Tuesday, 6 September 2011

'Snap happy’ and a bit of shopping (Chinese style)

I haven’t mentioned the photo taking yet but we have had this a lot throughout our time in Beijing and even more so when visiting the Great Wall (we were even pulled into a family shot there). I think I was also covertly videoed as we climbed back down the wall to the exit! We do get stared at a lot and sometimes I find it a bit strange because we really can’t be that interesting! Even people on bikes and motorbikes tend to stare causing a little bit of a hazard when they forget that they need to keep their eyes on the road. But I suppose it is rather nice being told that you’re beautiful by complete strangers! I am not sure I will ever get used to it but because we are now trying to settle in Tianjin I hope people will get used to seeing us! Maybe when I get home I will find it strange that people aren’t staring!
A photo of a lady taking a photo of us on the Great Wall

They look after you in China!

Food Shopping definitely deserves a mention as it is so interesting wondering around a Chinese supermarket not knowing what anything is! Although this backfired the other day when I really wanted shortbread and I bought something that looked like shortbread and felt like shortbread, but it most definitely was not shortbread! You can kind of guess what most things are although sometimes you just have to go for it! Some of my favourite discoveries so far have been cucumber crisps (and they really are what they say on the packet…”cool and refreshing”), peach Fanta (very tasty), giant pot noodles for like 30p (we have been living on these and they are way better than home) and every single flavour of Oreos you can find (including mint ice cream flavour and strawberries and cream flavour).

This photo was taken in Tescos in Tianjin!!

So now we are up to the middle Sunday of our two week TEFL training in Beijing (21st August). Hayley, Fiona and I decided to head to the local shopping centre for a bit of shopping….we first discovered the Costa Coffee outside and headed in there for our caffeine fix. I had a lychee ice tea which was really good! I like how they take western brands and add a bit of their own flavours as I have never seen that before in the UK. We found a cute shop that had lots of nice things but it was western prices so we decided to leave it for now and try and nab some bargains later on! I must mention Chinese fashion here as do kind of love it! It’s very cutesy and sometimes a little too twee but all in all I am a big fan! The girls all dress up nicely and make an effort whether they are going to the supermarket, the park or to work etc. Kitten heels are massive here…one old lady was even climbing the Great Wall in them! There are a lot of lovely dresses in the shops and they seem to go in for very cute and slightly vintage looking collars and a lot of lace trimming. The patterns are nice too ranging from floral to polka dot. I have decided that I am going to take my camera out with me from now on and snap all the fab outfits that I like! Even though I won’t be able to understand it, I have decided to purchase Chinese Vogue and it comes with a cute free bag and I thought it would be fun to look at the pics anyway!

That Sunday night we were debating whether to go for pizza but Steph was really in the mood for dumplings so we went for Chinese. The waiter had to get a relative on the phone to talk to us to find out whether we could all eat pork which I found rather funny. So Steph definitely got what she asked for and we ended up with more dumplings than we knew what to do with. They eventually made it to Steph’s freezer (I am not sure if they made it to Tianjin or not!). When we got back that night it was time to do a little more prep for the following day as it was our chance to take our first English class with real Chinese students!!

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