7 september 2008
13 November 2008, Ground control to Major Tom
I am currently in Jinan, having used both this article and Lonely Planet as a reference. I can't believe how inaccurate both are.
Jinan is the most polluted? It's polluted, but nowhere close to Beijing, and definitely not Manila (if it goes to "the world").
It is hot in winter? Are you kidding??? It's around 10 C in the afternoon in November. Perhaps the government controls the weather forecast, but then the thermometers throughout the city are part of the conspiracy.
No thanks for the tip about the meter, on the way from the airport they charged me MORE, around 200 yuan. Try to negotiate the fee before you board the taxi.
Neither Europeans nor African Americans are stared at, there are plenty of both. The city is rapidly developing, with a hi-tech zone with branches of Microsoft, IBM, and Texas Instruments. English skills are way better than I witnessed 4 years ago in Beijing.
I can't believe the author did not mention the Taishan Mountain as a suggested side trip. It has the most magnificent views with "cloud sea" below.
Eating out is OK, sans street vendors. In the hotel, I had the best muesli I ever ate with a lot of fresh fruit, and a good selection of French, Australian, and Chinese wines, and our host presented us with real goose liver. So-called "coffee shops" are not only to serve coffee, but any kind of food (including Japanese staples like sushi and bento boxes, which are only known by their Chinese names). Shandong cuisine is not at all oily and dirty, but it is mostly seafood and crepes with salty filling. Not my cuppa, but seafood lovers will definitely appreciate it.
Try to be friendly and understanding with the Chinese, be human, and you will be surprised how much it will be appreciated.220.127.116.11 22:50, 13 November 2008 (EST)
I am starting a major rewrite of this article to improve the quality of the writing and the reliability of the data. I have lived in Jinan for six months, and have come back later to visit. If you want to help with a specific section just plunge forward!