Getting to know the neighbourhood
Trip Start May 05, 2012
54Trip End Mar 01, 2013
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So seeing as we don't head over to the school until 4pm we figured that since we had the day to ourselves we would go for a walk and try to find the major river that weaves its way through the city of Tianjin. Aside form seeing this river on maps and a couple times on our sensory-overload trip in from the airport the river had so far alluded us.
Armed with a keen sense of direction, thanks to the mapping function on Steph's smartphone, we set off from our apartment building in the sweltering Tianjin heat and humidity. After fumbling around for a few minutes we managed to get headed in the right direction and soon enough we had found it. Funnily enough we had found the exact spot that is used in all the promotional shots for Tianjin
Note the the fancy-LOOKING part. We have started to notice that in China nothing is quite what it seems. Everything only ever seems to work up to about 80% of its capabilities/capacity. Its true that you get what you pay for!
Our current example being the golden sculptures that adorn the carriageway look grand and solid, in reality they feel like the are made of cardboard and polystyrene. Still the look is there.
The river on the other hand looked grimy and disgusting, and that's exactly what it was! We took a short stroll along the shore and noticed a dozen or so dead fish floating in weeds just from where we were standing. But still on our way back across the bridge we noticed two locals stripping down and going for a mid-day swim! No thank you!
Since we were both sweltering from the heat we managed to locate a subway station that took us back to our apartment in air conditioned comfort.
That evening we returned to Ao Cheng and before class had Mini Hot Pot for dinner
The classes we were observing that night were another experience. While Steph had a great time making animal masks with her kids I was in a class with kids running wild!
Every couple weeks the kids have PCA classes. I'm not sure what it stands for but it means that the parents come along a watch and get involved in the classes with their kids. This also means that the kids get really excited as they now have an extra audience! It was cute to see how proud they were to show their parents their drawings but I'm sure a couple of the more hyperactive ones could have done without the extra attention. I'm not looking forward to teaching my first PCA class
This morning we had our veges our breakfast, only this time since we had stocked up on Soy Sauce they actually had some flavor, horray! We have decided that since most of the meals we have when we are out are meat focused - 80% meat to 20% vege - we will try to eat vegetarian at the apartment and get a good vege serve in for breakfast. It seems to work well so far but could be a differerent story over the weekends when we have to be out the door by 7.30am.
After breakfast we decided to try and find a large vege market that we have seen a couple times on our taxi ride home from Ao Cheng. We walked for about 30min in the direction that we thought it should be only to find a couple schools, one with a whole bunch of different flags up in the play ground including NZ!, and some beautiful European inspired architecture.
At about midday we went up to the adult school that our company also runs and meet Chris who is going to be teaching us Mandarin
Sorry for the long post today, it was a rather challenging night in Thursday hence the double whammy today.
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