China Anecdotes and Antidotes    |    Home

Dongying Trivia

This list was originally made for the first round of teachers coming to work at my school, a franchise of Shane English Schools, to give them a better idea of the city they would soon be calling home.

1) The city is just about 20 years old.  It was founded and developed because of the Shengli Oil Field.  Consequently, everything in town is named Shengli something-or-other.

2) The population of the city is around 2 million, which in China counts as a level just above “village.”

3) The city has a lot of great seafood restaurants, but I believe the ocean is at least an hour's drive away.

4) Dongying means "East Encampment" (such as a military one).  Ying is also a verb that means "to run a business."

5) The city has not one but two KFC franchises and at least 3 "California Beef Noodle King" franchises (which no, we don't have in California).

6) A McDonalds and Pizza Hut are supposedly coming soon, the hallmarks of a modern Chinese city.

7) The city even beats Shanghai in the variety of cell phone services available.  You can get a prepaid phone, a monthly billed phone, or a phone that acts exactly like a home phone yet can be taken anywhere in the city.  Not impressive?  Well you can only get prepaid phones in the rest of China. [A friend has since corrected me on this.  Apparently Shanghai has a variety of services too, and he was too proud of Shanghai to let this grievous error go uncorrected.  Happy now John?]

8) Dongying has an airport that only has flights to Beijing.  The flights cost 500 RMB and take 55 minutes.  They only leave on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

9) Dongying has a train station with direct daily trains to Jinan and Nanjing.  Why Nanjing and not Shanghai or Beijing?  I have no idea.  To Jinan, the train takes about as long as the bus (3 hours) but costs half as much as the cheapest bus (15 RMB).  (An air conditioned bus to Jinan costs 50 RMB.)  Also, the bus charges for excess baggage (10 RMB) while the train does not.  The train between Shanghai and Jinan is an overnight trip on a fast train, 9.5 hours and 230 RMB for a hard sleeper.  The bus to Beijing takes 6 hours, but I’m not yet sure of the price.

10) Dongying has a bar street that looks ... interesting.  Pick your favorite place, teach them how to make your drinks the way you like them, then walk in like you own the place.  They'll remember you because you're their foreign regular, and they'll be sure to treat you right because you're better than a neon sign for attracting more patrons.  If we make a bar our group favorite, we can tell them what music to play. ... And kick people out we don't like.  Does that sound imperialistic to you?  Then get out of my bar.


Written May 16, 2004 by Shelley Timmins (shelleytimminsatyahoodotcom)

China Anecdotes and Antidotes    |    Home