I think everyone was just about ready to move on when it came to the end of our induction course in Beijing as we hadn’t really been able to unpack properly in the hotel or get settled. In fact we barely even knew what time of day it was when we were in our room due to the lack of windows. I know us Tianjiners were very curious about our schools and our new home for the next year, especially as the first thing we were told about Tianjin at the London Briefing Day was that Tianjin is a “shithole!”. Nevertheless we were in good spirits despite discovering that the wheel on my very heavy suitcase was in fact broken and that we had to check out at 6:30am (or so we thought).
I have discovered that the best thing to do when you’re in China and faced with something that you know would not happen at home (like people jumping the queue) is to chill and just go with the flow or you will go slightly mad. Most people made it down to check out by 6:45am as our bus was leaving for the station at 7:30am. But Jake and I probably did not check out until 7:45. The reason for this was probably the vast number of us that needed to check out, the fact that there was only one person on the desk and that every room had to be checked before you got your deposit back…and yes I believe arguments ensued for things like a missing cup as well as a bit of make up on a towel which meant that it was ‘ruined’. But Doris (our ever amazing CEAIE adopted parent) remained calm and got us all checked out, deposit in hand. It was then time to say our goodbyes and head to Beijing South Railway Station (which is rather modern and has a very ‘airporty’ feel…your bags even have to go through a scanner). And as we were about to go through the gates to board the train, guess what song we heard coming through the speakers at the station…yes ‘Tian Mi Mi’of course (our wonderful closing ceremony performance song) just to see us off!
I had to do it...a link to 'Tian Mi Mi' but this one comes with a quite a lovely little arty film...
The bullet train was great and travelling at 291 km/hr, we arrived in Tianjin in just over 30 minutes! Now Beijing South was great and included escalators to get down to the train with our massive suitcase…not so at the other end in Tianjin! But the boys did well and lugged all the suitcases down the stairs! We hung out in Tianjin station for about 10 minutes not quite knowing what to do then Katy was the first to leave us as her mentor teacher arrived. Then slowly but surely the teachers started to pick us up…including our lovely mentors, Shawn and Alex. Our Tianjin adventure was about to begin….