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Miyun Week 3

Miyun Travel Blog

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I enjoy a Mojito

The week at school went ok.  I seem to be settling into a routine so no real highlights to speak of...

I’m getting to know the students a bit better, and I definitely have some classes I like more than others, which was to be expected.  The students are generally pretty lazy, not a huge surprise at their age, so it takes quite a lot of effort and energy to get them motivated.  I spent the week trying to think of fun games to play in the next lesson plan.

Inga and I have to do activities with the teachers each week, which involves selecting a subject to discuss with them.  The idea of the exercise is to help them practise their oral English.  You would think this would be straightforward, but no - T.

The Sparrow kebab!
I.C.!  These women have no life as they have to work all the time, so it would appear they have very little to say about anything.  Half the problem is that their spoken English is appalling and they are embarrassed to speak.  They learnt their English from Chinese teachers, and those teachers from Chinese teachers before that.  It’s actually a mad concept for us to consider learning a second language and never visiting the country or have the opportunity to learn from a native speaker, but that’s just the way it is for them.

We gave them a list of subjects we could discuss and asked them to let us know which ones they were interested in.  Despite this, they still had little to say.  To make matters worse, the teachers from the different grades are interested in different things, so if a teacher activity works well with one group, it can fall flat on its arse with another.

Entrance to Summer Palace
  Oh well, only 32 more teachers activities to go until the end of term!!

Friday brought the usual trip into Beijing.  Nobody else was around on the Friday evening, so Inga and I headed out to find a bar at Houhai known as the No-Name-Bar.  I’d read about it in a great little guidebook and it sounded pretty cool, but as it really had no name, I envisaged it being a little hard to find!  However, despite my usual bad luck at finding places in Beijing, we managed to get to the No-Name-Bar with relative ease.  It was everything we’d hope for.... a great view of the lake, a cosy and relaxed atmosphere AND reasonably priced G&Ts!

Paranoid Mike called to say he was around, so came to join us later in the evening.

The Buddhist Fragrance Pavillion
  After sinking a few more drinks we headed to a noodle bar for food.  Mike insisted on ordering a sparrow kebab because he had promised himself he would try all sorts of new and weird things whilst in China.  I clearly couldn’t resist the opportunity to have a taste.  Strangely, like most weird things, it tasted a lot like chicken.

The following day Inga and I decided to head back to the Summer Palace, after having such a disappointing visit whilst still at UIBE.  We had a really great afternoon walking around as it’s such a beautiful place and a real must-see when in Beijing. 

I bought a rather fetching Chinese princess headdress for ¥10.  An absolute bargain for the fun I was to get out of it.

View looking up Fragrance Hill
... From that point on I wore it around the Summer Palace and for the first time since getting to China, I turned into the celebrity as opposed to Inga!  People asked to have their picture taken with me and there were crys of ‘so beautiful, so beautiful’ from passers-by.  Had I known that all it would take was a 10 kuai princess headdress to be consider beautiful, I would have bought one earlier and worn it to the teachers’ welcome dinner!!

After finally deciding celebrity life was not for me, I removed the headdress to restore anonymity before getting a taxi to our bus station....

Typically we managed to get lost as the taxi driver took us a different route, which confused me massively.  Despite being in Beijing for 2 months, I just can’t seem to orientate myself, which is quite surprising for someone who usually has a very good sense of direction.  I have a feeling that Inga’s total lack of direction is somehow rubbing off on me. 

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I enjoy a Mojito
I enjoy a Mojito
The Sparrow kebab!
The Sparrow kebab!
Entrance to Summer Palace
Entrance to Summer Palace
The Buddhist Fragrance Pavillion
The Buddhist Fragrance Pavillion
View looking up Fragrance Hill
View looking up Fragrance Hill
Stairs up to the Buddhist Fragranc…
Stairs up to the Buddhist Fragran…
View across the Summer Palace
View across the Summer Palace
Another part of the Summer Palace
Another part of the Summer Palace
Outside the Buddhist Fragrance Pav…
Outside the Buddhist Fragrance Pa…
Detail at the Buddhist Fragrance P…
Detail at the Buddhist Fragrance …
View across the Summer Palace
View across the Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Inga by the lake
Inga by the lake
Boats on Kunming Lake
Boats on Kunming Lake
Pagoda by the 17-arch bridge
Pagoda by the 17-arch bridge
The Chinese Princess looking super…
The Chinese Princess looking supe…
The beautiful 17-arch bridge
The beautiful 17-arch bridge
17-arch bridge detail
17-arch bridge detail
Going fishing on Kunming Lake
Going fishing on Kunming Lake
A misty view across the lake
A misty view across the lake
Across the lake
Across the lake
Paintings on the Long Corridor
Paintings on the Long Corridor
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Inside the temple at the Summer Pa…
Inside the temple at the Summer P…
A car with eyelashes!
A car with eyelashes!
The bar at the No Name Bar
The bar at the No Name Bar
This is my favourite picture at th…
This is my favourite picture at t…
Inga enjoys a Mojito
Inga enjoys a Mojito
Posing with PM
Posing with PM
Miyun
photo by: lizharvey79