Sunday, 12 April 2009

Sunday Strolling

destruction preceding construction: I expect a new apartment block (like the one in the background, will be built here)

a gate to one of the apartment buildings

I didn’t enjoy getting up at 6.30 (as if I ever do!) but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I waited for the bus for so long that I ended up having to take a taxi and could’ve snoozed for another half hour, but I’ve had a really good day so I don’t mind. This young guy, an international trade major now working in an import/export business, came up to me at the bus stop and struck up a conversation with me – he was so nervous he was shaking, but by the end of our brief conversation he was smiling and tremble free, which made me feel happy. I hope he’s gained a bit more confidence speaking English now, as he was really very good.
one of the Olympic mascots, this was one of several stencils on the walls by the art school
this is one of several pictures trying to discourage anti social behaviour such as littering, removing man-hole covers (!) and fly posting...guess what people were doing whilst I was taking this picture...

I had my last day teaching at Ai Hua, the private English school I’ve been a cover teacher for this week. The classes were pretty uneventful, not very stretching or interesting to teach, but the kids are OK and it’s easy money. Two of the little girls in my last class were excited to find a resemblance between me and the Disney princesses on their pencil cases, which was quite cool. Although sometimes I curse the fact that in China I’m a size XL, (and M at the very very best), it’s also surely one of the few countries where anyone would seriously think I look like a cartoon princess.

I had a two and a half hour break between my morning and afternoon classes, and so I entertained myself by wandering around the local market and housing estate. It’s a very pleasant area, quiet but with lots of shops and market vendors, a primary school and a private art school.
yummy yummy!
this man is the baozi king!

These are the best baozi (large steamed bread dumplings) that I’ve ever had. So good that I might consider taking the bus there again just to eat them. And amazingly good value at 2 kuai (20p) for six.
my main difficulty at the vegetable market was choosing which delicious looking veggies to buy!

I checked out the fruit and vegetable market, and bought some delicious strawberries that I ate from the bag as I walked, and finished off sitting underneath the beautiful flowering trees that lined one street, which is the best smelling part of China I’ve visited! Perching on the wall of the primary school, watching the people walking by, (and being discreetly watched by the Chinese street vendors), enjoying the relative peace and quiet and mingled smells of ripe, sweet strawberries and heady yet delicate flowers is a China memory I know I’ll cherish.
where I perched
If you have any idea what species this tree is I'd love to know, my knowledge of botany know consists of merely the memory of having to memorze the chemcial equasion for photosynthesis!

On a slightly more mundane level, in the same neighbourhood I also fond what seems to be the only shop in the city that sells shorts, which is a relief as my cosy jogging bottoms are now becoming rather torturous to actually work out in.

a map of the housing estate; the numbered orange blocks are apartment buildings, some of which have shops or businesses on the ground (or first) floor


  1. Interesting stroll through the streets. I wonder, what's the attraction to removing manhole covers?!

  2. Very interesting post! I love to find out about other countries. The dumpling made me hungry. I think I'm going to get me some today :)