Halloween and Gloria Jean’s
For about a day or two I felt like I was surrounded by zombies and ghosts, everywhere I went I could see them lurking in the shadows. Strangely enough, they all came in a really small size, that’s when I realized that Halloween had come to Tianjin.
Halloween isn’t really celebrated as a holiday here in China; it’s more a fun thing for the kids to dress up at their kindergarten. Some cafés arrange pumpkin carving and this usually attracts a lot of people. My roommate Liza works in a kindergarten and on Halloween they had a Halloween party for the kids and handed out candy. Our Halloween was pretty quiet, a lot of homework and thesis writing, so no party for us. Liza did, however, carve her own pumpkin and I was pretty impressed with the result.
Last week was a quiet week overall, not much happened. When the weekend came I realized it was the first weekend I’d spent in Tianjin for a month, what was I going to do with all my time? Well, Liza and me decided to try out some new cafés and just relax. We were walking on the campus of Tianjin University, which is just next-door from ours, when we saw it; Gloria Jean’s. Good coffee with lots of interesting combinations and a nice and relaxing atmosphere. My friend from Australia told me that this is a popular coffee-chain in Australia and she and her boyfriends go there every week. They had an interesting combination; Latte with ginger and honey, pretty tasty let me tell you; shame there was zero coffee in it. I’m addicted, it’s a fact.
The good thing about last week was that I got a lot of studying done, I’m working on my thesis with the very complicated title: A summary of chemical emission limit values for waste water discharged into recipients from a selection of hazardous activities. It’s a title that you have read two times before you actually grasp what it’s about, but it sure is interesting and I’ll be a real expert on wastewater when I’m finished. Other than that I just keep on doing my homework, having private lessons (when I’m not sick, which is about every other week), meeting with my language partner and just keep busy. I met another Chinese girl yesterday that wanted to practise her English with me, she pretty much grabbed me and said; –Are you from the States? –Ehh, no, Sweden, I replied. –Good enough, she said and now we’re meeting this weekend. Turned out Sweden was her favourite country, fancy that.
Yesterday me and my friend Claire went to one of the parks in the city; the weather was nice and the air was good. There was an amusement park within the park, but tourist season was over and most of the attractions were closed. It’s nice to just walk around and enjoy the sun; you don’t do that here very often. Back home I’m used to being able to go out into the woods whenever I feel like it, but here you always have to plan when you are going somewhere. In the evening I went to my first yoga class and I met a nice German girl, we exchanged wechats and are now officially “yoga buddies”. After that me and Claire went to a Korean restaurant to have some Korean sushi and my favourite; paocaibing 泡菜饼，really delicious and not so spicy. On Saturday I have visitors from Sweden coming to Tianjin. They actually live in Beijing, so they don’t have to travel that far, but hey, it’s their first time coming to Tianjin. I guess I have inspired them with all my stories of what’s going on in the subway and on the streets here that they felt they simply had to come and visit.
That’s all for now!