Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mmmm... Thousand Island Dressing...

A couple weeks ago, Web International English (a school I work out part-time) was having some sort of promotion with BMW where some students and staff would take a weekend and go to a place called Qian Dao Hu, or "Thousand Island Lake." They wanted a foreign teacher to come along, and they asked me if I'd like to go, saying that all the expenses (travel, hotel, admissions, etc) would be covered. Since Jean had only just returned from a week visiting her best friend in Beijing, and having been gone for a month with her parents in Harbin before that, I wasn't really sure I wanted to spend a weekend without her. So, I asked them if it would be alright if Jean came along. It might not have been totally appropriate to ask that, but I figured, the worst they could say is "No," in which case I wouldn't go, and instead spend my time more happily with Jean.

To my surprise they said yes, and so we went. When leaving the group of us crammed into 4 BMW vehicles and began the three-hour drive to Chun An, the town that Qian Dao Hu belongs to. We arrived on a Friday night (I guess that would've been June 11, because the first game of the World Cup was that night), went out to dinner, and then went back to the hotel, as we'd be getting up early the next day to sight-see.

There's not a lot to say about the trip, but there was a lot to see so I'll put some pictures up here.

There are literally 1023 little islands or "islets" on this lake, and some of them are specialized. For example, there is a Snake Island:

(In these two pictures above, if you look closely you'll see there are a lot more snakes than at first glance.)

There is a Bird Island as well:

Also during the tour, on the snake island, we saw a show of some women dancing and singing, but they weren't exactly "women"... they were Thai lady-boys. It was a little weird (no photos allowed, unless you paid) and at one point one of them was singing a song, performing both the alto female part, and the tenor male part... disturbing.

In all, though, Qian Dao Hu was one of the more beautiful places I'd seen in China, and I'm glad we had the chance to go.

I did though come across a couple interesting instances of "Chinglish."

This was in front of the elevator in our hotel. Just a little incorrect grammar, but it still gets the message across.

This was taken on the boat on Qian Dao Hu. This one is not technically wrong. I looked it up in a dictionary, and "to speel" means "to climb, ascend, or mount." But I'd never heard it before and it sounds really funny.

(I came across a similar situation to the one above when I visited a Dinosaur Theme Park last year. There was a notice that said "Burgling is Forbidden Here." Not wrong, just sounds funny.)

This was in the bathroom in our hotel. Consume the Green!

This one we saw in the downtown area of Chun An. Many western stores' names becomes "Chinese-ified" in China. For example Adidas becomes "A Di Da Si" and Armani becomes "A Ma Ni." The store is supposed to be Manhattan (which in Chinese "should" be "Man Ha Dun") but as you can see here, its a far more hilarious transliteration.

This was not taken at Qian Dao Hu, rather in Huzhou. This is the name of a chain of stores that sells leather bags. I will make no comments.


  1. I have encountered a "chinglish" experience here in the States...or rather Vietlish! Where I go get my manicures, there is a drying machine to dry the nail polish. There are instructions on the machine that is meant to read "do not remove your hands out until...BUT it SAYS " do not remove out of your hands.....! :)
    I chuckle each time I have my nail polish dried cuz I am reading this while I sit there!!..each time!!!

  2. I chuckle too when I see these, then I remember most Americans speak only one language, and not very well.