Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Old Liuzhou in Pictures No. 4

In the autumn of 1928, a fire broke out in Liuzhou destroying two thirds of the city. Over 200 people were killed and hundreds injured. Over 2,000 homes were destroyed and the disaster is said to have affected 20, 000 people.

This is referred to in Chinese as the “1928年柳州著名的  “火烧半边城” 事件” (The 1928 Liuzhou Famous “Burning Half the City” Incident.

This is a map of the city shortly after the fire. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Cincinnati – Liuzhou Sister City 30 Year Celebration

Liuzhou has been celebrating 30 years as a “sister-city” to Cincinnati. The very active partnership has long been focused on teacher exchange, library cooperation, parks planning and even chef exchange. In addition to celebrating the past, the two cities signed a memorandum of understanding to extend the partnership over the next ten years.

Cincinnati – Liuzhou Sister City Committee Chair, Joe Hamrick and Zhang Jialei, Deputy-Director of Liuzhou Governments Foreign Affairs Office at signing ceremony.

Beth Hoffman, Founding President of Cincinnati-Liuzhou Sister City Committee speaking in Longtan Park where there has been cooperation on park.

Old Liuzhou in Pictures No. 3

On the night of November 8th, 1944, the Hunan-Guangxi Railway Administration ordered that the railway bridge over the Liujiang be destroyed to prevent its use by the approaching Japanese army. The iron bridge was blown up into several sections.

The bridge was rebuilt in the 1950s and is still in use.

Melted Butter

For several decades, this shop has been situated just off Longcheng Road (龙城路), in the city centre. I have certainly been shopping there for over twenty years. Known to most laowai as “the butter shop”, back then it was the only shop in Liuzhou to sell anything vaguely western: cheese, butter, olives, canned tuna, anchovies, capers, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce etc. It also carried an excellent range of flours, including high gluten bread flour.

When I passed today, I found it gone! Melted away in the night. Initially I was hoping they were just refurbishing, but a peek through the awning revealed the entire building to have been totally gutted.

In retrospect, I had noticed that lately they weren’t re-stocking some things when they sold out, but as this is quite common all over Liuzhou, I didn’t read too much into it.

I hope they reappear somewhere, but I’m not optimistic.

Fortunately we have more choices now, and there is always Taobao.

Clinton Beer

Guilin based brewery, Liquan, producers of the most available beer in Guangxi have issued a premium beer to mark 20 years since then President Bill Clinton made a very brief visit to the city. Spent around 5 minutes in Yangshuo.

Oddly, on the rear label, is this supposed quote from Clinton (in his hand-writing?) which makes no sense.

The Chinese makes sense. The English doesn’t. “Acting a good example?” Maybe Bill just spoke great Chinglish?

Anyway, you want to know about the beer. Tastes the same as all their beer does. Nothing special.

It comes in a 500ml bottle or  a 965ml bottle. Bizarrely BuBuGao is selling the 500ml for ¥6 and the 965ml for ¥13.50. Save money and get more by buying two small bottles instead. Duh!

Smoke Weed

I am fairly certain the owners of this shop in the underground mall beneath the city centre have no idea what this means.

Supreme! I am especially glad the designer was too stoned to spell “Every Day” correctly.

Still,  I’ve seen worse over the years. The girl walking along the street with the T-shirt proclaiming “Great Boobs”. They didn’t appear so. Or the other young lady who was announcing to the world “I Fuck!” Whether that was true or not, I never ascertained.

Toilet Untroubled

Some in the Bureau of Excretory Affairs obviously reads this blog. Not 24 hours after I posted my last effort about the public loo, this morning I walked past and found

a) It has re-opened.

b) They have had a second attempt at  spelling TOILET and, this time, got it right.

c) Sort of corrected the ‘third party’ nonsense to say it is the “Third Public Toilets” Not sure what the yare trying to say, but it is the third version of this particular toilet, I’ve seen.

Toiet Trouble

For as long as I’ve been in Liuzhou, and probably far longer, there has been a public convenience at the northern end of what is now the city centre pedestrian street. Years ago it was a notorious “cottage“, but it was demolished and rebuilt a few years back.

Over the last month or so, they have decided to remodel it again. Not sure why.

One problem the place had, like so many such places, was that the average visit for women took a lot longer than that for men. Whether the restyle is an attempt to address that, I don’t know.

It is still not open, but so far as I could see. the men’s area has been moved to the first (ground) floor and the women’s upstairs, the opposite of the last two versions.

Unfortunately, they have re-branded it a “TOIET” whatever that means.

They also announce that it is a third party toilet facility. I prefer not to use a third party when visiting, thank you.

Apologies for the shitty picture, but it was sunny and where else would you expect to find shit.

Where Am I?

A couple of people have asked where I have disappeared to. The short story is that I’ve been in Vietnam for a couple of weeks on business, but am now back in Liuzhou. Normal or abnormal service will resume.

Old Liuzhou in Pictures No. 2

A group of newly graduated middle school students / red guards gather for a picture with the Chairman. All clutching their Little Red Books.

Like the first in this series, this was taken in Liuzhou People’s Square, but earlier. 1968


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