Page 6 of HippyGib Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Tongli December 25th 2008

It takes about 2-3 weeks to send cards, postcards or parcels between China and England so by the 5th December it was almost our deadline for sending Christmas cards home. We went to Fuzhou Lu, which is a couple of blocks off Nanjing Dong Lu (Shanghai's main commercial road) and is more focused on stationary and art and craft shops. It also has the largest foreign book store in the city, which we have visited quite often. Although because the books are all imported they usually cost at least the same price as back home. Not surprisingly the choice isn't amazing, mainly 19th and 20th century classics, travel books, China tourism books and language books, although current popular books do make it over in small supply. I have managed to buy recent books like The Kite ... read more
Clare & I
Winter Garden
Water Village

Asia » China » Shanghai » Yangpu November 27th 2008

After a long train journey back from Hong Kong which included a phone call from Pudong Airport, telling me my luggage had arrived from London ( God only knows how they got my number or why they thought I was Mr Jones), and harassment from a guy who insisted on talking to me every half hour, despite only being able to say 'Hello', 'Canadian' and 'English', pointing at everything I owned, saying 'England' and walking off laughing to himself, a lovely surprise awaited me when I got back to the flat. The toilet had backed up. Which of course nobody knew anything about, hmm, and it took at least 3 days for anyone to come up and sort it out for us. Nice. My first day back was a Thursday, my one day off. But straight ... read more
Baby Class
Small Class
Big Class

Asia » Hong Kong » Lantau Island November 23rd 2008

Sunday was the longest day ever! I had my Putuo class in the morning expecting that I'd be free from 11:30 up until when my train departs at 17:09. However during the lesson break I was informed that straight after class I would have to head over to Anxi lu school across the city to coach a new lad how to teach my classes while I'm away. Since I had not actually packed my bag yet I was a little concerned for time, but I ended up having a couple of hours with which to pack, send a few emails, watch a live action version of Pokemon or something similar on Chinese television, but most importantly a shit, shower and a shave as a 20 hour train journey lay ahead of me. I left with ample ... read more
Hotel Room.
Fragrant Harbour

Asia » China » Shanghai October 14th 2008

We've been living in our apartment for over a month now, and its been 3 months since we arrived in Shanghai! It's gone so fast, I can't believe it! I guess I've been really lazy and not posted anything for about a month so time for a quick catch up. Wednesday 14th October was Clare's first day of work at KaiEn. On her first day off (which incidentally was the next day) they sent her to have a medical exam, which you need to pass in order to live in China. The authorities are really quite strict with all the formalities you have to go through to stay in China. Clare's friend at work moved into an apartment and didn't register with the police for a couple of days, by which time they were ready to ... read more
School Trip

Asia » China » Shanghai » Huangpu October 5th 2008

The day we got back to Shanghai we checked out some more apartments. Because we're looking for an apartment to house 5 people, including two couples, we ideally need 3 distinctive bedrooms and quite a large living space. Every flat we were looking at had 2 big bedrooms and a study, which we were usually told could be furnished with a bed if we liked for no extra cost. Which is quite cool, but John, who would be living in the study, is like 6''3'. Apparently 5 people living together is quite unheard of, and most landlords don't actually like the idea because they imagine parties every night. We did eventually settle on a place right in the heart of the city, People's Square. I think this is actually one of the most expensive places to ... read more
Dining Room
Front Room

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Putuoshan October 2nd 2008

We started Thursday morning by discussing apartments we'd seen over a free hostel breakfast (which for me is usually coco pops and for Clare it's usually some horrible looking adzuki bean gruel and vegetable dumplings). We checked out of our room at noon because we'd decided that since Clare wouldn't be starting her training for her job until the 9th October, and I probably wont be working for about a month, that we'd have a little holiday for a few days. This is also probably our last chance to get away from Shanghai until the Spring Festival in February. We'd discussed several places that we wanted to visit, including Qingdao, where we had originally planned to do our TEFL course before we were told we had to do it in Shanghai. Over the holiday period Qingdao ... read more
East China Sea
Clare & I
Another Boat

Asia » China » Shanghai » Putuo September 21st 2008

Saturday 21st September, we decided to call round a few other dentists that we could find in an ex pat magazine called City Weekend, which is a pretty cool magazine. We got some quotes and there was one dentist called Dr. Zhou (Joe) that offered a really good price, so Clare arranged an appointment with her for Tuesday. Later on Seth and Melinda took us to a short order restaurant where you can actually see what you're ordering right in front of you, and it's so cheap. It only cost 11RMB for a meal! I think this place is going to be a real life saver. Sunday and Monday we watched a few more classes to try to complete our quota for the course. We actually have to rack up 120 hours in all to get ... read more
Seth, Melinda, Me & Clare
National Holiday

Asia » China » Shanghai » Jing'an September 11th 2008

Our visa runs out on 27th September and our flight, which had to match our hostel booking precisely, is on the 24th. Because of the Olympics, the visa rules were so strict and John told us he even got rejected the 1st time he applied 'cos of some stupid minor thing, so we kinda had to just deal with what we were given. Now we're here though we need to extend both our visas and flights, which we were told is very easy once you're actually in China. So on Thursday John, Clare and I travelled to the Visa Office in Pudong to extend it another 30 days. The whole thing only took an hour and was pretty painless, even though people who had posted online considered this to be a traumatic experience. We had to ... read more
Jing'an Si

Asia » China » Shanghai » Hongkou September 6th 2008

On Saturday morning one of the teaching assistants came to our hostel to take us to Hongkou school. Hongkou is kind of north Shanghai and there's a famous football stadium there. Just how famous I'm not too sure since I don't really follow football at all never mind Chinese football, but I think they held some of the Olympic football games there. We watched one of the lessons (Rabbit class) by a teacher called Ben and this is one of the classes we'll actually be teaching. After this it was time for Starbucks. I'm so glad coffee is becoming mainstream here otherwise I'd be asleep most of the time. When we got back it was John's, our friend from the TEFL course, turn to teach a class and straight after it was our turn. We had ... read more
Jinmao & SWFT

Asia » China » Shanghai » Putuo August 31st 2008

Sunday I got myself a brand spanking new, sparkly, crap, cheap mobile phone. Otherwise job hunting may prove to be quite difficult. I went to a shopping district called Xujiahui to get it, which seems to be a whole area dedicated to electronics and hardware etc. Its crazy how many lively areas there are in Shanghai. And I'm sure there are plenty more to discover as well. In the evening we met up with our classmates from the TEFL course for an introductory meal. We had no idea where our school was so we got the hostel staff to write down the address in Chinese for us (this is a very useful service they provide) and we jumped in a taxi. With the roads being so manic I actually have no idea how we managed to ... read more
Shanghai's Old Town
Zigzag Bridge of Nine Turnings

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