China Journals

Around the World Without Flying - Part 6

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An October 2010 trip to China by Shady Ady

Guan Men Shan National Park 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 64 & 65 - Respect and Dignity

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Story/Tip

Teaching in Benxi Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
I still have to pinch myself. After fourteen months and over 1200 hours of teaching, my time in Benxi has come to an end. I was expecting to walk out of school on my last day like a freed Nelson Mandela; the euphoric scent of freedom in the air and visions of a more fruitful existence on the horizon. Strangely though, like a person suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, I had nothing but feelings of sadness and regret towards the city that had held me hostage for all this time.It’s easy to say my time in China hasn’t been one of unadulterated passion. It’s been a sometimes long, hard slog. An experience though that has enabled some of my most rewarding and satisfying moments. I doubt I’ll eve...Read More
Benxi Snow Fun Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
This has been my second Christmas spent in China. While last Christmas still felt like the festive season, this year, even with a full day off on Christmas Day to celebrate, failed to ignite the giddy levels of child-like excitement of yesteryear. With just over a week left in Benxi before I can shake away from the shackles of permanent employment once again, this was proving a far more appealing date than the birth of Mary’s first born.As usual, most businesses and shops waited until the last possible moment to put up their Christmas decorations. I’m sure the majority have no idea to the real meaning behind this season of festivities, only the commercial, non-religious side gleamed from W...Read More

Week 58, 59 & 60 - Dancing Girls

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Story/Tip

Benxi Winter Skyline Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
Since coming to China, adaptation has been key to any successes enjoyed. Being viewed as an expendable commodity, even with plenty of experience and qualifications, has been the hardest truth to swallow. A little sweeter on the ego though has been the celebrity status granted my presence for nothing more than having blue eyes and white skin. You can never grow tired of such attention, whether it be excitable teenagers or giggling mothers. It cannot fail to boost self-confidence levels. With any positive though, there’s always a negative, and like any ‘z’ list celebrity I’m sure would tell you, with ‘fame’ comes plenty of mocking and abuse.Up until now, I’ve taken the mocking an...Read More

Week 54, 55, 56 & 57 - Mr. Tickle

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Story/Tip

Benxi Life Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
Drinking in China has always been a minefield of potentially explosive situations. Even after learning the drinking customs and the consequences they bring, drinking in China still brings about new experiences that surprise me. I was recently sitting in a local bar with friends, contemplating the merits of English classes that day. As we exchanged stories regarding the questionable behaviour of students and their parents, a procession of eight young Chinese girls entered the bar. They were dressed to impress with high heels, short skirts, and enough make-up to make a clown wince. These beauties wouldn’t look out of place on a night out anywhere in Britain, but here in China, their appearan...Read More

Week 53 - China's Got Talent

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Story/Tip

Guan Men Shan National Park Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
For a small city, Benxi has a decent number of tourist attractions. From national parks, water caves, mountains, lakes to a half-decent zoo, these have proved more than sufficient to keep me entertained during my limited free-time stay here. With three days left of the Chinese National Day holidays to enjoy, there was just the one destination I had yet to venture to; the nearby city of Anshan, home to the world’s largest jade Buddha. Known as China’s iron capital and an industrial powerhouse, Anshan is a two hour bus ride from Benxi. Attempting to reach the city from Shenyang Airport (after returning to the country from North Korea), it soon dawned upon my wife and I there was no public tr...Read More