Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Wet News

It has been an odd week in Liuzhou news. Here are a few of the highlights. In fact, only two are wet.

1. An 80+ year old man wet his pants while waiting for service in a Liuzhou bank. Yes, this made the local newspapers and prompted the editor into sending an unpaid slave intern to see if any banks had lavatorial facilities for customers. None had. Customers cannot use staff facilities for security reasons. Do banks anywhere usually have public toilets?

2. A middle aged woman decided on Friday to end it all and following usual Liuzhou practice jumped off Liujiang bridge into the river. Unfortunately for the woman, said to be in her 40s, a passing river bus rescued her against her will and she was finally dragged off to hospital, somewhat wet.

Rescued

Rescued

3. A Liuzhou woman has gone to court to claim compensation for her lack of a sex life. Her husband is unable to perform after being hit by a van while riding his e-bike and badly injured. Liuzhou Yufeng District People’s Court accepted the the case, reportedly the first time such a case has been allowed. Her husband’s claim for disability compensation was successful and the court awarded him 480,000元, to be paid by the van driver, his employers and their insurance company. His wife was awarded 70,000 for her loss of marital pleasures.

4. There have been complaints that many of the city’s green rental bikes are being vandalised. 17 were vandalised in just two days. Mainly, a case of  tires being deliberately slashed.

Friday Food Update

Sorry, no new post today, but I have updated Friday Food 75 – Chicken Skin Fruit after finding the fresh fruit in Lianhua supermarket. Normal service will be resumed next Friday.

Fresh Chicken Skin Fruit halved to show the fleshy interior

Fresh Chicken Skin Fruit halved to show the fleshy interior

Liuzhou Calls Interpol

廖荣纳

廖荣纳

Way back in early June I wrote about the scandal looming over Liuzhou company, Liuzhou Zhengling Group Company Ltd (柳州正菱集团有限公司) and its chairman, 廖荣纳, allegedly Liuzhou’s richest man and one of the richest in China, who is suspected of raising billions of yuan illegally.

Now it seems that Mr Liao has fled the country, along with his wife, and the local authorities have called on Interpol to issue a Red Notice for his arrest. They have also requested that his wife be arrested.

“Xinhua said police found more than 1,500 loan contracts, involving about 3.2 billion yuan ($520 million), as part of its investigation. As many as 600 creditors have registered with local public security agencies, and more creditors are expected to emerge, the news agency said.”

Liuzhou Internet Screwed Again

I don’t know what they are up to, but the internet from China Telecom is screwed up again.

At 14:27 today, service died completely for 13 minutes then was restored for a few seconds and then fully restored a couple of minutes later. At 15:27 (coincidence?) it died again, this time for about 5 minutes.  Since then, it has remained connected but is even more miserably slow than usual.

It is only three weeks since they lost it for seven hours, also on a Sunday. Seems Sunday is playing with the controls day.

 

Lord Love a Duck

Yesterday was the 14th day of the seventh month by the Chinese traditional calendar, the day the locals observe 中元节 or the Ghost Festival. (It is on the 15th day in other parts of China.)

Traditionally, people eat duck on this (and many other) festivals.

Reports are saying that the market price of ducks rose considerably in the last few days, almost certainly illegally.

Here one vendor is attempting to cool down his ducks by scattering ice over them. I often keep duck in the fridge, but not usually while it’s still alive.

ducks

For an explanation of the title of this post, see here.

Friday Food 133 – Dragon Fruit

Friday Food is an occasional article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This time we are fighting with dragons

I’m surprised I haven’t done this one before, but by special request here’s the deal.

Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is the fruit of a cactus and looks like it. The Chinese name is 火龙果 (literally ‘fire dragon fruit’), but nothing could be less fire-like. I first came across it in a horrible fruit salad at a Beijing hotel buffet. Dried out fruit which may have been fresh when Mao was a lad. Covered in Kewpie Sweet Mayonnaise. Truly foul.

But it looked kind of nice with its white flesh and black seeds. Later, I got to eat it on its own. It tastes, to be honest, of almost nothing. There are people think it similar to kiwi fruit, but I don’t believe them.

Yet it is very refreshing and certainly looks great, either in its full glory or just as cubed flesh.

About the same size as a large hand grenade, the beasts are native to Mexico, but were introduced to Taiwan by the Dutch. Long story. There are those who maintain that the Taiwan fruit is the best. I don’t believe them, either.

Pitaya

What is less well known is that there is a red fleshed variety.

Red Dragon Fruit 1

I am half convinced that the red one tastes exactly like the regular one, but the first time I ate it I could have sworn it had the earthy notes that you find in beetroot. The power of suggestion, methinks.

Whatever it does make a dramatic statement in a fresh fruit salad.

red dragon mango

Red Dragon Fruit. Mango and Lime

Incidentally, the marketing chaps are trying to convince us there is also a red kiwi fruit.

red kiwi fruit

About as red as the Chinese government. Not red at all.

Lamborghini Loser

I’ve been confused all day.

This morning I took myself for a stroll and, not far from home, came across this.

Lamborghini

Lamborghini

I mean, seriously, what kind of dickhead buys a Lamborghini in Liuzhou? Then drives it along the sidewalk at five miles an hour?

You may be tempted to answer, “One with money.” Wrong. He doesn’t have the money now. All he has is a second hand car. Depreciation – a wonderful concept. Anyway, it probably wasn’t his money in the first place.

Lamborghinis aren’t designed for sitting in Liuzhou traffic jams.  Nah! A Lamborghini is for driving on empty roads with she who, in my youth, was epitomized by Julie Christie (substitute your own teenage fantasy), sitting beside you with her hair streaming behind her and the promise of … well, you know what I mean.

And they are designed for people who can drive, so that rules out anyone in Liuzhou.

I bet everything I own, the numbskull can’t reverse into a parking space without a guide..

Me jealous? Not at all. I’ve got my bus pass.

I wonder how much the number plate cost?

P.S.

When I was a teenager I totally lusted after Ms. Christie. Many years later, I went to the Almeida Theatre in London (a tiny, but wonderful, 300 seat place) to see Hamlet starring somebody famous, illustrous even and certainly well worth seeing. I can’t remember who*. He ended up in Harry Potter movies, but who didn’t?

To my utter astonishment Ms. Christie, still stunning, was sat next to me. I can’t remember a thing about the performance. I just sat there twitching for hours. Long play that Hamlet. Awestruck wasn’t a strong enough word. I never said a word to her, but she said “Excuse me” to me at one point. Best play I ever went to.

So here, with no apologies whatsoever, is a totally gratuitous picture.

jc

*Alan Rickman

Glowing Zebras

The traffic authorities are still wittering on about their “Courtesy at Crossings” drive. They have pulled off two stunts in the last couple of days.

First they came up up with the idea of repainting the crossings with luminous paint (but with all the usual characteristics employed by local painters. Slap the paint somewhere in the vicinity of where it’s meant to be then bugger off home without cleaning up.)

7221406414939437

This crossing is one I use regularly.

Then they came up with another great idea. Let’s get a picture of some cars courteously stopped at a zebra crossing to let pedestrians pass. Even better, make it expensive luxury cars. So here it is

11781406497378353

Of course, it is totally fake.

What I’d like to see is the cops actually doing something useful, like moving this idiot who parks his car on a crossing every day while he is at work, blocking all access for pedestrians for at least eight hours a day. He’s not the only one. It is normal.

DSC00603

DSC00604

No chance. Despite all their posturing, nothing changes.

Stunned Zebras

96301406238458899

I actually read this earlier tonight, but had to go have a lie down. The shock was too much.

It seems someone may have read my foul-mouthed rant the other day (for which I have no intention of apologising).

In a total break with years of stupidity tradition, the cops for once are laying off the pedestrians. On Thursday at the junction of Guangchang Lu (广场路) and Jiefang BeiLu (解放北路), where Liuzhou Museum is, the traffic cops started lecturing car drivers, suggesting that it might be polite not to mow down pedestrians on marked crossings.

Considerate and courteous drivers were awarded little stars, like some infant school class getting their homework right. Actually, they weren’t stars at all, but thumbs. Perhaps free life membership of McCartney’s fan club. Who knows?

Of course it will never catch on, but at least they made the effort and can now forget all about it until the next five-year plan.

Guangxi Cop Executed

Hu Ping sentenced to death.A Guangxi policeman has been executed for shooting and killing a pregnant noodle seller while he was drunk.

Hu Ping, formerly of the public security bureau of Pingnan county, shot the woman and her husband in October of last year. The husband suffered minor injuries but his wife and unborn child were killed.

Hu was sentenced to death by Guigang District court in February, but appealed. Guangxi’s Higher People’s Court  upheld the sentence in April, but, as required by Chinese law, the case was sent to the Supreme Court in Beijing who gave the final ruling that the execution go ahead, as it did on Tuesday.

The reports don’t say where the execution took place, but there is a strong possibility it was here in Liuzhou. Guangxi’s executions are usually carried out here.


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