Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Down Memory Lane: The Great Wall

August 17, 2012

Scenes from a visit to the Great Wall of China in 1987.

I first saw the Great Wall of China in 1987.  I was in China with a group of other professors from our college on an exchange program.  In some ways it’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since then, but the memories are still fresh.  These are just some of the pictures I took on that memorable day.

To see other pictures from the Great Wall, click HERE.

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A Picture and a Story

March 15, 2010

Floating restaurants in Aberdeen village, Hong Kong. June, 1987.

I have been tagged by Kirigalpotha from Sri Lanka.  I tend to shy away from tags, but I got curious about where this one would lead, so I followed the rules (up to a point).

The rules for this tag are as follows:

1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people.

The first folder in my Pictures folder is 1987 Aberdeen.  The tenth picture (scanned from a slide) is shown above.

I should hasten to explain that Aberdeen is a village on the south shore of Hong Kong Island.  In 1987 I traveled to China for the first time with a party from the college at which I was teaching.  Our first stop along the way was Hong Kong.  We spent three or four days there and one day we took a tour of Hong Kong Island.  Aberdeen was one of the stops on the tour.

Aberdeen was (and as far as I can tell still is) known for its floating village and floating restaurants.  Fishing is an important part of industry in Aberdeen and many residents live on boats anchored in the harbor.  The floating restaurants, such as the ones in the picture, are quite large and seem to do a good business.  Our group visited Aberdeen in the morning, so we missed the opportunity to eat at one of these restaurants.

Now I’m going to break the rules.  Instead of tagging anyone I’m going to invite anyone who is interested to check their computer.  If an interesting picture and story pops up, please share it with us.

My World # 17

February 9, 2009
Bicycles at Tianjin zoo.  Summer, 1987.

Bicycles at Tianjin zoo. Summer, 1987.

The picture above was an important part of my world in the summer of 1987.  To see more of our world, or to join the fun and post your own pictures of your world, click HERE.

As many of you know, I have been to China four times to teach English.  In 1987 I was part of a group of professors from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, who went to Tianjin, Peoples Republic of China, to teach English to Chinese professors at Tianjin Normal University.

China was a pretty drab place in 1987.  Many people, men and women, wore dark Mao suits.  There were almost no automobiles on the road even though Tianjin was a city of 7 million people.  Almost every one rode black bicycles.

We found that our Chinese students were quite good at reading English, fairly good at writing English, but very poor at speaking and understanding spoken English.  So much of our teaching involved talking with our students and getting our students to talk to us.

I quickly discovered that my students were much more likely to talk outside the classroom than in.  One of my students got a bicycle for me and we went riding around the city just about every day after class and on weekends.  The picture above was taken at the parking area for the Tianjin zoo.

I know my bicycle is on that lot — it’s a black one.

It Was Cold Then Also

January 19, 2009
A snowy street in Tianjin.  December, 1994.

A snowy street in Tianjin. December, 1994.

As most of you know, Betsy loves snow and has been bitterly disappointed that we haven’t had any so far this winter.  We had a problem with black ice Saturday night/Sunday morning here on Plateau, but that’s not the same thing.

So, being the nice husband that I am, I tried to find a picture with snow that Betsy hadn’t seen.  In the process I reminded myself of what it means to feel cold.

The picture above was taken outside the main gate to Tianjin Foreign Language University, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China, in December, 1994.  I was teaching English at the university that year.  The street scene is very typical of Tianjin at that time — a few motorized vehicles, but lots of bicycles.

We didn’t have a great deal of snow in Tianjin that year, but it sure was cold.  Like everyone else, I rode a bicycle when I had to go somewhere beyond walking distance.  My apartment had heat, but the classrooms were unheated.  I’ll have to admit that I never quite got used to teaching with my winter coat and gloves on!

Fortunately spring did come to Tianjin and we all thawed out.  But I do have many happy memories of my year in Tianjin and I hope Betsy appreciates the opportunity to see some snow!