In talking to Sophie, I realized that I have never given a good overall view of Dalian. Partly it's because my sense of geography is so rotten that it took me months to even understand the layout of our campus. But since you, dear readers, might fare better in that department, here's a map:
If you look in the bottom left-hand corner, you'll see my school, (Dalian) University of Technology. I live down there as well, and while it's far away from downtown, it's a wonderful neighborhood. We're surrounded by other universities, so it has a little bit of that college-town feel, with lots of cheap restaurants and cafes, and even a bar or two. I really dig it.
Xinghai Beach is close by, and farther east is the beginning of Bin Hai Road, which I blogged about earlier this year.
Northwards is "downtown," featuring Zhong Shan Square, which is the main center square, and is close to places like Dave's Bar and Free Club. Close by is the train station, the post office where my packages end up sometimes, and Victory Plaza, which is a large, underground shopping area. And, of course, in between us and downtown there are a ton of neighborhoods and markets and residential areas and places I have yet to explore.
Meanwhile, I'm leaving for Yantai early tomorrow morning, to go to my friend Jean's cousin's wedding, and I have been terribly sleep-deprived (completely of my own doing), so to sleep I go! I look forward to a lovely ferry ride and lots of Chinese family members who I've never met. Will report back soon.