Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Ironman 70.3

If you are like me, you probably thought what does Ironman 70.3 mean. That source of all human knowledge (not) Wikipedia informs me that

An Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The “70.3” refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run

Apparently, it is coming to Liuzhou on April 14th.

Swim Course

Bike Course

Run Course

I have no idea who drew the maps, but that island (萝卜洲 or Radish Islet) to the north of Wenchang Bridge is nowhere near that size! Here is a better illustration.

Anyway more on the event here.

The Welsh Have Come

Following my recent mention that the Welsh football team were to arrive in Nanning, I can now tell you that they have duly done so.

These exclusive photos are from my spy in Nanning’s Wanda Hotel, where the team is staying.

The team was met as usual by some of the more alluring female staff members dressing up in “traditional” costumes and pretending to members of various local ethnic minorities.

My spy, a friend, is one of the more alluring of the more alluring. She is in the picture above, but I won’t embarrass her.

None of these women actually normally work as reception staff. My friend, for example, is a catering manager. Still, they enjoyed it. And, no doubt, so did the team.

Random Photograph No 94 – Good Cop, Bad Cop?

Random Picture No. 94 is one in a series of pictures, taken in Liuzhou, which amuse, baffle or otherwise interest me.

Xinhua Book Store, Wuxing, Liuzhou

No News

南国今报, (Southern Daily News is the most popular local newspaper here in Liuzhou – much more so than the deadly dull Liuzhou Daily.

But yesterday, along with every other newspaper in China, it didn’t say much about local news as it was obliged to report on Xi Jinping’s “unanimous” re-election as president of China and chairman of the military commission, after rewriting the constitution to let him keep the job for life.

As with all newspapers yesterday, the front page carried his heavily Photo-shopped face in true cultural revolution style (in Mao’s time they would have airbrushed him – same thing.)

The accompanying text states that he was elected in accordance with “the common will of the whole party, the whole army, and the entire people”.

Good job!

Except no one ever actually asked the common people or the army or even the whole party, although I’d concede that most would do what they are told to do. As ever, the top guys vote for themselves. No one else gets a look in.

The newspaper continues with seven pages of guff about this, which few readers will manage to stay awake through reading, which is exactly what they want.

The Welsh are Coming

I read on the British embassy website that the Welsh football team are coming to Nanning this month to thrash the Chinese national team (everyone does, so it’s no major achievement).

What concerns me though is that I have some friends in Nanning who are excellent English speakers, unlike the Welsh. My poor friends are going to be baffled and wonder what East European language they are speaking. I have warned them!

The embassy has issued one of its regular travel advice notices which is here.

Unfortunately, they fail to warn the supporters that it may not be a good idea to get tanked up on baijiu, either before or after the game.

Before, you start tearing me apart in the comments, I love the Welsh accents and Wales has produced some the greatest orators, actors and writers in English,  I know. Thank you!

#MeToo Liuzhou

A bartender in a Liuzhou bar called police himself to ask for assistance after he felt in danger from a group of women, one of whom he had sexually molested by grabbing hold of her breast.

The group of women, described in sexist terns in local newspaper reports as “young and pretty female customers” were drinking on Feb 20th in an unnamed bar on Qinyun road (青云路 qīng yún lù) in the  city centre, when one of them accidentally bruised herself. In an effort to help their friend, some of them went to the bar to ask for some ice to apply to their friend’s face. It this point the barman, only identified as a Mr. Li, reached out and took hold of one woman’s right breast.

The woman angrily demanded an apology, but Li just walked away. Soon he realised that the women were not going to just accept his behaviour and feared that he was about to get beaten up, so he called the police.

When police arrived, Li confessed that he had inappropriately touched her, but claimed that when he saw the “beautiful, young” woman” he could not help but touch a bit. He said that he did not expect such a touch to lead to so much trouble.

He has been charged with obscene behaviour and is being held for five days.


Narcotic Noodles

A Liuzhou noodle shop owner has been jailed for six months and fined ¥10,000 after being caught adding opium poppy seeds to his Luosifen 螺蛳粉 and Guilin rice noodles 桂林米粉.

In December 2016, he heard that adding the seeds would make for more repeat custom, so in July 2017 he bought a two kilogram sack of the seeds and began adding them to his broth. Suspicious customers reported his shop to the authorities who raided and found 1.6 kilos of seeds remaining.

He was charged with violating State regulations on food hygiene by adding toxic and harmful non-food materials during food processing and sales. The acts “constituted the crime of producing and selling poisonous and noxious foods” and so he was found guilty and sentenced.

54 Drunks

Liuzhou police stopped and breathalysed an undisclosed number of drivers over the Spring Festival between February 12th and 20th. 54 drivers failed the test, with one recording 115 mg/100 ml (the legal limit is 80 mg). Most were given 12 penalty points, banned from driving for 6 months and a ¥1000 fine.

A derisory punishment. Until they start handing out meaningful punishments for drunk driving, the situation will never change.

Dumb Phone – Failed

As usual, with everyone bored to death by the third day of the Spring Festival, they are resorting to their “smart” phones to pass the time. As usual, this has led to the system overloading and failing as often as not.

I’m with China Mobile, although I suspect it’s not with me. All weekend, service has been sporadic, often dropping out all together. Their e-mail service has been severely curtailed. I can receive little and cannot send any message with an attachment over around 100Kb. Normally, I can send up to 10Mb.

It will pass, I know, but will they admit to their system failing or offer refunds on the service fees? Don’t be silly.

Meanwhile, China Telecom’s internet service is functioning fine. So, I am sending and getting my emails – just not when I want to.


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