China Journals

Around the World Without Flying - Part 4

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A June 2010 trip to China by Shady Ady

Jiankou Great Wall Photo, China, Asia More Photos
Quote: I'm attempting to travel around the world without flying. From England the first leg of the journey will see a one month train journey to China. Once in China I will teach for one year before continuing my travels. See http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/ShadyAdy/ for photos (they are too big to add here).

Week 34, 35 & 36 - First Impressions

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Story/Tip

Taizi River - Benxi Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
Summer should be a time of excessive tanning and evening drinking. For my wife and I, it’s been nothing but six day, sixty hour working weeks brought about by extra summer classes and my employer’s strange obsession with sacking every new teacher that arrives. Since arriving in China I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming three new teachers through the gates of Benxi, all of which have been sacked within a month. First impressions seemingly count for a lot here. Thrown in at the deep end with classes full of scrutinizing parents and expectant children, the sink or swim philosophy has yet to reap any survivors. It’s not only your teaching style that’s rigorously examined. Your appea...Read More

Week 33 - No Beating!

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Story/Tip

Benxi Skyline Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
It’s been a long time coming, but summer has finally arrived in China’s north-east with a bang. Within the space of four weeks, the snow covered streets have been replaced with hot glorious sun, temperatures exceeding thirty degrees Celsius and inhabitants hell bent on eating the world’s supply of ice cream. While market sellers and barbecued kebab stalls line the roads, ‘tai-chi’ experts wielding samurai swords, orchestras playing poignant songs of yesteryear, and groups of choreographed dancing women compete for space in the cities parks. At night, like light-crazed moths, people flock around street illuminations to carry on with these activities. Women have replaced their long-johns and...Read More
Great Wall Marathon of China Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
After five months of waiting, and occasionally training, judgement day finally arrived. Like a prowling stalker, the Great Wall Marathon of China had crept up on me with little warning and great haste. I certainly wasn’t ready for it, the majority of my running done on treadmills, safely away from the sub-zero extremes of winter. Now one of the world’s toughest marathons, incorporating 5,164 of the Great Wall steps, was becoming more daunting as the seconds ticked away to the start of the race.The Great Wall Marathon of China is ran along the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall and the surrounding mountainous countryside in Tianjin Province, which borders Beijing. Unfortunately, having a...Read More

Week 29 & 30 - Sauteed Morning Glory

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Story/Tip

Jiankou Great Wall Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
There’s only so much "I’ll use you for all I can," attitude a hard-working, honest chap like myself can take, and upon hearing the three day ‘Labour Day’ national holiday was possibly being overlooked by my immediate superior, I decided it was finally time to fight back. A fight back that was surprisingly over before it started, my secret weapon, my contract, landing the winning punch with impressive ease.With the three day national holiday confirmed, the need to secure train tickets to and from my proposed holiday destination became an issue of utmost importance. Like all national holidays in China, it’s the only chance most inhabitants get to travel, often leaving public transportation u...Read More
Benxi Skyline Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
For me, one of the more worrisome moments of travel is when illness strikes. I’m not talking about your everyday run-of-the-mill sniffles, or a bout of the runs after a dodgy street kebab. I’m talking about the more serious aches and pains that you slowly realise might need more than a paracetamol tablet to fix. After four days of constant pain in my lower abdomen and groin, it dawned on me this could be something which wouldn’t take care of itself. I might be in need of expert consultation. In such times of need, like always, I turn to my closest, most trusted ally: Doctor Google. Doctor Google is a pessimist at the best of times, and after typing in my symptoms, I was highly disappointed...Read More