Tianjin – Day Two

Well, today we visited Libby and Keith at school. And we went by way of the fish market area…..it was…..special. Very crowded and not very pleasant smelling. It is one of the really poor areas – as you can see by the housing.

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You can see the housing here…..

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And this is the intersection we were stuck in for awhile…..Kimberly said she didn’t even notice that it was that crowded when she was driving. This is all in a road that is about 2 lanes….

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And here is where you can stop to buy your fish. I think that it is completely sanitary. And if you’re lucky, they will cut it up for you using a sharp rock.

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See – totally clean. It was really quite sad to go through there. Such extreme poverty. And I do not know where these fish come from, but the river around the corner is absolutely disgusting – Kimberly says it doesn’t even freeze in the winter and it smells hideous.

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And this was coming at us…..good thing the bike cart isn’t too big and we are able to maneuver pretty well.
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This is what happens everywhere we go. The staring – almost falling off your bike while you do so. We get stared at EVERYWHERE. And it is not culturally inappropriate so they do not hide it at all. We get this for two reasons – there aren’t a lot of tourists in Tianjin and they usually use bike carts for hauling stuff, not people.

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And this was Katie with a headband – the ponytail holder kind that go all the way around your head. I just thought that was a totally happening style she created.

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Um….I think this is just more traffic?

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The large black and red building you can see in the middle are Ancient Culture Street. This is a replica – or perhaps it’s just been rebuilt – of what it originally was. It’s a completely tourist-y area where you can buy things from little stalls. Lots of souvenir stuff.

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There is another picture of it as well. And notice the people staring.

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This is me in a rick-shaw (no idea how to spell that one….) at the restaurant we ate at. We ate some really good Tianjin food there. Something spicey-ish with chicken and something with eggs and tomatoes and some garlic broccoli that I skipped cause I don’t do garlic. Kimberly’s Chinese teacher went with us to shop and eat. She was really helpful because sometimes we weren’t sure what was a good price and what wasn’t. They will always tell foreigners higher prices.

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I got name scrolls made for the boys here. They were 50Y total for all 3 of them (works out to about $7). They are really beautiful! Quite a crowd gathered – I think mostly to gawk at us, but then the man making the scrolls could tell it was making us uncomfortable (about our bags and being stolen from) and so he whipped the scroll he was working on off the table and said there were too many people watching and he would just put it away. Then when they left, he got it out and finished. I thought that was nice of him.

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And there you can see it a little more – he wrote the name, then did a drawing at the bottom (Adam’s is some bamboo design that means “strong”?), then he wrote Tianjin in Chinese characters at the bottom, their name in English along the side at the top and then in Chinese characters under that. Very beautiful! I cannot imagine paying $7 for 3 of those in the US!

So that was our day yesterday! We came home to what is called potstickers in the US – jiaozi hand made by ayi. They were delicious! Then Kimberly and I went to the foot massage place and had that done. It was really different than US massages. Much more intense – like reflexology or something. It felt quite good, especially since my feet were so sore from all the walking.

Best news – My suitcase came!!! Kimberly and Keith said it like Christmas getting all the goodies in there! So many foods and such that they cannot get here plus some other goodies.

Today – more shopping at another market! This one is their favorite so it should be fun! Kimberly says she knows it is time to leave when she runs out of shopping bags!

17 comments to Tianjin – Day Two

  • Dawn

    Wow! I love those scrolls for the boys! make one that says Micah will ya 🙂 hee hee What are special time with your sis! Enjoy it and keep those pics coming, it is so strange to one minute be here in the southwest US then the next in a foreign country that is a day ahead of us! Hope your foot is doing ok.

    Dawn

  • I cannot believe that you are really in China!!! I am so jealous. Wow. Great pics and great story. Sounds like your foot isn’t too too bad. Stay safe and don’t breathe too much.

  • Vicki K

    Emily, thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I just love looking at your pictures and reading all the things you’re doing. Glad your ankle is good enough to get around town. Enjoy every moment with your sister and her family. Be safe!!!

  • Very cool pics, and thanks for some insight into the other side of the world. It’s interesting to see how Chinese people also view us here in the U.S. The scrolls look really beautiful. What a great treasure to bring home. Stay safe, and stay away from that river ;-P

  • Gracie and Fred's Gram

    I am so enjoying your trip. Thanks for sharing with us. Are you allowed to take all the pictures you want? As a scrapbooker, that would be my first question. Then can you bring them home? Love, love your reports. Enjoy your visit!

  • Jennifer

    I am enjoying your trip almost as much as you are. Even Jeremy, ever the nonchalent man, has taken an active interest in reading your goings on, descriptions, and pictures!! I bet you just LOVED

  • Jennifer

    SORRY, didn’t mean to puch enter.. I was saying I bet you just LOVE being gawked at. I bet you aren’t turning red at any point in your trip.. Love the rickshaw pic. It totally reminds me of that Seinfeld (not that I was big on him, sometimes there was nothing else on), but the seinfeld episode which Kramer races or something..
    anyways, i miss you, have a great time!! be careful, and use your handiwipes!!!

  • What a wonderful experience for you ! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Emily, I love being able to keep up with you vicariously through your pictures! What an incredible experience, and the scrolls are so lovely! Thanks for taking the time to share when you must be awfully tired. 😀

  • Katydidnt/Katy

    Em, I can’t believe y’all didn’t pick up any fish from that nice lady with the rock and ask Ayi to fix it for you! Maybe if our fishmonger at Whole Foods would squat down in the aisle and cut it up for us I might buy more. Yikes!!!! Have you learned to work the front door yet? I show everyone that picture Kim took of it. truly amazing!!

  • Samantha (SammyStamper)

    Sorry for the staring. I think it is the red hair – my hubby is a red head and they love him in ChinaTown when we go to SF. I love hearing about your trip. Enjoy your time with Kim and the family. Glad your ankle is feeling better, my heart broke for you when I read you had been injured. Even better that both your suitcases arrived as well. Have fun!

  • Emily, thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. It’s so great to see the pictures and to hear about your experience. What a treat. Take care of yourself.

  • Tina Suzan

    Again, Thanks for sharing day 2 of your adventures. How lucky to be able to experience another country/culture. My cousins (many years ago) lived in Hong Kong for about 8 years, they are both Journalists. Such an eye/mind opening experience that REALLY teaches/shows you another part of the word we live in. Have a safe/healthy rest of your trip. Happy to hear the suitcase arrived too!!

  • Joan F.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us! I look forward to seeing your blo9g everyday!
    Joan

  • mnhyrkas

    I love hearing stories from your travels. Hmmm, do you think the staring might be because not one, but two beautiful red-haired ladies are strolling around? 🙂

  • I LOVE THE PICTURES!!! It looks like you’re having an awesome time! 😀

  • Glad you enjoyed the fish market for us. There are a couple stores that I have been in here in the US that I refuse to go into again because of the fish market. I cannot even imagine open air on the ground fish market.
    Enjoy your time with your family! I love reading about your experiences in China. Thanks for taking the time to share!

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