Beijing · China · expat · teaching · travel

Around the World in 80 Minutes

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Just some cute pictures of our tie-dye day at one of the schools I work with. That was lots of fun. These guys are so sweet. In other news, it is finally spring in Beijing. It seems to have changed seasons overnight, with flowers everywhere. Including my toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Someone at Crest China decided that it would be pleasant to brush your teeth with gardenias and I apparently did not look closely enough at the picture on the label and wound up with a mouthful of foamy perfume:

IMG_1574We’ll just chalk it up to yet another “Why, China?” moment. I feel like I’ll have enough for a book at some point. But I digress. I’m thoroughly enjoying the flowers that confine themselves to the outdoors:

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I even love the cotton seed “snowstorms” that happen like clockwork in April. (Read more here.) This should give you some idea of them:

I know this phenomenon drives a lot of people crazy but I enjoy it. It always makes me think of Horton Hears a Who, carrying his little Who-town around on a speck of fluff.

Not much going on around here. I have passed my one-year anniversary mark, however. China and I will probably never be besties but we’ve learned how to get along for the most part. (Hint: leave my internet alone and we’ll be fine.) I’m definitely sticking around for another year and hopefully will get to do some traveling outside of Beijing for a change (besides Hong Kong for the umpteenth time). Goodness knows, I do enough traveling within Beijing. Just for kicks I calculated up the hours I spend commuting. I teach exactly 20 hours a week. I spend 25 hours a week getting to and from jobs. This is not including the time I spend commuting to other places.

One place well worth the time on the subway though, is Beijing’s World Park. Jess and I and our new friend Neishya went way out in the suburbs last weekend to find this place and had a blast. It’s monuments and famous landmarks from all over the world built on a smaller scale and scattered around a huge park.

Around the merry-go-round were statues of all twelve zodiac signs, so we each posed by our own:

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We saw Egypt, including the great pyramids:

IMG_1413IMG_1564Italy, with St. Peter’s, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, and St.Mark’s square in Venice, complete with hundreds of tame pigeons being fed and played with by tourists:

IMG_1566IMG_1568The Taj Mahal, Easter Island, even a section depicting Chinese landmarks, the gates of Babylon, the Acropolis of Athens, Big Ben, the Trojan Horse, and Notre Dame.

IMG_1569The Eiffel tower was particularly impressive:

IMG_1567And, of course, America, including the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a scaled-down version of Long Island, a little eerie since the park is old enough to have been built with the Twin Towers.

The park has performances as well. We enjoyed the ballet dancers; very impressive, but that little toddler in the bottom right stole the show. He kept running out on the pavilion in front of the stage dancing along with the music. At one point, most of the crowd was laughing and cheering him on.

IMG_1570This place is pretty awesome! A little eccentric in places, but definitely worth the 100RMB. If you’re looking to get outside Beijing, check it out.

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