When I saw the topic of this Sunday’s Post, I wondered if I should go out and find someone working; however, I remembered I had shot quite a few images of people at work during my stay in China last summer.
I find it interesting that I still have not gotten comfortable taking similar pictures here in my own city and country. I guess there’s something about being a tourist that gives me (in my mind) license to shoot just about anything.
And now, I’m off to the gym before returning to my work, prepping my lessons for the week. I hope you all have a satisfying and productive work week.
Laoshan Moutain near Qingdau: The aroma of her food was enticing, but I passed on it. Now I wish I’d indulged.
Beijing: I think he has a difficult job.
Beijing: This soldier stands guard at the Forbidden City. He looks so young and alone.
Beijing: He makes beautiful china in the Hutong area; unfortunately, I could not afford any of the beautiful pieces.
Beijing: She cooked my delicious meal when I dined in a private residence in the Hutong area.
Qingdau: She was working so hard to sell her ears of corn.
Beijing: My tour guide through the Forbidden City…I’d been in the country only two days and was still afraid that I’d get lost, but he made sure that I was safe. His English is nearly flawless and his talks were informative and interesting.
Beijing: Olympic village, just outside of the Bird’s Nest, on his way to another job.
Feicheng: Diane, one of the participants in my workshop, teaching her students as they prepare for their English exams.
Feicheng: I understand that this is a nightly event in the city where I worked. I walked around the city only twice in the 4 weeks I worked there; I spent my evenings in the hotel, usually preparing the next day’s lesson. This summer, I vow to experience more of the local life.
Shanghai: I bought some of his bread and was surprised that it tasted salty, and not sweet like the Indian Fry Bread that is sold in Arizona.
Last summer, I worked with excellent English teachers in Feicheng, Shandong Province, China. This city of nearly a million people has a small-town feel for me. Each evening, after dinner, the town becomes alive as its citizens walk along the river, amidst the parks, and on the city streets, which become alive with buyers and sellers, with the enticing aromas from the food vendors, and with friends sharing their daily joys and woes. On one of my last nights in the city, I took my camera out to capture some of the city’s essence and culture before I returned to the United States.
I purposefully did not “clean up” the white balance on these images because I want to show the warm glow created by the lights of the city.
Thanks to my well-loved Nikon, I was able to take a small part of this family culture home with me.
A major ingredient of the culture: the ubiquitous bike in its various forms
Aromas wafting from the street vendors enticed us, but I did not indulge because we had just finished a delicious dinner with our hosts.
The streets are lined with people and merchandise ranging from lingerie and linens to hardware, automotive parts, and jewelry.
The streets are vibrant with life.
Because I plan to spend tomorrow with my family and to not touch my laptop, I am posting my JAKESPRINTER SUNDAY POST today (Saturday)
“You have a lot of energy for a senior citizen” they told me. My students gave professional and job-related comments on my evaluations, but one after another complimented my work ethic, my energy level (oh if they only knew how drained of energy I really felt), and my courage for traveling and taking chances “at my age.” I chuckled each time they referred to me as a senior citizen, because, even though I regularly get invitations from AARP, my parents, in their early 80s, are “senior citizens.” I learned that, in their culture, I would not be working except to watch my grandchild.
I spent more than five weeks this past summer in China; I toured, took pictures, and taught. I had been hired to work with three other teachers from my high school district in Feicheng, China (which is southwest of Beijing). We were contracted to work with 160 Chinese teachers of English. Their skills ranged from nearly proficient bi-lingual to learning the language (the teacher with the weakest English skills still puts me to shame in my understanding of Chinese).
Before the job itself began, I toured Beijing and Shanghai. My team had experienced Beijing before and wanted to see more of China; because this was my first trip, I wanted to see the sites of this ancient and modern city. I took a chance with an English-speaking Beijing tour group I’d found on the Internet tour-beijing.com and was delighted with their service.
They arranged for my train passage from Shanghai to Beijing; a young lady picked me up from the train station, delivered me to my hotel, and four days later, made sure that I was safely on the train returning to my team in Shanghai. Each evening, my tour guide called my hotel with information about the next day’s activities. I was a little sorry that I had a different guide for each day and that I would be with a different group of people as I enjoyed the people I met the first day. However, it was also fun to meet new people.