Steve's China Blog

Sunday, April 23, 2006


This weekend seemed to have revolved around tea. I had not planned it that way... it is just the way things turned out. First, a quick history lesson...

Dalian is considered a new city, especially when compared to the rest of China, and has only been around for a century or two. During that time it has been occupied by both the Japanese and the Russians, so you can see a lot of Russian architecture here. Also, Mao preferred Russian style buildings as opposed to traditional Chinese buildings so you see a lot of them here and in other newer cities. There is one street here where all of the buildings were built by the Russians and it is now a tourist trap called Russian Street (below).

Saturday afternoon I met up with a friend of mine and we went to visit Russian Street. Neither of us had been there before so we were not sure what to expect. Sure enough, it's a long street with a bunch of buildings that were built by Russians. In almost every building is a store. Most of them sold the same stuff, most of which is (you guessed it) Russian. Vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, dolls, watches, binoculars, jewelry, etc... They also had a lot of those little wooden dolls that you open up to reveal another little doll, which has another little doll, etc... I think they are called nesting dolls.

In the middle of all of these stores was a Chinese tea shop. Since Kaoruko and I like tea we spent a lot of time in here. We sampled a few types of tea and I ended up buying some bi lo chun (spring green tea), some xiuqiu jasmine tea, and some osmanthus oolong tea. Osmanthus is a type of flower mixed with the oolong tea to make it taste smoother. Here's a picture of Kaoruko and I (on the right) sampling some of that tea...

After leaving Russian Street we went to a Spanish restaurant nearby called Tapas. We got there a little early so we just snacked and talked for awhile. It was a really nice place, and the food we had was really good. The sangria was a little pricey, but it was good and I am hoping we will get a chance to go back there for dinner sometime.

On Sunday I went shopping for more pictures for my apartment, but ended up finding a really nice tea set. In another place I found a really nice tea set tray. I also found another picture for my apartment. It's more like a display of old looking peices of jade. I think it should look pretty nice on the dining room wall near the tea set.


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