We needed the weekend off – something different, calming, invigorating and maybe even fun. There were about 30 of us from our school, teachers and the like – well actually teachers. There was another bus, parents and children – that is a thing about our school we all live in the same place – Campus Village. Work and after work get intertwined. Teachers that had been in Tunisia were concerned about what happened yesterday there – a mob attacked the US embassy and destroyed the school they had been at. What put our ears to the conversation was that we had a letter waiting to send with our resume for jobs there. There is a music job and we were asking if there was something for me too. The letter would have gone out when we got back from our trip but maybe not now. Maybe we are best staying in an Asian country. China is so much safer than a lot of places. There is even less violence than in the states. We are fenced in and have guards everywhere but I cannot image something like what is happening in the Middle East happening here. Of course people at our school that were in Libya last year and barely escaped and from Damascus which is being leveled as we speak keep us thinking that where we are is probably best. We are still hoping to teach in India/Viet Nam/Cambodia and etc. before we retire – though the countries taking people over 65 are dwindling. Maybe a country in turmoil would be good at least we would end our career with stories to tell.
The Dalian International Club hosted our weekend trip to Dalian Bingyu National Geopark and got us the Binguanzhuanyong Hotel – just slides off of the tongue doesn’t it? Bingyu Valley Scenic Area is called 'Oriental Miniature Switzerland' though we are not sure why. There is some resemblance but hey China, China is not quite Switzerland.
What I find about China that I had not realized before was how, at least from highways, it looks like most anywhere else. We could have been going through upstate New York except the signs were not legible but otherwise driving on the same side as the States and the other side if Australian. Even the road stops were dissimilar to the ones on the New York State Thruway. The toilets were squat toilets – something I will never use to and the food was in Chinese but for the most part a sort of similar copy to an American brand and of course like the NY Thruway not a good place to eat except for chips and candy and ice coffee. I was disappointed that I was unable to get a fridge magnet – something I try to get everywhere I go – the side of my fridge is totally covered with about a hundred magnets. It is the one thing I can collect that easily fits in my bag.
I started collecting metal signs from train stations but after getting two; one from a Paris train station and the other from Lyon when I was traveling the world with my children in 1990 and I still have them. But I am sure the station master would take a slim view of me if I had been caught. I tried pulling this sign off but it was nailed in – I thought it would like good in my classroom.
I suppose the suggestion is one should throw away things with vigor. Cautiously? spelt causiously is just as good. We what know what you mean mate.
The town of Bingyu is quite the place. There was a lot of singing in the streets - see our video clip on youtube - listed at the top... and dancing.... and fireworks... it is a great place to go. And I am too tired to add more but here are some photos from our weekend the rest are on our slideshow... cheers
Why I ate tofu - why eat something that can not run away because its feet are stuck in bucket...
The opium cart and other herbs - including poppies - something that looked and smelt like hash along with other carts of weird things all appeared in front of our hotel - I suppose they figure a bunch of teachers need a break
was Buddha a drag queen?