Blogs from Tianjin, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Tianjin July 20th 2014

Ni hao! Today we have had the authentic Chinese experience: off campus, away from teachers and adopted by a bunch of Tianjin teenagers! We set off early and drove to the best high school in the city, ‘Tianjin No. 1’, and met some of the students who were keen to practice their English on the Scots. They gave us an extensive tour of their incredible (but far too hot!) building and told us about school life in China. What shocked us the most was that they begin classes at 7:30 and end at 17:30, and then take part in extra-curricular clubs as well as completing mountains of challenging homework. It makes our high school experiences seem like a walk in the park! Afterwards we were kindly treated to a delicious lunch at a wee café, ... read more
Day 7 - family visit (15)
Day 7 - family visit (17)
Day 7 - family visit (7)

Asia » China » Tianjin July 19th 2014

Kung Fu As has become the norm during our time in Tianjin, we woke up at quarter to seven this morning to have Kung-fu lessons at seven twenty. For me waking up early to exercise is the best way to wake up, during my time at Tianjin my favourite activity has been learning Kung-fu from Master Li as well as a thorough workout Kung-fu requires constant mental concentration. As an overall workout I think that Kung-fu, as well as all martial arts, is unique in its requirements and benefits. Endurance, fitness, strength and spirit are just a few of the wide variety of aspects that are vital to the practice of any martial art. Mandarin lessons Today during Mandarin lessons we learnt how to identify and pronounce different types of money, and learned how to work ... read more

Asia » China » Tianjin July 18th 2014

18th July 2014 Holly, Skye & Chelsea 7:20-8 am: Kung Fu; This morning the heat was immense. We started to add on extra moves to our previous routine. It's getting harder. Looking at each other and laughing as the sweat poured off our foreheads. The last 15 minutes draaaaagged in. 9-10:30 am: Mandarin Classes; After Kung Fu we had to attend our Mandarin Class. Today we started to learn all about how to say our body parts, eg: nose, eyes, ears etc. Not going to lie I did find this pretty challenging. Skye on the other hand was flying through it. 11-12:30 am: Typography; We all got a demonstration of what to do. It consisted of using blocks with chinese character prints on it and placing them in a wooden box in order so it made ... read more
Day 5 (3)
Day 5 (4)
Day 5 (8)

Asia » China » Tianjin July 16th 2014

Wednesday was my first day of lessons in Tianjin. We got up early to do kung fu outside in the sports pitches. First, Master Ling gave a performance and he was amazingly talented. We weren't as good at it but we have 10 days - hopefully we'll learn! This is Master Ling, he's pretty awesome. Then we had 2 classes in the morning - calligraphy and mandarin. Calligraphy was fun, we got some pictures and I think I'm going to present my work at the closing ceremony. We also had mask making which was good fun because we got the opportunity to be quite artistic. They are masks that are used for the chinese opera - the way the mask is drawn reveals something about the character. My character was apparently brave because ... read more
erin's mask
Day 3 (1)
Day 3 (7)

Asia » China » Tianjin July 15th 2014

We started the day early, ready to make our way to Tianjin. After an unusual Chinese breakfast we were all excited to experience the culture in Tianjin. Our Beijing tour guides dropped us off at the train station, where we got the chance to travel by the bullet train. Although it didn't feel like it, the train reached speeds of up to 300 km per hour and managed to get us there in 30 minutes. We arrived to a warm welcome from our hosts at the Tianjin Foreign Studies University. There was an opening ceremony where we were given dinner and a selection of pupils gave various performances, showing off their talents. This included traditional Scottish dance, martial arts and music. Jet lagged and exhausted we retired to bed for a busy day ahead of us. ... read more
Day 2 (3)
Day 2 (1)
Day 2 (19)

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Asia » China » Tianjin » TEDA July 13th 2014

Well I am glad to say.....another great find!! We went to the Science and Technology museum last week and had a really good time. I read 1 good review about this place and the rest were mmmmm.......not so good! But I thought lets just go and find out for ourselves and I am so glad we did. It was a huge building and so much inside. There were a lot of hands on things for the children of all ages to do and see. I took Matthew and William and we took Mr lv's son and niece with us to for some one else for Matthew to play with. They all got on so well even though we speak very little Chinese and they only spoke a couple of words in English!! There were a couple ... read more
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Asia » China » Tianjin » TEDA July 7th 2014

I am on a mission to find new places to go in Teda where we live. I went to my Chinese writing class last week with Matthew but we got there 20 minutes early so we went for a little walk around. In this area there is mainly a large hotel, a building where I have my class and a few bars and restaurants and then next to one of the bars we saw a poster in Chinese but had a picture of a child on with armbands. We went through the small door and followed the corridor and found the biggest swimming pool we have ever seen!! The nice lady at reception showed us around and it looked great so we went back there today while William was at nursery to check it out. There ... read more
Teda Swimming pool
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Asia » China » Tianjin July 1st 2014

First week of the school holidays! I have spent a long time researching lots of fun places to take the boys. I had found that there was a Natural History Museum in Tianjin and it had a couple of good reviews........ well, except for one that said it may have closed down!! But ready for a new adventure we went anyway!! And I am so glad we did. It has been years since I had been to a museum, we kept saying each summer back home that we would take Matthew to London to visit them there but never got round to it. So this was Matthew's first time. The building was so big, clean and had a great selection of dinosaurs, fish and other odd looking sea creatures as well as fossils and shells etc ... read more
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Peppa and William are ready to go!!
Wow!!

Asia » China » Tianjin » TEDA June 25th 2014

Today was Grade 1's "goodbye/good luck/happy holidays" party!! The class teacher Miss Derly is leaving this summer, going back to USA and a lot of the children are leaving to go back to their home country for good. So tears all round!!!! A bitter sweet day......Happy to start the summer holidays but sad to say good byes!! We had a lovely party though, lots of food......so much food, it's a Chinese thing!! The children were busy taking photo's and signing each others year books. Now we have 7 long weeks of summer fun!!!!... read more
New friends..........
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Asia » China » Tianjin » Zhunhua June 23rd 2014

ROCKY CAMP. 22.6.14 Distance: 150 Kms (73ks) SubT. 3266 Kms Bal 9,211 Kms Weather: fine, a little overcast making it pleasantly cooler. Time in Saddle: 3 hrs Av Speed: av. 22 kph. Elevation: 1,000 m : Decent 225 m Calories burned : 5000 The scenery today was inclined flat (3%), distant mountains some snow capped, and otherwise rocky, sandy riverbed looking land. Uninspiring. Laid awkwardly on my injured shoulder last night resulting in a bad neck and headache by mid morning, so retreated to the van, after all, that's its purpose. I believe I made the right decision, as head became worse as afternoon progressed. Consumed two cups of revitalising chicken broth with veg and rice, which helped the recovery. Starting to wonder whether I am up to this trip. Finding it very arduous, now that ... read more
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