Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Hello, Goodbye

A thing of beauty.

A thing of beauty. “No” votes in red; “Yes” in green

It has been a roller-coaster few days. I’ve gone from anxiety, through trepidation to elation. Then to loss and sadness.

Thursday-Friday night I couldn’t sleep for worrying that my home country was about to commit suicide.

I haven’t lived there for decades, but I still care.

All day Friday, I was on Twitter and the BBC, mapping each result as they came in, electoral district by district. By the time 26 of the 32 had declared it looked highly unlikely the the independence voters would win. By the 31st declaration it became impossible for them to win, even if the last district voted 100% for independence, which was never going to happen – they voted “No”

Only four districts voted “Yes”. One was Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city where 75% of the population is permanently drunk. Of that 75%, one third thought they were voting for their favourite football team, another third thought the question was “Would you like another pint, Jimmy” and the remainder were just anti-English bigots.

To be fair, some of the “No” voters weren’t entirely sure what they were voting for either or what question they were answering. A substantial number thought they were entering pleas. Do you plead “Guilty”?


Two other districts voted “Yes” because they secretly think they are part of Glasgow anyway.

The city of Dundee also voted “Yes”, but Dundee isn’t just another city; it’s another planet, so forget about them.

So Friday night I slept better, but not perfectly.

I have known for months that, at noon on Saturday, I had to have lunch with my best friend in Liuzhou. That is usually a very good thing, but this time it was a farewell lunch. She is off to the USA to study and I’m going to miss her so much. I’m happy she has the opportunity to go and I’m proud of her, but…

Bizarrely, for a Chinese girl woman, she chose Japanese as her last lunch (for a while). So we hit the nearest conveyor belt, but when she wasn’t paying attention (she was on her phone) I ordered a big plate load of sashimi.

sashimi 2


At 12 o’clock we have raw Scallops, then moving clockwise, Surf Clam (Hokkigai), Herring*, Salmon, Octopus, and Shrimp. In the lower centre is Mackerel and above it Crab Roe served in a half lemon shell. All raw.

We also had small plates of raw tuna sashimi, baby squid in a gingery sauce, red snapper sushi, crab sushi, goose liver sushi and unidentified frying object sushi from the conveyor belt. And pickled ginger as a between item taste cleanser. Oh, and tea.

We then said a sad goodbye. Tears were shed.

One thing expatriates get used to is saying “goodbye’. People come and go. But until recently, Chinese friends mostly stayed. Not so much now. I’ve had three friends leave this month. Was it something I said?

*The company website describes this as ‘herring’, but I’m far from sure. The Chinese (希鲮鱼 ) translates as ‘rare dace’, but I don’t think it’s that either. It was good whatever it was.

. This entry was posted on Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 7:35 pm and is filed under Food and Drink, International News, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Hello, Goodbye”

  1. Neil Maxwell Says:

    Dear Laowai,
    Thanks for your comments on your homeland referendum. My 4 or 5 Scottish friends in Australia would have voted NO even though they are Glaswegians. They are also not drunkards, well not often. They are also well over 70 year s old and fairly conservative about big changes in government.

  2. Paul Says:

    Divorce is never nice or easy and the feeling in my circles seemed to be, hope Scotland stays but if not it’s not a disaster. Anyway now the fun really starts with arguments over more powers to Scotland and England, it could still end in tears. The photos of the Jap food look enticing, must try some one day.

  3. Glenys Says:

    On our visit to Kunming we were taken to a special mushroom restaurant. When we used our translator for the names of the dishes they all came out as edible fungi. It was three years before we found out that what we were eating was truffles!
    Your ‘herring’ may be more interesting than you think!

  4. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    I’d be very surprised if they were, in fact, truffles. Chinese truffles are terrible. They taste of nothing, and most are exported to France as fake European truffles.

    Here is my translation of the menu at one of those special mushroom restaurants.

    The full thread contains information on such things, and details what is available.

    You may also want to read this blog about identifying food.

  5. David Says:

    75% seems a tad unfair Ken , every self respecting Glaswegian I know would claim a minimum of 85% …’ve been away too long ! Strange how the result seems obvious after the event . Most of my fellow English are just irritated that we had no vote on the issue otherwise it’d probably been a far closer call ….
    God , the sight of that sushi (?) made my mouth water ! Nice photograph , trying to choose between that and one of the bridges as this weeks screensaver ….. Nahh , gonna stick with the dancing police ladies !

  6. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    I haven’t lived in Glasgow since 1976.

    You are annoyed at not having a vote? I am Scottish and didn’t have a vote, yet many English people did. The only qualification was being in Scotland on the day.

    No, the picture is not sushi. It’s sashimi. Which is why I described it as sashimi.

    Hands off the police ladies. They are mine!

  7. David Says:

    What I meant that most of my English chums would’ve voted FOR partition !!! Not me of course
    Yes yes of course sashimi . Sushi troubled me as I wrote it .
    is that EVERY police lady ??? Greedy

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