Clare Bridgford

Ms Bee

Clare Bridgford

I am 22, and from Des Moines, Iowa. I am living in Guilin, China (in the Guangxi Autonomous Region) while I teach 11 to 13 year-old students English at the Foreign Language School Attached to Guangxi Normal University.

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin October 7th 2010

While I was upset that I was unable to lock-down travel plans for the week-long National Holiday...staying in Guilin has given me the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the city and the culture - and a few other things as well. 1. They save the leftovers in dining halls and restaurants. Often times, you will see it scraped into a big bucket outside the door...a mildly nauseating sight. What I didn't know, is that they send it to farms to feed to the pigs. Pork is, after all, the prefered meat in China. 2. I discovered the location of a good salon that gives great manicures and pedicures. 3. On holidays, the guard at F.L.S. with the keys locks all of the buildings before 10:00pm, then he if you do not want ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin September 28th 2010

I have been back in China now for a little over a month. I have been teaching for 4 weeks. I am worried that I have even less patience than I did last year. I have not taught a full week of the same schedule yet. It is frustrating. I have 22 classes and 8 office hours a week, which keeps me at school nearly twice as much as I was last year. I still don't have internet connected properly in my apartment either. I thought I was getting along well with the new teachers until they decided to travel during the New Moon Festival without me. While they were gone, they made plans to travel during the National Holiday (a week holiday from school and teaching)...and conveniently managed to leave me out of the loop ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin June 29th 2010

I have fewer than 9 hours before my flight leaves for Shanghai and I begin my 24-hour journey homeward. I am hopped-up on caffeine and adrenaline. At 10:30 I took Meimei to my friend’s apartment for her summer-long slumber party. We sat and talked, and then were invited to Adam's. Adam lives in a palatial estate (by Guilin expat standards) most of China's standards for that matter. He has a big apartment over-looking the river. It has heated tile floors, an oven, a dishwasher, a laundry drier, ten computers and even a hot tub on the roof...all of which are luxuries we are not accustomed to here in Guilin. We sat around eating and watching pirated U.S. television programs until 2:30, when I decided to make the ride back to my apartment on e other side ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin May 19th 2010

A lot of things need to be said in this post as I have seriously dropped the ball this last month. I have been putting together my students' oral examinations and trying to get next year's contract signed so I can get my new Visa before I leave China. I have been spending a lot of time lately with people who have made it clear that they will be staying in Guilin next year. There have been birthday parties, and I have performed (a number of times at various venues). Above all, there have been "ladies' weekends" to Yangshuo. Our last trip didn't end as happily as I had hoped. I must have had a spider or some other kind of insect in my bed because when I woke up I was covered in bites, and ... read more
Yangshuo-Night out
The Eye

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Zhouzhuang April 8th 2010

We visited the little canal town of Zhouzhuang our second day together. The city had some beautiful things to see and delicious food, but the locals have definately learned to squeeze every cent out of the tourists. Every stall sells the same stuff, so we realized that nothing was truly an "original" as the vendors had insisted, and they originally asked for 200% more than they would sell for. All you had to do was say you didn't want to pay that much and keep walking and they would chase you down and offer their goods for substantially less. My favorite part of this town (besides the shopping and the cafe latte) was the Budhist Temple. I got a bit more artistic in this town with my photos, so bear with me.... read more
Female Lion
Male Lion

Asia » China » Shanghai » Jing'an March 31st 2010

One of the sites we saw in Shanghai was the French Concession. In all truth, I wasn't very impressed by it. It was the equivalent of Guilin's Western streets...only bigger, cleaner and more expensive. Thankfully our guide, Sky, rushed us through this area on our way to lunch. While walking through the Concession I passed a man with an old-style silk cap with strings down the back that had been braided to resemble human hair. I pointed it out to dad and told him that we should get one for Grant. The man wearing the hat noticed my dad and me staring at his head, so he placed the hat on my dad's head and proceeded to pose for a picture with him. We all got a good laugh out of the moment.a good laugh out ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin March 31st 2010

I want to extend a few apologies. First, in my past rushes to publish blog entries, I have failed to do some spell-checking and grammar checking. It's a bit embarrassing considering I am here imparting my knowledge of the English language to the budding minds of Chinese youth. Second, I am sorry for not immediately posting in full detail about my Spring holiday with my parents, I think it's best if I summarize from now on. I have began hosting Couch Surfers. I haven't been without a surfer for more than a week. I will blog a little more about this later as I have a surfer and we are getting ready to get dinner. I love you all. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Always, Clare ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai March 7th 2010

My parents and I spent 5 days in the Shanghai area. I loved the hustle and bustle... It felt like New York City, except most of the buildings were 4-6 stories and they were spread over a greater distance. There are some really amazing buildings there, and several interesting sky scrapers, please don't misunderstand. Shanghai just isn't as condensed as Manhattan. Day 2 (Best of Shanghai Tour) Our guide Sky picked us up from our hotel at 9am and whisked us (my parents and a group of English retirees) off to the Yu Yuan Garden and Old Market District in the City Center. I have to keep reminding myself that I was looking at new old Shanghai. The old market was a cluster of buildings built in a more traditional style with very narrow walkways that ... read more
Shanghai Old Market
Dragon Wall
Shanghai Yu Yuan Garden

Asia » China » Shanghai » Pudong February 28th 2010

I left for Shanghai at 9pm on January 30th. Operating under advice from a friend, I left for the airport at 5:30pm expecting an hour-long commute. It only took me a half an hour because it was mid-afternoon on a weekend, and traffic is not as bad on weekends. I tried to budget time in the airport for confusion and language barriers, however everything went smoothly, and I was seated in my terminal 2 hours before my flight. Oops. I sat around, read and people watched until it was time to board. My flight was packed, and I sat smashed against the window. Thankfully the flight only took two and a half hours. I arrived in Shanghai a little before midnight, and found my way to the hotel-booking counter. The same friend estimated that I could ... read more

Asia » China » Guangxi » Guilin February 26th 2010

My parents left for the States today. It was a bittersweet goodbye. We had a fabulous time exploring China together. I will write more about our adventures (of course) included. I am hosting my first ever couch surfer, a 25 year old Italian name Alessio. He calls himself "Ales"...or "Alex." Hopefully I don't have that wrong. I don't want to spend the day calling him by the wrong name. That would be embarrassing. I am taking him out for street noodles, and then we will grab drinks at a bar somewhere. It's his last night in Guilin before heading up to his internship in Guilin, so I want to show him a good time. He will be a working man by Monday. Anyway, I will write soon. Love to all, and safe travels... Clare... read more

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