Time for an update!

Trip Start May 05, 2012
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of China  , Tianjin Shi,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Da jia hao [hello everyone], once again we have left our blog un-updated for a long time. Sorry! We have had an exciting last few days with Debbie (Evan's Mum) joining us in Tianjin before beginning her adventure in Xi'an. We took the bullet train into Bejiing after work on Sunday night and arrived about 11pm, meeting Debbie at her hotel (much nicer than the places we usually stay!). The next day we went to Tiananmen square and Wanfujing (the main shopping area) where we wandered through market stalls and saw some "interesting" food choices. I have never felt a particular affection for scorpions, however watching them writhe on a kebab stick waiting for some brave soul to put them out of their misery was a bit too much for me. Having said that, I was certainly not about to buy a stick.....

We returned to Tianjin later that day and had a great time sitting in Debbie's hotel room (at the bottom of our building) watching the view over the crazy intersection, talking about life in China and enjoying a beer. Unfortunately, our plans for the next day were disrupted by the arrival of torrential rain and what felt like Christchurch winter. Deciding to get a coffee instead, we had an impromptu Mandarin lesson for Debbie in Starbucks. Luckily the weather improved after lunch so we headed out to Ancient Culture Street to have a look at the tourist type shops. Debbie had her first experiences of riding a tuk tuk and making someone's day by posing for a photograph- all very normal occurrences in China!

Showing Debby around Tianjin has been really fun. Not only did we feel like we needed to show off our language skills (thus speaking more Chinese), it was really nice to show someone from home the life we have carved out for ourselves in Tianjin- the city that for now we call home. We put Debby on her flight to Xi'an Thursday morning, and so far so good! Her school is a lot more organized than ours, phone and bank accounts set up on the first day- imagine that!

In other news, we sit our HSK exam this weekend. It should be fine so we are not too worried. Everything is happening very quickly now, we are five and a half months through our 6 months contract (where has the time gone????), and in just over two weeks we will leave for Europe. We will be returning to Tianjin after our month away to continue with the same jobs we have now. They were unable to find replacements for us, so we are pretty excited to be returning to our jobs at Aocheng. We finally feel more at home in China, and we always have little experiences that brighten our days. This morning we talked to a man in the tool shop who gave us an impromptu haka when we said we were from NZ (it took us a while to recognize it was the Haka, looked more like dancing!), we all had a bit of a laugh before going on our way. Things like this show us how far our language skills have come, and being able to communicate gives us a definite sense of belonging to the community rather than visiting.

Zai jian for now!
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Gramz on

Another neat entry, thanks guys. Love the photos xx

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