Lunchtime entertainment

It came from the West.

While I was waiting for this interminably slow computer to do something yesterday, I went to the window to have a look at the view and could see some very heavy grey cloud coming in from the west. It didn’t take long for a thunderstorm and a torrential downpour to sweep across Fuzhou. The rain was nearly heavy enough to obscure the vertical support of Sanxianzhou (三县洲) Bridge.

It cleared up soon enough, but there were some low clouds clinging to the hills to the west. It would’ve made a good picture if I’d had my camera with me.

I went for a wander yesterday afternoon. I’ve been intending for some time to take a trip along Shangsan Lu past the university during the hours of daylight to give me a better idea of what’s there. I find that between Louhou Lu (Behind the Building[s] Street) and Student Street there are about half a dozen bookshops which all seem to be of middling size. Normally, local bookshops are small affairs.

I walked up Student Street which turned out to be longer than I was expecting. It’s basically a long line of little shops dominated by those perennial Chinese favourites, clothing and shoes. There were also quite a lot of little takeaway places nearer the start of the street. Although it’s outside term time, the place seemed reasonably busy for a mid afternoon on a Friday.

Once I’d left Student Street behind, I entered another rundown area and saw some graffiti. I know you’re thinking this is another yeah-so? moment, but I’ve seen very little graffiti here in China. What you’ll usually see is phone numbers for unspecified services (probably black taxis; girls who are easily led astray; documents; exam answers; etc.) daubed on walls, but almost never any Western-style graffiti. Of course, this is well away from general public view, and your average laowai would never see this.

As I came back past the university, I saw a shop called The Sexy Shop. I noticed, displayed in the window, the sexy equivalent of sensible knickers and a bra. Bit of an odd shop to have in such a location because I’ve been informed that it’s illegal for university students to have sex, which means, of course, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

That reminds me that as I was going through the check out at the Chinese supermarket last week, they had some condoms called Grain Condoms on display, and this was not the brandname as far as I could tell.

And then, as I’m walking up the hill from Louhou Lu, I see some black guy on a moped heading in the opposite direction. I thought I was the only foreigner around here at the moment, but I’ve been finding there are others around.


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