#11 Teaching at Taizhou Teachers College-Two's Company

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June 11th 2006
Published: October 2nd 2006
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Meet HansMeet HansMeet Hans

Hans, my new colleague. A warm-hearted, generous and amusing person with whom to spend time. We have many thought provoking discussions and I anticipate working with him with much pleasure. It is great to meet someone even more passionate and committed to their profession than I.
My new colleague Hans (Schneider) has arrived a couple of months early in order to settle in before the start of the new school year in September. We hit it off immediately and have had a number of stimulating conversations about life, the universe and everything. In his first couple of weeks here he has made a big impression on the locals, especially due to his penchant for taking a myriad of photos of what many people here would probably consider mundane and of little interest. An added bonus is Hans brought his camera printer dock with him and so he is able to take photos one day, then give his subjects a copy the very next day. As you can imagine, they absolutely love this.

Hans was here last summer to “scope” the place out and meet his friend Arthur (our boss) whom he met via the internet, so he is fairly familiar with the place in general. However, he, like myself, is an avid explorer and disappears for hours wandering around the back streets to experience the everyday life of the locals and to get “a real feel” for Taizhou and her inhabitants. In my busy lead up
Hans' New FriendHans' New FriendHans' New Friend

Despite the language barrier, people are instantly drawn to Hans' natural affability, as was this neighbour of ours! She simply spotted Hans and literally ran to him with a big smile on her face to the surprise of everyone, including her mother!
to the end of term I have been unable to take the time out to show him around, so I am grateful for his independence and “adventurer’s” spirit. Rather ironically, it is he who has encouraged me to take a break and join him in exploring some of the places he has enjoyed in recent weeks. I thought I’d share some of the more “natural” highlights of Taizhou not previously showcased on my blogs.

A brief note about the most recent changes to the format of this site. You will probably have noticed that instead of showing all the photos in a larger format with captions and text detail, most of the photos are now shown merely as thumbnails with no captions or explanations unless you click on individual photos. I’m really disappointed about this change, as I think it really detracts from the its user-friendly nature, the visual appeal and I feel it will decrease interest in the site. If you have any comments either way, I would encourage you to post comments on the blog and I will forward them to the admin folk. I have already posted a comment on the forum voicing my disappointment. It
Tranquility in Mei Leifang GardenTranquility in Mei Leifang GardenTranquility in Mei Leifang Garden

One of the first places Hans took me to was Mei Leifang Garden, named after, and once owned by, a famous local Beijing Opera star.
seems this has happened since they added the “add videos” feature, which although a great asset to those who use it is not a priority for me, especially if it means detracting from the display of the still photos. What do you think?

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Sue in Mei Leifang GardenSue in Mei Leifang Garden
Sue in Mei Leifang Garden

Mei Leifang garden is located precariously amidst construction of a new road and bridge about a 30 minute walk from our hotel. I have passed by a number of times since I arrived, but it was always closed.It has been neglected for some time, but the city "fathers" have in their wisdom decided it must be preserved, so work is continuing to bring it back to its former glory.
Pond FeaturePond Feature
Pond Feature

One of my favourite spots in the garden was this pond. It features a striking white statue depicting Mei Leifang in one of his most famous roles.
Rock FeatureRock Feature
Rock Feature

The element of stone (rock) is of great significance to the Chinese people and is one of the key features of a classical Chinese garden. This is despite the fact that its modern equivalent is more likely to be concrete! It represents the body of the earth and is more often in "natural" shapes depicting a miniature mountain or other landform.People love to climb in and around this type of structure, and not only children! Touching stone/rock is considered good luck.
Lotus in Mei Leifang GardenLotus in Mei Leifang Garden
Lotus in Mei Leifang Garden

A sign of the quickly approaching summer. That is besides the stifling heat!
Mei Leifang in CharacterMei Leifang in Character
Mei Leifang in Character

Inside one of the pavilions is a display of old prints depicting Mei Leifang's life including some of the famous roles he played. I have yet to experience Beijing (Peking) Opera, but hope to do so next month on my visit to Beijing.
Budding ArtistsBudding Artists
Budding Artists

A number of the rooms of the old residence are used by local arts groups, including this room for budding artists. Unfortunately on the day I visited no classes were "in session"
Dongcheng RiverDongcheng River
Dongcheng River

A stretch of the Dongcheng River I had not explored before. A tranquil spot amongst the bustle of city life.
Washing EggsWashing Eggs
Washing Eggs

One of the multiple everyday activities carried out in the river.

Fishing is a popular pastime for young and old. Today the fish don't seem to be doing too much biting. Now if only we could do something about the water quality?!
History in a WallHistory in a Wall
History in a Wall

A common feature in China is to depict a city's history in a panoramic "wall story". Taizhou is no exception. This panel emphasizes the importance of agriculture and the river to her development from earlier times.
Governors of OldGovernors of Old
Governors of Old

Governors of old discussing city business, immortalized in carved blocks of marble. The "empty" drum stool invites passers-by to pause for a few moments of contemplation.

2nd October 2006

Well done Suzie Q This great info for me when I veture to the other side of the globe. I will be keeping your Blogs safe to read again and again.By the way 19th Hole is back on the Coast..Take care Rubher :-)
3rd October 2006

so beautiful!

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