The Coldest Place in China (/the world)

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January 9th 2008
Published: January 12th 2008
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The end of our fall semester was celebrated by a punishing trip to the far north, near russia. It was quite cold. The train was tiring, but eye-opening. Talked to a woman who works in a kitchen cupboard manufacturing plant...heard about the low wages, >12 hr shifts with no sitting, the rising cost of living, etc. Her husband was deceased, and she was still raising a son, so it struck me as odd that she would be taking the train somewhere far away alone. Turned out she was going to take care of her sister who had fallen ill in a different province.

It continues to be a very interesting place to be, and I am learning all the time. Sometimes I am optimistic for the country and people. Other times, it seems that the more I learn, the darker China gets. I realize that while I may live here, I am a world apart from most Chinese people. It's not a simple communication gap that can be solved by more hours in a classroom...and I find myself uncomfortable and evasive when they ask about tuition, rent, etc. for a foreigner.

The ice castles were impressive.

Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 22


not sure why they do this...not sure why they do this...
not sure why they do this...

but the newspaper is up in glass display boxes
Church of Holy SophiaChurch of Holy Sophia
Church of Holy Sophia

...and you have to pay 10 yuan to get in.
just like home!just like home!
just like home!

nothing like a warm cup of coffee from USAbucks

playing at the ice playground
westminster abbeywestminster abbey
westminster abbey

kind of like the real thing.

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