Published: December 20th 2011November 21st 2011
I realize this is a late posting... my apologies..
A group of teachers at my school have been practicing volleyball 2 days a week since the beginning of school in preparation for a tournament in Beijing. This past weekend was that tournament (November 19th
). The weekend had many high points and a few very low points.
On Friday night we all went for dinner at a Spanish restaurant called Tapas in downtown Dalian. The food there is delicious and the atmosphere is great! We even had a cello player playing in the background! This was a ‘high’ point.
Our time at the Dalian airport was a low point. The Dongbei (east north) winds were acting up which prevented the plane we were supposed to take to Beijing from landing in Dalian. Instead, it turned around and went back to Beijing! It was a very frustrating experience. Because of the language barrier, we had no idea what was going on. We had the option to catch a flight at 8am the next morning but that would mean we would have to miss our first match! To sum up a very long and frustrating story, we ended up sleeping in the Dalian airport (on cold tile) until 4am. We boarded our flight and landed in Beijing around 5:30am. This was a very ‘low’ point.
We cabbed directly to the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) since there wasn’t much time to go to our hostel. This was one of the best moves we made! We ended up finding a German Bakery close to the school that was open. Not only was this bakery open but it was owned by one of the nicest couples I have evermet! They took us in with open arms and served us free coffee and pastries. It was amazing! Every time something fresh came out of his oven he would tell us to help ourselves. It was absolutely delicious!
It turns out that during the Beijing Olympics they had interviews for 2 German bakers to bake during the games and he was chosen as one of them! He loved China so much that he stayed and worked at another bakery for 2.5 years until opening his own bakery just a week ago! Discovering his shop was a ‘high’ of our trip for sure! Michael’s German Bakery. Go if you can. You won’t regret it!
The volleyball tournament was a lot of fun. There were only 6 girls on our team so we all got to play the whole tournament. We played 3 games on Saturday. Saturday night we went back to the bakery for (German) beers and fresh baked pretzels (Michael’s specialty!). Saturday night we went for all you can eat sushi with a bunch of other teams from the tournament and it was some of the best sushi I have ever had (in China). We all crashed really hard Saturday night. We were wiped.
On Sunday we played 2 more games and then had playoffs. Overall, the competition was good. We only won 2 out of 5 of our matches and then lost in the playoffs. We ended up coming in 4th
place. I think we could have done better but we were SO tired on Saturday.
There were a lot of grumpy teachers on campus that Monday morning... we were all so tired and so incredibly sore.
We are all looking forward to another tournament hosted by WAB in the spring.
I will try and post pictures one day soon.