Blogs from Ji'Nan, Shandong, China, Asia - page 2


Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 23rd 2012

Today started off just right with a sleep in until 8am. Some days the body clock kicks in and you are awake and that is that; but today no 6am get up and 7am 1 hour bus trip…… no sireeee. Switched on the TV, lay back in my warm snug bed and watched “Take That” reunion concert at Wembley Stadium. What’s not to like about 4 gorgeous guys who can sing and dance and harmonize? Late breakfast of toast and tea. For anyone familiar with Chinese bread, you will know it is sweet and if you attached a balloon it would float away. Getting whole grain bread to Western tastes here is like searching for the Holy Grail. Ole supermarket in Parc66 has the only one that I have found that runs close. Off on the ... read more
Map of the area
Coffee shop/bar
View from window of coffee shop

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 21st 2012

Paraphrasing and borrowing this famous saying attributed to the Jesuits, I would have to say that the children of Zhangqui Experimental Kindergarten in Jinan will be wonderful future citizens. This kindergarten has won many awards for not only Jinan but for the whole of Shandong province and it’s easy to see why. The centre is well staffed with 3 adults per room, 1 teacher, 1 assistant teacher and 1 assistant for 40-50 children. There are additional staff to clean and cook and administrative and directing staff on hand constantly. Children are signed in with a swipe card system and in each room there is a visual and light display showing each child represented as a number with the light on for being there, this was used as a numeracy tool in one of the rooms today. ... read more
Class attendance
Art displays in the hall
Children's art

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 19th 2012

Students here learn only one way; lectures and rote and copy. You as the teacher are the sage on the stage; you stand and deliver and speak, and request them to write notes. They will keep eyes downcast; participate in closed questions with a yes/no or nod and shake of head. If they are disinterested they will put their head on the desk and sleep and use phones quite openly. One person may make notes for a group and then they will happily copy that other persons work, quite openly and unashamedly. They all write with their right hand, they are told to and that is that; even though some of them are natural lefthanders at sports etc. As this is university and they are adults and responsible for their own learning I let the sleepers ... read more
What can we make
Discussion and enjoyment

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 14th 2012

After my 2 periods of teaching we got the 10-30am bus back to the city campus and had the bus driver stop at the Shandong museum which is near the Olympic Park complex. From the city you can take a 115 bus from the corner of LiShan Lu and JingShi Lu, east along Jing Shi for quite a long way, until you come to a very imposing domed building on the left hand side just before the Olympic Park complex. There are 3 floors of exhibits, all beautifully presented, innovative lighting and display techniques, easy to understand floor layout, lifts, escalators and staff galore. A café, clean toilets and free entry make this a must see when you visit Jinan. There are halls which each have a speciality such as Ming Dynasty, Han Dynasty, Calligraphy, Prehistoric, ... read more
Shandong Museum
English and Chinese
Imposing entrance hall

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 11th 2012

Today I introduced Martin to English corner where he was a hit. His hat was certainly a great novelty item, with the guy who does the sketching drawing him and getting him to sign his drawing. Many people tried the hat on; his moustache was also commented on, as was his name on his jacket (old work jacket) Some people found his broad Aussie accent and colloquialisms hard to understand; we had many photos taken of us with various people and had we charged a fee we could have made a killing. Lunch today was at a Muslim place close to Black Tiger Springs, with lamb and cumin dish being a hit and the pulled long flat noodles also very delicious. No beer at this place, although many places do sell alcohol. We walked along the ... read more
Entrance to Springs
One of the many bridges

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 8th 2012

Tonight we were lucky enough to be invited to a classical music concert. This university has a music faculty in this old campus where I live and I can often hear students practising singing and playing piano in the practise rooms nearby. We had no idea of what we were coming to or what we would be hearing or what standard of dress so I arrived wearing what I had on today and Martin dragged himself off his sick bed and shoved on his tracky daky shirt and jeans We were solemnly ushered in with rows of students clapping us to our waiting seats, happily sitting near the front. We then were asked to take front row, centre seats. I felt so humbled. The concert tonight was one of the lecturers, a baritone and a visiting ... read more
Sick bed view
The compere

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 7th 2012

With only 2 lessons to teach today we headed off after lunch to find cold and flu medication, train tickets and Thousand Buddha Mountain. Miming a sore throat and a cough plus with the help of the handy phrase book, we got something that seemed right, with a mimed instruction on when and how to take it all. Train tickets were easy; the train ticket agency is brilliant and worth the Y5 extra per person per ticket with our weekend trip to and from QingDao all booked and paid for with staff really willing to get us train tickets that suited us. Going via Jinan East station and coming back into Jinan Main train station on D train, so a journey of 2.5 hours each way. Next stop BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) No 3 and up ... read more
Major street
About this area

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 5th 2012

Remarked to Martin on Saturday evening that it felt like it could snow, it just had THAT feel to it. This remarked was scoffed at! The next morning we awoke to SNOW. A very early cold snap and freezing winds had come in from Siberia blanketing the north with snow including Beijing. Martin had never seen snow before and this made the trip even more exciting for him. We stayed holed up in the youth hostel in the morning, rain and 2-3 degrees with already wet clothes, were not the greatest enticement to want to make you go out and about. We played an English game of trivial pursuit which provided a few laughs at our ignorance of things which were obviously important in the UK. And had an excellent breakfast and coffee from Leo’s Youth ... read more
Toilet stop
Beijing South Train Station

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan October 28th 2012

Could not put my book down on Friday night and read until midnight, and apartment dwelling in China does not lend itself to a sleep-in the next morning. Between people up and about and having a very noisy chat, or the men continually clearing their throats and lungs of any phlegm and vigorously and loudly expelling said phlegm on the ground, I was wide awake at 7am. Note to travellers- avoid the little wet patches on the ground could be other body products as well as phlegm! Cup of tea in my winter PJ’s on the balcony in the warm sun, TV news and computer catch up with a late breakfast, made up my morning. I have a bus card which had been kindly charged up by the last teacher and I have been merrily using ... read more
Stiring a pot what looked like toffee
Getting out a thimble full
looks like a rooster

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan October 27th 2012

Just go to the little ticket office around the corner from the uni I was told and buy your tickets, no problems. There are websites in English to look at for scheduling, I looked and checked and chose my trains. You can only book 10-11 days ahead, I was within this time, had passport numbers and all details correct. Armed with a note in simple English, written Chinese, my phrasebook, frantic practise of the names of cities with what I hoped were the right tones, and the ability to count, what could go wrong! The little ticket office appears very empty and I have tried to visit there a couple of time with no activity during any of my visits. Today there is a pink sign, I wonder if the sign says “gone to lunch”? Time ... read more
Jinan Main Train station
Informative boards
Can read this one almost

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