|Here comes the train!|
Let me back up and start at the beginning. My school in Beijing is located in the National Tennis Center (国家网球中心). By in the National Tennis Center I mean our school building is the building that surrounds the Lotus Court. Usually, this doesn't mean much except that it's a long walk through the National Tennis Center to get to the school building (I need to buy a scooter!) and that the elementary kids actually have recess on the Lotus Court (I've got a post coming soon about the school itself). There are, however, two weeks out of the year when this has a very significant impact and that is the last week in September and the first week in October. During these two weeks, China hosts the China Open, an international tennis tournament that as you can guess is held at the National Tennis Center. Several of our classrooms and offices are taken over by the China Open. Our students use the lockers in the China Open locker rooms as their regular lockers and so, of course, they have to empty them out prior to the China Open. As you may have guessed by now all this means that we cannot hold school and so we get a two-week break! Now all of China has the first week of October off to celebrate Chinese National Day (commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949). However, having the week before off is awesome because you get the opportunity to travel without the masses (the so-called Golden Week is a crazy time travel-wise). I took the opportunity to travel to Baotou, Inner Mongolia.
|My berth is top left through this window.|
|The view down the train car.|
In Baotou, I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with friends. I was able to work around my friends' work schedules to spend almost all of my time (over the course of 10 days) with various friends. I visited my foreign friends (and made some new ones), my former co-workers (and one former student who now works at the university) and my former students (my first year in Baotou I worked with the Iron and Steel Company's training center and my students were all adults, many of whom became good friends). I stayed in a hotel two nights and with friends the rest of the nights and I had a great time. I'm going to let the pictures (and their captions) do the rest of the talking. Enjoy!
|I went to Saihatala park with one Chinese friend|
and four American friends (who are also blondes).
We attracted a TON of attention.
|I decided to take pictures of the people|
taking pictures of us.
|They were not the least bit covert in their|
|I had deluded myself into thinking this|
didn't happen as much because it doesn't
usually, happen in Beijing but in Baotou the
foreigner is still the fish in a fishbowl.
|Baotou is known as the city of deer. However, this park and a statue|
in the middle of a traffic circle are the only places where one can find
any deer in Baotou.
|You thought the picture taking was over, but you were|
|Meat on a stick, anyone?|
|Just when you thought you'd reached the top you turned the corner and saw that there was more!|
|I ran into a woman I had known 11 years ago (the on|
the left. The one on the right jumped into the photo.
After this photo, she wanted one of just the two of us,
however, it wasn't until that point that she realized this
was my camera)
|It's kind of hard to see because of the lights behind us,|
but this is my former university student and her mother.
|This donut shop belongs to a friend of mine. Unlike Beijing, Baotou|
doesn't have Dunkin' Donuts, but these donuts have a pretty
|I couldn't resist a picture of this dog. I thought its|
grooming was unique, to say the least.
|Here comes my train back to Beijing!|