Our new Ikea chairs feel just like home. We had an interesting time getting them home though. Being too big to take home on the train, we decided to hire a delivery van, one of dozens that hang around outside the store waiting for people like us. After negotiating a price, which included taking us with him in the van, we set out for Jnshitan. Proud of our accomplishment until about 20 minutes from home when the van broke down, of course in a spot with no taxis available. The ever resourceful driver finally banged hard enough with his hammer on unknown parts underneath the van, that it sputtered its way to our campus, stalling around a corner and giving up the ghost again at our gate. We sure felt sorry for him as he limped the hour back to Dalian!
National holiday week, and sister Barb finallly arrived - we were so excited to see her. Our friend and driver, Autumn, picked her up at the airport which we would love to have done ourselves, but we were both in classes. Autumn is so friendly and loves practicing her Chinglish, so the hour drive went quickly - she drives fast too!
Luckily the weather was sunny , so after we showed her the apartment and had a short rest, we set out to check out the local scene, and to Manjiatan to check out the market. Not much to buy since we would be leaving soon for holiday, but picked some peaches, oranges and a pomegranate, which are just coming in season and so delicious.
After that we continued on our journey back down main street (does it actually have a name??), looking for ‘Joes place’ for supper. This back alley restaurant is named after last year’s principal, who frequented it and introduced it to many Canadian staff. Finding it packed with Maple Leaf students who must have been sharing a Mid Autumn Festival meal, we decided to continue on to the Donkey restaurant (so named for the donkey
This is main street at night, with a view of #1 restaurant, so named because it was the first restaurant that we went to. We subsequently boycotted it for a while when I saw dog on the menu, but my convictions have become a bit more lenient now that our new favourite, the 'donkey place' has not only donkey, but dog as well. We hope that when we order pork and chicken it is really pork and chicken , but guess as long as it tastes good, we have to just enjoy it!
dumplings- yes, really donkey meat and they are delicious). Not sure which back alley this place was, we would have passed it up had we not seen our friends Jim and Carrie eating inside.
For about $2.00 a person, we had three large and delicious plates of food, - sweet pork with pineapples, eggplant with potatoes and peppers, and of course donkey dumplings, beer for Rick and tea for Barb and I. What a deal and good company too.. On the way home, we had a beautifful view of the full moon, very fitting for the mid autumn festival which is celebrated with family and share moon cakes. Hard to believe, but all of China is on one time zone, so at 6:30 it is very dark.
The next couple of days while we worked, Barb kept herself very busy exploring the town and surrounding area. We checked out the school, ate lunch in the fabulous girls cafeteria, met some of the staff, watched the Terry Fox run, and watched the boys have a water balloon tossing contest. Good thing that she had been getting in shape with a lot of walking in Calgary because the pedometer
We spend such a lot of time on our laptops - they are a constant fixture on our kitchen table, This picture is for mom who go a kick out of our one laptop taking over her kitchen table. The television here is mainly Chinese except BBC world (we used to get CNN, but they must be in China's bad books and got pulled. So the computer is our source for news, weather, mail, phone, family, work, games, bridge, youo name it.
was really put to the test. 16,000 steps on a slow day and 31,000 on a busy day!
Being a geologist, her favourite haunt was the beach area and rocky ocean front area called the Geo Park. Jinshitan is famous for its ancient and unusual rock formations and the path through this park winds around the coast and follows beautiful paths, beaches, look outs and spectacular rocks. Hearing that there were fossils in the area, she was really happy to see a lady at a market on the way back selling rocks with fossil pieces in them. Despite her lack of Chinese, she persuaded the lady that these weren't good enough, and was rewarded with the 'special' selection of full fossils. When she found a fossil of a trilobite that she liked, she even bargained the lady down from 200 to 80 yuan. Good job!
Her other haunt was new coffee restaurant across the street . A student who is interested in marketing has opened this western style coffee shop, which we haven't been to yet, but they knew her well by the end of three days!
After teaching Saturday school in order
Terry Fox Run
Every year the school has a Terry Fox run, not to raise money, but as a matter of cultural awareness. The boys enjoy it because they can stroll leisurely down to the beach and back. Although the competitive ones make it in a matter of minutes, no one can complain how late they are to their next class! Luckily it was a beautiful day out, I walked partway with Barb, who then continued on her walk for a day at the Geo Park.
to have our week off (no long weekends here!) we headed back to the airport that afternoon with Autumn to catch the plane to Shanghai. Next installment in the near future. Bye for now.
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