Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summertime in Jinan

It is AMAZING how quickly the weather here went from cold (winter) to HOT. One nice thing is that the pollution has gotten much better. However it is very hot and humid here. The past few weeks have gone by pretty quickly because I've been pretty busy. Here are some pictures of my life the past month: 

Six of my students were in the United States for two weeks at a competition (held on campus at University of Tennessee) and then they traveled on their own--since they missed so much school work I had them write about some cultural differences they noticed. The results were really insightful and pretty funny. This one made me laugh: 

"American people have good manners and they follow rules"

Another student told me how they had all you can eat soft serve ice cream at breakfast (they were eating in a college cafeteria)--haha

Another laughable situation--these students have been learning English since they were in elementary school--yet one of my students still cant remember his English name. Or maybe its his second personality? 

Now that the pollution is better, I have been trying to jog (or at least walk)  on the track at least 4 times a week. I work at the #1 high school in the province (students here take admissions tests to get into high school, so they are all ranked) and these are our playground facilities...

That's supposed to be a soccer field...

These old guys walk the track EVERY night. I think they're cute :)

This is just a random "street food" alleyway/street. It was breakfast time--its a little crazy the differences in development because at the end of this road there is a gigantic mall like one in America. 

Right out the back gate of our school, there is a street of fruit and vegetable markets. This is the fruit lady that I always go to every morning. 

She recently recommended I try these weird melons--they are like a more juicy honeydew--and you can eat them just like apples. In chinese its called "tian gua" which means sweet melon. I'm addicted!

This is zongzi, or rice dumpling. There is generally egg yolk and meat in the middle, dates, peanuts or a flower. They are eaten during Dragon Boat Festival, which was last weekend. 

I cant tell whats in the middle of that one--which is why im a little cautious to eat them

These are the current starbucks fraps...they are SO unhealthy! And the red beans grosses mean out a little, even though it is a very popular flavor/thing to eat here.  They just started offering strawberry cheesecake. With all the new fast food joints here and all the bakeries i wouldn't be surprised if the obesity rate started to rise. (Now its pretty rare to see overweight people--Chinese body frames are smaller) 

Walking around the down.

right after i took this picture a shopper just casually picked it up and put it back in the water. 

These are egg tarts--they're sweet and pretty good. there are purple potatoes and i think red beans on top of a few

And Chinese pizza....(maybe bacon and ketchup?)

Pork grind meat and ketchup?

Fruity pizza

Preparing fried egg and noodles
A lot of asian cuisines include fried egg with many of their meals

My bus driver taking a quick nap...
While its a little frustrating, buses are the number one way i get around here. luckily google maps makes it easy to navigate, but i miss the subway system.

One of my favorite things to do is to browse the street market--its usually just a bunch of junk and knock off designer stuff

Did i mention I helped host the Senior 3 graduation? Yeah, next time I'm "vaguely" asked to do a favor for the graduation ceremony I wont agree until i get all of the details ;)

A glimpse at Chinese traffic--an intersection is kinda like "no man's land" just have to lay on the horn and be really cautious (did i mention that getting a drivers license is commonly something people pay each other off for...yike) 

This sign is absolutely necessary 
If you have read my recent posts, you know that chinese toilets are called squatters and are basically a hole in the floor--so sometimes people stand on the toilet and use it as they would a squatter. They find western toilets to be gross and disgusting. 

Also people smoke anywhere and everywhere. I wanted my debate team to have an argument over wether or not smoking should be illegal but they thought it was a boring topic. Its pretty gross. 

My coworkers and I at Korean BBQ--SO GOOD! 
I'll be interested to see if they have restaurants like this back in the states

Out with my coworkers again for happy hour. Hoegaarden is my favorite "splurge" beer here as it is most similar to Blue Moon (my first drink when i get back to america)

Last weekend we had a teachers conference in Nanjing (which is a larger city than Jinan)--a bunch of the teachers went out to this amazing Italian restaurant with real western food. it was AMAZING. 

We cant really get anything like this in Jinan. Afterwards we went out with the teachers from different schools which was fun--things escalated a little too quickly for me. 

Now im back in Jinan--because of testing we get a few days off during the week...but then have to work on Saturday and Sunday. It is amazing how close I am to finishing off this school year! I only have 6 more classes with my Senior 1 of which is an "America Fair" and their final project. I'm still working on my final decision for one more year in China or back to the states. I'm not sure if im really to leave asia yet! 

One more month until im home!! It has been tooooooo long!

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