Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Archive for March, 2015

Bus Cuts

Shatang (沙塘) is a small market town on the northern outskirts of Liuzhou, 18 kilometres from the city centre. It serves the local rural population and farming villages. Shops in the town mainly sell agricultural goods and tools. And cheap clothing. Unemployment is high and, most of the time, groups of young men can be […]

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Lost in Translation

A couple of nights ago, I took a short taxi trip home. The relatively young driver and I had a maybe 15 minute conversation. The usual questions. Where are you from? How long have you been in China? 18 years! You are joking! Where do you work? Blah! Blah! Blah! As we approached my destination […]

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It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas.

I know I’m getting repetitive in my old age, but this is important. Since January, Liuzhou has seen 412 cases of gas poisoning and 15 deaths.  All when showering. This will slow down now that it is getting warmer, but … If you want to stay alive, only use gas water heaters in well ventilated […]

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Global Garbage

Many years ago, I lived in Xi’an, Tang dynasty capital of China, now most famous for being home to the Terracotta Warriors. I loved the city, but it was time to move on. After a lengthy spell in the beautiful west of Hunan, I ended up in Liuzhou. One day, early on, I was standing […]

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The Sound of Silence

I’m well aware that I haven’t posted much recently. Largely because nothing officially happens during the Spring Festival. But happily, that is all over. Recent silence has been due to my main computer’s hard disk dying. RIP. And some low-life stealing my beloved camera. It has been an utterly shitty couple of months.  I won’t […]

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A Different Festival

Rongshui Miao Autonomous County (融水苗族自治县) lies to the north of Liuzhou city, but is under Liuzhou’s jurisdiction as part of Liuzhou Prefecture. It is a poor area, with around a 70% non-Han ethnic minority population. 40% are Miao. There is no real autonomy, of course. As with Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, autonomy just means that […]

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A Woman’s Place

Liuzhou celebrated yesterday’s International Women’s Day. Known in Chinese as 三八, it is taken relatively seriously through China, unlike in many western countries. Of course, Liuzhou celebrated by having the party-controlled trade unions hold a cooking competition! Get in the kitchen, bitch! How many women are in China’s politburo? Zilch. For an article on women […]

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Random Picture No 77 – Bomb

Bomb – Er Guo Tou (二锅头) – spirit made from sorghum. 56% alcohol by volume (ABV). Sold in 100 ml bottles. It probably isn’t a great idea to try to board a plane carrying this. Although it does smell like aeroplane fuel.

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LanternLess Liuzhou

Tomorrow (5th March) is the Lantern Festival, marking the end of the Spring Festival. In previous years the city has held lantern displays and competitions in various places, most notably Liuzhou People’s Square and Dong Men. This year, there will be none. The authorities have decided to cancel them all on grounds of safety following […]

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Motorcycle Crackdown

The above was a display which sat for a long time in what is now the lower stretch of Liuzhou city centre’s main pedestrian street (about opposite where the Starbucks is now). Clearly, it is a motorcycle road safety warning. Of course, it did nothing. Motorcycles remain utterly dangerous. Nearly every accident I have ever […]

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