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Seen in Tianjin

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Gallery

Chinese Zumba?

Here’s my first stab at an iMovie. It’s less than a minute long. The guy in the orange was so joyful.

Ctrip Review

I’ll never buy train tickets online from Ctrip.com. I thought it would make getting tickets a lot easier, but boy have I been proven wrong.

First I signed up for an account, as I would for any website. Then I selected my tickets. Again this was typical and I didn’t have any problems, but it took longer than most sites. I then selected my tickets and the page loading was slow and I had to start over three times. After investing an hour in this process I found I would have to pay a $10 fee for each ticket. The usual fee is 50 rmb (around 90¢). I went ahead and bought just one ticket planning to get my return ticket at my hotel.

Ctrip’s site says consumers can pick up their tickets at any kiosk. That was key for me.

I went to a conveniently located kiosk and was told that the only place to pick up the Ctrip ticket is at the train station. Yikes! Chinese train stations are known for slow service and long lines.

I wound up having to go to the station where I had to wait 50 minutes to pick up my tickets. Ctrip is a horrible way to go for train tickets. If I’d just gone to the station and bought mine there I’d have to wait in line for 50 minutes, I’d still have saved an hour and $9.10.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other themed photos:

Flâneur

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History, depicted and objectified

No matter what I do in China, as welcome as I feel, I’m naturally a flâneur, which is a fancy word for objective observer. Here I’m sharing a recently repainted administration building. I’m sharing a photo from Zhujiayu, the restored village near Jinan. I’m going there again tomorrow so watch this space to find out how that went.

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other themed photos:

Warning

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You’ve been warned

I guess this means you should carry small bills. The driver may pawn off his counterfeit 50s on you if you pay with a 100 rmb note. He’ll probably also drive you the long way round.

Understand why I don’t like Beijing taxi drivers?

Still Waiting

Should I give up hoping to get to China by Sunday the 4th?

Rather than sending the paperwork she got back from Immigration to my employer via an overnight express, this woman who’s done the job for years, emailed the teachers for their addresses expecting us to take the paperwork to a local consulate which we’ve never done. (In Hefei, the other site of a program did the same thing and unfortunately, the teacher complied. His paperwork is on its way to Arizona, where there is no consulate. He’ll just have to ship it all to Massachusetts.)

So she wasted Monday causing another precious day to be wasted. I emailed her to find out what day of entry to put on our forms for our paperwork and was told Sept 13th! Luckily, when I asked the woman in China who’s in charge of this, she said if we put Sept. 13th as our date of entry we would be able to enter before then.

Fingers crossed.

I better also say some prayers to be safe.

Limbo

Though classes start on September 5, none of the teachers going to China have their tickets to Jinan and the English teachers don’t have visas. There’s some unspecified delay in China. The office staff waited till August to do the paperwork on their end. Monday we were told it was submitted (no date was given) and that it will take two weeks there to get it done.

After that they’ll send it to Massachusetts. Then we’ll be asked to send overnight our forms and passports. Then these items get sent to the embassy in New York. I hope they’ll expedite the process so they’re done overnight. Then everything will have to be sent back to us from Massachusetts. Then we’ll get our airline tickets. I’d love to leave late next week.

The woman in China in charge of this says there’s no problem as we can make up the classes. The two teachers will teach 24 hours per week. Whoever teachers with that sort of schedule have had to make up classes (one because her father died, the other because his wife gave birth to a still born baby) at night. So they taught from 8 am to noon and 2pm to 4pm and then from 7:30 pm to 9:30pm and then the next day at 8 am. They had to do that Monday to Thursday for three weeks or more.

I have no interest in teaching such long days. Usually, I plan and grade at night and my days are plenty long. The other option would be to teach on the weekend. Neither of these options appeal to the students. I hate how the students and teachers are stuck in the middle and how no one will offer an apology or sympathy.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

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Chicago, Illinois

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Nara, Japan

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Thailand

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other themed photos:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other themed photos:

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