shu and joe

Xiamen. The City by the Sea.

Published on February 6, 2008

Xiamen has a special place in my heart, even though I’ve never spent much time there. It’s where my father and grandfather went to college and it’s also the subject of a fair amount of my mother’s reminiscence of the past. She would recall sunny afternoons spent at the beach, a stick of haw candies in one hand and a paperback in the other. An island called Guliangse sat between the mainland and Taiwan, a glum vacation spot dotted with Portuguese mansions and pineapple tart vendors. The university shone brightest in this town, a place where foreigners came to teach continental philosophy, Latin and Greek. The seafood came in a distant second, crab and mollusks sharing cramped fish tanks with half-dead turtles and eels. What I saw was a modern-day variation of it all, complete with mobs of tourists and a restaurant so gigantic, the servers wore roller skates to get around. The scale of the city, like others in China, was exhausting and the nightlife as seamy as ever. Andre said he witnessed a fight one night that centered around the age-old, culturally neutral tradition of “protecting one’s woman.” We ate, we walked for miles and most importantly, we bowled.

Xiamen

Xiamen

Xiamen

Guliangse

Guliangse

Xiamen

Xiamen, Nightclub

Xiamen, Bowling

Xiamen, Bowling, Things to Do

Filed under: China, Everyday Life, Travel

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