Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CHINA April 26th - 28th

As you 7 followers of my blog may know, I had the ever so lucky opportunity to go to China for 16 days for work.  Crazy the opportunities that life can bring you.  I visited the cities of Suzhou, Hangzhou, Tongli, Shanghai, Shandong, and a few other "small villages" with millions of inhabitants.  China is a great place to visit, but definitely reassured me of how lucky and happy I am with the Pacific Northwest.  Two things I missed the most were potable water and fresh air (biguns in my book).  China's coal industry is definitely taking its toll.  There were days where a traffic signal two blocks away was caught up in thick visible smog (also due to a local sandstorm).  On the upside the people were very nice and were fun to mime with.  The food is something out of a sci-fi movie and extremely delicious.  Out of all the different meals and dishes I had there was only one that I had a hard time getting down.  I called it the mayonnaise dragon due to its shape (I hate mayo).  
Long days with 13 and 14 year olds as my guides made this trip that much better, though I'm looking forward to visiting China again on a non-working basis.  Crazy busy modes of transportation and crossing the street kept me singin Bad Religion's "Frogger" the entire time.  There are so many things to say about this adventure.  I could type for miles, but I won't.  I will let the many pictures speak.  Some may not be too interesting and you might wonder why I posted them.  Each picture has some memory for me or struck me a certain way.  They only scratch the surface of what I captured.  This post is just the first of quite a few I will compile over the short near future.  I thought the best way to present them would be in order of the dates I took the photos.  If you didn't check out my other blog that I kept while I was in China you can click here if so inclined.  That blog was mainly put together for parents of the students back here in the states, but gives a good run down of what each day was like and the field studies that occured.  Come back soon for more photos.

Walked past this everyday.

Bamboo Scaffolding

First food contact.  Beijing Restaurant.

Fireworks every night.  100 Boiling was a night club where you chose your date as they line up for you. Not a brothel just a place to eat and drink with a provided date.

Bonsai at a 700 hundred year old school.


Any way you like it.


Carved Tusk at Suzhou Art Museum

Old Carver

Nothing is wasted.  Everything is tasted.

Are you civilized?

Inside Middle School classroom

Old wax and water.

Confucius Statue


The cutest girl I have ever seen eating a hot dog on a stick lives in China.

Buck Shot

All the kids say Derek has a big nose and good sense of humor.

Desert (Watermelon, Lychee, Dragon Eyes, and Pineapple)

Eating Broiled Beef and drinking Tsingtaos with foreign affairs.

Duck Tongue, Ginkgo Seeds and Bamboo


These rocks are all over.  They are first harvested from the mountains and then put into the big fresh water lakes nearby for many years.  This causes a desirable erosion effect.

Even the locals don't like the air quality.

Not sure what this was about.  You couldn't fall off of anything around it.

Fast food at Suzhou train station

Fava Beans

Faux Chix


Ate all of these

My tour guides

Typical Suzhou neighborhood

One of my faves.  Duck with garlic cloves and peppers.

No dryers in China

Not just an Americans Dream.

These people sold me lots of ice cream and weird popsicles, even a green bean flavored one.

So did these people

Rad ivory carving at the Suzhou Art Museum.  This thing is about the size of a half dollar.

These guys made me want to be a thief.

One of my students Keir.  He's a Humble Warrior.

One of the best interpretations I saw in my hotel.

Old calligraphy carvings at a 700 year old school.

Cool art made by Chinese middle school students.

Here's another.

And another.

Popular mode of transportation at the middle school.

Confucius statue at the High School.

Original site of 700 year old high school.

The high school had its own museum full of its personal history. 

Relics of olden days at the high school.

Worshipsville at the high school.

Interesting mess at the high school.

Wall carvings at the high school

More carvings

And more carvings

Even more carvings

High school science lab.

Those that are important.

A peak into home life.

Not all people were happy with us.

One of the many places that caused me to feel overwhelmed and confused.

Inside a middle school math class.  In China the teachers rotate classrooms not the students.

Math Teacher

Money Head

Ladies at the Suzhou Art Museum

PE at the middle school.

An old pillow.

As a teacher I can relate to how the dude on the bottom of this poster appears to be feeling.

One of many cute kids.

These were fun.

Typical crosswalk scene except this is a mellow crowd.

Yummy shrimp cakes

Head and all made for a wonderful treat.

I think I used to have a reoccurring dream about this dude when I was young.  Not kidding.

Hi Yah.

Some of the best food I have ever had was on the street.

Breakfast after Breakfast.

Use what you got.

I walked by this place everyday.  It was across the alley from the middle school.

A clear day.

Menu of food served for lunch with foreign affairs peeps.

Fruit galore

Swords from 700 BC at the Suzhou Art Museum.

Had to check my crossbow, machete, and samurai sword at the door of the long distance bus station.

We got a rad lesson in sword play at the middle school.

Tea Eggs.  Hard boiled eggs cracked an re-cooked in black tea and soy sauce.

Tea + Yummy Food + Pingtan + Antique + Vogue = Buffet Tea House

One of the many artifacts at the high school museum.

Here is the ancient technology being showcased at the high school's museum.  Yes that is an overhead projector.  How depressing.

My Crew.

Keeping me alive

Typical scene

Rad Vehicle.

View outside my hotel.

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