Sunday May 12

First week back at school after the one week break. The highlight was the dinners out-Monday night we ate spicy chicken and it made our mouths tingle. Wednesday night was kebabs on the terrace, and Friday night was movie night, we saw Iron Man 3. I was also very busy getting my computer repaired as it had a blue screen. So Monday night I visited the computer repair hospital in Dangu. He removed everything off it, so we spent the rest of the week downloading applications and someone helped me to get Microsoft Office again, just in time as I have an exam paper to hand in on Thursday. Weekend was resting up, shopping for shoes and clothes and Sunday I was getting over food poisoning!!!!

Sunday May 5

Living room

This morning I headed for IKEA- a Swedish megastore which sells housewares. It takes 30 minutes on the chingwey-light rail. Got some nice things to decorate my living space. School starts again tomorrow so will be hitting the books later on

Saturday 4 May

ancient culture st TianjinQueen of Heaven palace

In the afternoon I went for a little jaunt up to Tianjin City, to the Ancient Culture St. This place had some lovely old architecture, and lots of places to buy souvenirs. It’s a lot like Insa dong in Korea. So I had a very enjoyable walk along the st on a lovely sunny warm spring day. Got a tuk tuk back to the station. Will post pics when my battery is recharged.

Wednesday May 1st

In China, when your card is sucked up by the ATM, you can have it frozen for 5 days. This coincides with my one week holiday. I guess I will postpone my trip to Beijing for a week or two, and catch up with things around here. Fortunately I have a lot of DVD’s and TV to watch, as well as some good books!!! This is the second time an ATM has sucked up my card in under 2 weeks!!!!!

Tuesday 30 April

I have a one week holiday so more time to write. This morning at 8.50 a.m. thirty canon-sounding firecrackers were let off at the hospital. Something to do with births/deaths. This happens every couple of days around here and even in the evening or crack of dawn. It sounded like warfare the first time I heard it and tried to figure out what it was, then another teacher who has been here longer than me and who has her masters in Asian studies told me about it.
Enjoying catching up on some R&R, shopping, and watching some episodes of House, Big Bang and other movies I copied from other teachers. Hope to make it to Beijing and the Peking Man site before the week is up! as well as meeting up with some Chinese people I have met.
Word gets around on who we are here. Yesterday when I was buying a toy on the street, the couple spoke perfect English and said “You’re just like a mother to your students!”

Wednesday 24 April

Had a bit of an adventure going to Beijing on Saturday. We took a taxi to Tangu train station, then the 8.30 one hour fast train to Beijing South Station. The trains are nice-soft seats and lots of leg room. There were so many people going on that train. As foreigners we had to show our passports when we buy tickets and to get on the train.
Some of our workmates went to the Forbidden city, and we did some touring around town. We ended up doing quite a bit of shopping. We stayed the night at the hostel at Sanlitun, a really good place, friendly with good atmosphere. We enjoyed some local cuisine and met some other tourists in the area. On Sunday we found the Bookworm, an amazing bookstore and library, which is also a restaurant and coffee shop. After lunch we decided to head back to Tianjin and got back here at 5 p.m.
The other thing which happened during the week was that last Friday my ATM card was sucked up by the machine, and it took quite a bit of talking to officials to get it back. I managed to freeze it on Saturday, and it will be un-frozen on Thursday/Friday, just in time to enjoy our weeks vacation which starts next Monday!!