Today I finally went to an electronics store and bought a card reader so that I can download pictures from my camera to my computer. I was worried it would be an expensive piece of equipment…but turned out to be 25 kuai (about US$3)! Hooray! So prepare yourself for lots of pictures in my next few posts.
Here is a picture of some fellow English teachers on the light rail. As you can see it is pretty crowded… but it gets a lot worse during rush hour! It is clean, air conditioned, and takes us from where we live into the city center, and only costs 1 kuai. (A great bargain!) David is the guy not looking at the camera in the red tshirt, Margaret (my roommate) is right in front of him, Eric is the tall guy across from her, and Matt is in the foreground.
On this particular trip we were heading towards the city center to go to Dalian’s Olympic Square (奥林匹克广场）. I’m not exactly sure why it is called the Olympic Square (maybe it had something to do with the Beijing 2008 Olympics?) but it has a big statue of the Olympic rings surrounded by lots of concrete, some soccer fields, and I can’t really remember what else. However, at one corner of the Olympic Square is Walmart. Yes, there is Walmart in China. I was very curious to check it out. It was very similar to Walmart in the US in some ways. When you walk in, there is a greeter, followed by the fresh produce and food sections. Further back in the store are the electronics, household items, clothing, sporting goods, and pretty much anything else you could ever want.
As with Walmart in the US, we were met with long lines at the checkout counter. We only had a few things to buy, but there is no express lane for 10 items or less! Womp womp. The guy in the poster is Mr. Sam Walton himself. Next to him was a timeline of Walmart’s history, as well as a counter showing how many stores Walmart has in China (over 100!). Well that’s all for now. Check back again soon for some pictures of my apartment and the university where I teach.