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Published: November 16th 2009
Near Shaoxing University
The main campus where my 'weekend mansion' is, has a beautiful small park with pagoda
CHAPTER 16- A NEW START IN CHINA
After a year back home from teaching in South Korea (including holidays in North Vietnam and Cambodia-See Blog Chapters 3 to 15) I am now teaching again in China.
In September of 2009 I returned to China for my forth teaching trip. (See Chapters 1 and 2 of this blog for summary of first 2 trips to China).
A TALE OF TWO CITIES- SHANGYU AND SHAOXING
I now work at a small university campus in a smallish city/town called Shangyu (about 2 hours south of Shanghai). This town is quiet and pleasant, since it has no particular attraction for tourists to visit. The students and other teachers are all friendly and helpful. Because my apartment on the campus is rather small and old, I have been given the use of a much larger apartment at the main university in the next bigger city (30 minutes away by bus) called Shaoxing.
Shaoxing is a semi-tourist water-town, which means it is fairly flat with many canals and walking bridges. The university is quit pleasant also. I use this larger apartment at weekends mostly.
TWO VERY DIFFERENT APPARTMENTS
Near Shaoxing University
Waterway near park and appartment
the apartments takes about an hour, outside peak hours (about half an hour by bus and then a taxi at each end). It is not worth the hassle to do this every day in peak hours. I have Mondays off, so I have a bit of flexibility of travel.
THE WORK-DAY ‘CRASH PAD’
The Shangyu apartment is a 4 X 6 metre-one room (with bathroom), first floor concrete box with one window view over top of trees, but private, with nice old topiary gardens below. There is a little traffic noise at peak hour; otherwise it’s OK with TV, computer, air-conditioner/heater, microwave oven, fridge, hot shower, etc. It is not very good for cooking; with, no bench space, only one electric hot plate where it is impossible to control the heat and one small bathroom sink for washing dishes. There was virtually no furniture shelves or cupboard space, so I now have some old school desks, which I put together to make ‘modular furniture’.
THE ‘WEEKEND MANSION’
The Shaoxing mansion on the other hand has a lot of furniture and space for just me. Eight or more of the ‘crash-pad’ would fit in this apartment. It is really
Map of Area
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the longest trans-oceanic bridge in the world at 35 kilometers long.
a family apartment. There are rooms that I have not been in yet! It must have at least 15 chairs (2 in the other place) and huge storage space furniture; none of I would have room for in Shangyu. It has all the appliances of the crash pad, except no computer or working TV at the moment. The kitchen (with gas stove) is very spacious, as is the lounge furniture. There are many windows on three sides of building with many windows looking down on me from other tall apartment blocks on two sides.
Since cooking and washing dishes is not practical at the crash pad, I will be cooking at the mansion, freezing meals and taking back for the occasional non-Chinese meal thru the week. I think I am getting enough vitamin MSG.
I have not done much traveling around since arriving, so there are very few photos (compared to the other Chapters on previous trips). I have been to the biggest city, Hangzhou, near here, twice, so far, and will add those photos in the next chapter soon.
Any and all comments are welcome.
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