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Entries about chinese games

Back to China :)

After a summer holiday in the UK...

sunny 28 °C

So... after having been in China for 10 months, and then spending 5 weeks in the UK to catch up with old friends over the summer, I find myself back on my home soil - China.

It's strange to go from living somewhere so familiar for a such a long time, to move to somewhere so different in so many ways, only to feel more at home and at peace with yourself in your new surroundings rather than your old ones.

China is so incredible and has been the best decision I think I've ever made. Asia is so beautiful and so are the people, their cultures and how they treat people. I feel so at home here and welcome. When I finally returned, people welcomed me with love and open arms and I've never been so happy to be anywhere in the world.

Obviously the proximity to other Asian countries is ideal for travelling and allowing me to see other wonderful cultures on this side of the world, but more so than that, it allows me to continue soaking up the atmosphere and really emerge myself in the culture and customs and especially the language of this amazing country.

Ay, there's the rub! The language! It still eludes me but everyday I feel as though another word or the correct pronunciation sticks in my brain a little longer. It's so unfamiliar having to use tones and intonation to change a word rather than provide emphasis as we do in the English language. However, I welcome the challenge and will hopefully reap the rewards in due time.

People tell me I am an inspiration - I enjoy this idea but don't believe it. I feel very blessed to have found the strength to do what I have done but it was inspiration that drew me to this place; I can only hope that my story helps others find the inspiration to do something they will truly love with their whole heart as I do now.

At the minute however, I feel very disconnected from myself which is making me feel disconnected from China so this needs to be rectified immediately! I think my brief time in the UK has reset me somehow, so I feel like I have to re-tune myself to my surroundings and rejoice in them once again. A brief moment in time showed me that although I love it here, and I do, when something happens and I cannot find a friend here to console me, I still have people in my life, albeit in a different country, that can still bestow good wishes and vibes on me which is reassuring and gives me hope that even though rivers and oceans separate me from the most important people in my life, they are never truly that far away.

This new school year promises to be a fruitful one - my kids from last year are my kids this year so I get to enjoy their growth from the beginning until the end, which will be very rewarding. The plan for Chinese New Year is Cambodia, Vietnam and possibly Malaysia so watch this space for another look at the Asian world through the eyes of a soon to be once again optimistic western traveller :)

Posted by Lady Mantle 05:52 Archived in China Tagged cambodia malaysia vietnam work chinese_food travelling students teaching teachers foreigners tefl new_beginnings chinese_games starting_again Comments (0)

The Forbidden City and the Great Wall...

sunny 25 °C

Today was our second excursion around China and we started off in the main town around the corner from us to look at the Forbidden City.

It is HUGE! It genuinely is a city inside the city. There is some beautiful architecture and statues and the rooftops have such intricate detail on them that signifies different things. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and patient with us when we needed to stop for some unplanned breakfast and just generally wandering off to look at stuff close-up!

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  • So after walking around the beautiful garden and outside of all the different buildings inside the city, we then headed out towards the Great Wall.

We stopped at a Silk Factory and saw how the silk quilts and gorgeous duvet covers are made right from the silk worm life cycle up to the actual production itself - it was really educational, and obviously then lead to a selling environment. The quilts were amazing and soft but without knowing the size of my bed at school, I didn't really want to buy anything, which was a shame as some of the covers were stunning. So instead I bought a little silk coin purse as I've been using a pocket in my bag so far which is getting a tad annoying!

After the Silk Factory we moved on, further towards the Wall, only to stop at a Jade manufacturer - granted they had some lovely pieces, but not being a massive Jade fan, I wasn't won over by the whole experience. However, this was also where we had lunch! Typical Chinese lunch, the same as the tour yesterday, but a bit nicer today. Instead of sharing the tour with 2 Australians, we had the genuine delight of a middle-aged German couple who kept buying us drinks!

We moved on from lunch to the Great Wall and finally arrived. Holy hell, that was a lot of steps!

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Advice to anyone going to the Great Wall:

  • take a good pair of shoes as the steps can be quite slippery and worn down and you can't always rely on the handrail.
  • old Chinese people will overtake you with such finesse and speed, it can be quite disheartening!
  • do some stretches before you embark on the incline as your legs give out half way, even against your will.
  • take bug spray, or apply bug repellent as they are hundreds of midgies and flying things that kept nose-diving into my cleavage and hair!
  • take it slow, if you thinking going up fast will help, it definitely doesn't and you want to die a lot faster than if you just take your time and half little stops every 10 or 20 steps.
  • of course, this advice may only be applicable to unfit, overweight individuals, such as myself!

But hey, I still did it, and here's proof:

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In your face Great Wall!

Plus I definitely left my mark for anyone else that may happen upon the same bit of wall I did:

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And of course, the Duck made an appearance at the Wall, how could he not!?

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Also saw these guys just chilling out with some Chinese Checkers!

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So tomorrow we leave for the school and a new adventure begins!
I'm still super sick, but the Chinese keep plying me with medicine and tea so hopefully I'll be feeling a bit better before school starts on Monday!
I'll update this with information about my apartment and put some pictures up, but probably not until Sunday as our train isn't until 17:41 and it takes at least 4 hours so I will be hanging on by a thread tomorrow night!

  • I really hope I can still walk tomorrow, I feel ok right now, but those steps really put a cross-trainer to shame!

Posted by Lady Mantle 06:51 Archived in China Tagged insects great_wall forbidden_city cold silk jade chinese_medicine chinese_games Comments (4)

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