Thursday, July 28, 2005

BEERFEST!

Last night was the opening night of the Dalian international beer festival. It was so much fun! We went down around 6 and the crowds were really just starting to form. It took place in XingHai park, the biggest park in the city and it was 20 RMB to get in ($3). It had everything you'd expect in a beerfest - stages with music, plenty of different beer vendors, food kiosks everywhere, giant inflatable beer bottles...

 

We took a seat at the Zhujiang beer area, simply because there was room. But it quickly filled up. In fact, probably within 20 minutes of us arriving, there were no seats to be found. The beer was good although a bit warm. Very low alcohol too, only %3.6. The atmosphere was fantastic. There were bands performing nearby, but luckily we weren't so close that we couldn't carry on a conversation. The weather was beautiful too, humid and warm, but with a gentle breeze that made it quite pleasant.

 

Carmen and I were a bit hungry, and we decided we were in the mood for these latticed type fries that we'd seen. So we pushed our way through the crowds, back toward the fry stand. The road was really congested by this point, and it was further than we remembered. We passed stalls selling fruit, meat kebabs, squid,  pork buns, and frozen snacks. Finally, the fry stand was the next one, just ahead of us.

 

The police chose that moment to pull up a barricade. No! Our fries were so close, yet out of reach. So we ordered some buns instead. The crowd was too dense for us to move through, so we just ate our food there. Unfortunately, the hoards of people kept pressing up against us, even though there was nowhere for anyone to go. It got worse and worse. More people were pushing forward, trying to get out of the mob. One lady kept calling to the police to please let her old mother stand on the other side of the rope, but it was no use. Occasionally the mass of people would sway and a great surge would thrust Carmen and I against the food stall to which we were already crushed. There were moments I actually felt nervous that there was going to be a stampede and people would get trampled to death. A few times the lurching throng pitched us so hard against the tables, that the whole stand almost went toppling down. On top of all this, there were a couple of moths that were fluttering under the roof. I began to panic if one flapped too closely, pushing back into the crowd, which only induced more dangerous pushing. Finally, we decided to make a move. We wiggled and pushed, got elbowed and stepped on, but slowly we made our way out of the pack. It was chaos. Fireworks were going off, people were shoulder to shoulder, and we (being quite short) could barely see where we were.

 

Eventually we made it back to the safety of our table and the comfort of our beers. We stayed til it closed at about midnight. Great fun - almost being flattened aside. My arm is still sore from being smahsed against the tent!

 

To make this a traditional Amanda style entry, I will have to mention the food! There was a great variety of stuff, various skewers of lamb, beef, squid, chicken heads and other unidentified items. Also meat buns, fries, rice-in-a-leaf things, fish, and whole crabs! Probably a bunch more I didn't see too. Here are a few pics, the rest are in the Dalian Beerfest album. Please check it out!


This is the Beck's area, with some happy man waving at us!

 

 

unable to move!

 

   

chicken heads, seaweed, squid,                          crabs!

lamb and  fish

20 comments:

Laoch said...

Foodfest! Major jealousy!!

hellachella said...

Fun! And scary. But mostly fun!

Carmey said...

I\'m still having nightmares about being trampled over!! We\'re lucking we didn\'t get pushed over and onto the other side of that bun table!! Love the blog... too lazy to write in mine lol!!! ;P

Megan said...

Ooh...chicken heads... ;)So what caused the smashing-together of people? Were they all trying to reach the fry-booth? :D

Rhiannon said...

I was wondering if you had tried chicken feet yet? My Husband is Chinese and his family loves them...me on the other hand.......not so keen.

monty said...

too much food + too much beer + too many people = indigestion ( I originally put "acid" but that\'s ambiguous ) . mmmm let me think . .... acid at a beer festival .......

Unknown said...

OMG!!!!!!! ... awesome!!!!! Wish I had been there!!!!Too cool!!!!!Hope you are having a great day ... night ... ehhhmm ... well whatever it is for you there now hehe!=PLooking forward to chatting again !GREAT pics BTW! xoxoxoxx

n said...

mmm...yer makin me hungry!!! just letting ya know that the blogger-q is this weekend (sunday) and i\'ve finally got my internet/phone service back, so the live webcam feed is a go for sure. i\'m not sure what the time difference there is or if it\'s even feasible for you...but if you\'d like in on the fun, let us know...we\'d love to have you!

Isabella said...

BEER and CRABS !! Whoooooooooot, Seriously jelouse, hehe.

Miss said...

Looks like I should go to Dalian instead of Wanzhou!! Very cool about the beer festival! Got to love it when alcohol and food is involved. Makes it a fun time for all!I was offered my old job back. They want me to come back to China! Told them I\'ll come back for more money!Wonder if they\'ll buy it!

Jade said...

wow, what a night! There were masses like that at the chinese new year in new york...freaky pushing & very forcefull- for now apparent reason! I wish I could get my hands on that seafood!Fantastic, keep it up!

NN said...

i never come to Harbin,but i wanna have a chance.i fine some pics of China in your blog,i think you are very special,cause you are the first one that i see online who lives in China and introuduces here to others.Maybe sometimes you write the bad places of Chinese,well,it\'s okay.That is what i think the good point of you,you give others the real life.Very good!people say you are American,yeah?Well,good space,i like.特别之人

Xuan said...

well,it\'s cool.so many people~

Rhiannon said...

lol yuck! silkworm? I can\'t say much because I was eating duck tongue and I didn\'t have a clue......yes ducks DO have tongues although I would imagine all the ducks it would take to have enough tongues for a meal! Anyways I love reading your blog, I always wanted to go teach English in China, and I get to sort of experience what it would be like through your blog! Xie Xie ni! lol

Philippe said...

Hello from Belgium,I discovered your space thanks to "Diamondg"...http://spaces.msn.com/members/diamondg/Hope you\'re fine...Have a nice day...Bye.Phil.

The Lovely Lindsey said...

As a Winnipegger, I love all the food pics...

NN said...

hi~me again.ennnnnnnnn,i live in Hebei province,my city is called Shijiazhuang,the capital of this province,very close to Peking(Beijing).Well,south of China,especially Shanghai is really goooooooooooood city in China,people call it Chinese big apple,but i think to some extent the city is too noisy and crazy.Maybe that is.So have a good trip!It\'s nice to see you online.=)

Unknown said...

.....oooO...................... (......)... Oooo.............).../. ...(.....)..............(_/.......).../........................ (_/..............just passing through......oooO....................... (......)... Oooo..............).../. ...(.....).......... .....(_/.......).../.......................... (_/............................................ to drop off some *HUGGLES*!

Laura said...

wow that looks totally wild! Wild\'n Fun =) Cheers babe!

Josie said...

wow sounds like a blast ..!! ..minus the squishing part .. :) ..at least no one grabbed your ass ...right? ...:)TTFn

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