June 6th, 2010

Dalian Zoo, Take Two

video of Craig and I petting baby tigers…

baby tigers

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May 31st, 2010

Beijing, Take Two

Pics of my trip to Beijing over the weekend (5/28-5/30).

Mopping up some characters

Temple of Heaven

me in front of the Temple

stairway to Heaven

inside the Temple

I let him borrow my mustache

posing in front of Mao

Mutianyu Great Wall

wish I knew what it said...

sliding down the Great Wall

inside the Forbidden City

more Forbidden City

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May 26th, 2010

Shi Yan Middle School Exercise

Filming what the middle school students do during their morning break (see if you can find the student that falls during the routine…and count how many times!).

ShiYan exercise

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May 16th, 2010

Bungee Jump video

Here is the video of Winston and I bungee jumping back in the fall of 2009.  It was during our October 1st holiday, where we also went to the zoo and fed chickens to lions on the same day.  If you want to read more about this, check out an earlier post titled “David Has an Eventful Day.”

Winston and David bungee jump

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April 28th, 2010

Shanghai

Pictures from my trip to Shanghai, 4/23-4/25.

in front of the Pearl Tower

building on the left is the 2nd tallest building in the world

view from the Hyatt

China's building for the Expo

"Haibao" - mascot for the Expo

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April 5th, 2010

Dandong…Or How I Learned to Get Really Close to North Korea

For our 3-day weekend, some of the teachers and I decided to go to this city called Dandong, which is about a 4-hour bus ride from Dalian.  What makes Dandong special is that it borders North Korea, separated only by the Yalu River.  The two countries are connected by the Friendship Bridge, which is one of the few ways to enter and leave the country, and is only used by automobile traffic.  While pedestrians are not allowed on this bridge, tourists can go to an older bridge 100 meters away that was bombed by the Americans during the Korean War.  It takes you halfway across the river where you can see people fishing, some old/abandoned buildings, and a ferris wheel, among other things.

Another landmark of Dandong is the Hushan Great Wall (Tiger Mountain Great Wall), which marks the eastern end of the Ming Dynasty’s extension of the Wall.

Below are some pictures, and in a separate post I uploaded a video of us climbing the Wall and walking the Friendship Bridge.

big Mao statue in one of Dandong's main plazas

entrance to Hushan

midway through the climb

at the top

a tight squeeze down from the watch tower

Friendship Bridge

over the YaLu River, and N.Korea is behind me

where the bridge was bombed

NK to the left, China to the right

I love China

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April 5th, 2010

Hushan Mountain/Friendship Bridge video

Dandong_0001

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March 5th, 2010

Birthday

There’s nothing like having the schools know its your birthday and canceling classes so you can relax.

Okay, so that wasn’t the case.  The school just got a new paint job and apparently the fumes are still very potent, so they had to take the rest of the week off.  Everybody wins.

The main reason for this post is to use this as a substitute for Facebook and thank all the people who took the time to post on my wall.  So in lieu of wall posting back to you, I want to thank Ali, Terry, Robbie, Glendalys, Mike G, Lizzie, Rachel C, Rachel (from Borders), Melanie, Jay, Leah, Cait, Staino, Jennings, Laura, Gretchen, Christy, TK, Zach J, Lauren, Kaitlin, Danny, J-Tizz, Marrisa, Aaron, Herbie, Kari, Petra, Grace, Elle, Heidi, Sean, Meghan, Monic, Carolyn, Nicole, Sabah, Alexis, Micah, Myra (say hi to your mom for me), Casey, Ben, my BSB, Ceril, Matt, Gracie, Hannah, T-Go, D-Steck, Kristin, Cheetah and Danielle.

Thanks again and I miss you all.

bday dinner (From L-R around the table: Rachel, Joy, Ben, Pat, Matt, Craig, Me, Maria...and Winston is the photographer)

eating noodles (or one really long one) = long life

Rachel surprised me with an authentic DQ ice cream cake

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March 1st, 2010

Lantern Festival

Pictures from the Lantern Festival on 28 Febuary 2010.  We went to Xinghai Park for the fireworks show and Labour Park for some lantern displays.  It was super cold.

cool statue

some of Xinghai Square

the center of Xinghai Square (the statue is on some of the post cards I sent out)

gotta have those foodies

the center of Labour Park

Tian'anmen Square?

a craftsman at work (not sure what he was making)

me and my Chinese zodiac

a lantern breezeway

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February 15th, 2010

Chinese New Year

So after 20 hours of flying I finally returned to Dalian at 11:30am on Feb.13th, which is the Chinese New Year’s Eve.  As soon as I hopped out of the taxi and headed to my apartment building, fireworks were already going off in celebration of this year’s Spring Festival.  This year is the year of the Tiger.  While I was reading the China Daily on the flight to Dalian, an article explained how women born during the year of the Tiger tend to be independent, bad-tempered, wild and unpredictable (Sarah Isaac should have been born during the year of the Tiger).  To find out if you are a Tiger, subtracting 12 from 2010 will give you the last Tiger year, and subtracting 12 from that year will give you that previous Tiger year (2010, 1998, 1986, etc).

Anyways, Matt, Ben, and I are good friends with this woman named Crystal, who is the owner of a bar we frequent called “Friends.”  She invited us to her bar to make dumplings and set off fireworks.  So after napping off my jet-lag, I headed over to Friends and was greeted by my fellow teacher-compatriots.  It was a very laid-back night.  We played card-games, learned how to roll dumplings and exchanged stories (I told Matt and Ben about Snowmageddon, and they recounted their experiences in the go-go bars of Thailand and Hong Kong).  We stayed up til 5am, where I was woken up only hours later to more fireworks.  Throughout the next day, fireworks were sporadically being shot off, with the whistling, popping, and crackling simulating the Invasion at Normandy.  I can honsetly say that only after 3 days of being back in Dalian…I’m sick of fireworks.  And there will be more.  But, I will admit that the Chinese don’t mess around with their toys.  These are just local residents setting off these things at the street corner, and they make the 4th of July look like a church service.  Hopefully you’ll be able to watch the video.

enough fireworks to bring Mao back from the grave

making dumplings ("jiao tze") from scratch.

Crystal's uncle is showing me how the gods made dumplings

the final product. if you find a dumpling with money inside, its considered lucky (but not if you swallow it)

Crystal and I

Spring Festival 2010

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