Monday, 20 May 2013

Back to Tianjin, China

... riding in the put-put ...
We spent a long day in Beijing.

The next day we went only have 1/2 way – just to Tianjin.

Greg loves the beautiful new cruise terminal where we are docked.

In order to make it a pleasant place for westerners the Chinese play western music.

Whomever chooses the music picked a seasonal genre for us to hear – Jingle Bells play for us in April.

This is the place where reading English is as interesting as it can get, for there is a translation needed.

One of the beautiful restaurants was called Heaven on World, a huge sign on top of the restaurant that could be seen from the train, enticing us in. 

“Heaven on Earth is what they meant to say,” Greg whispered to me.

Getting off at the Citizens Plaza and looking around would have been enough to do.

Can you help us find a street market?

Hoping we could squeeze in a Traditional Market Wyona approached some young students who looked like they might speak English.

She said to them, “I see taxi drivers refusing to take people who are speaking Chinese to them.

What chance will we have in them taking us.”

The students went to work, later explaining that many of the taxis are not licensed to go over a nearby bridge and they have to refuse passengers who want to go there.

... thanking the driver with cash ...
To get around this problem, she put is in two put-puts telling the driver to take us to a market – what turned out to be a market celebrating traditional beauties of China.

Before we she left the young woman said that she doesn’t live here, but that she was meeting friends to go for western food and they wondered if we would like to join them.

We laughed and said, no, we have come a long way for Chinese food. Western food just won’t work for us.

... pearl display at street pearl stall ...
At the market, I found a pearl vendors and some silk scarves.

After negotiating prices on those for me, and further down the way, Wyona found another pearl vendor. “I want both of these necklaces and ½ of another, all restrung and I will be back at 3 pm to get them.”

 ... Wyona at pearl merchants ...
Wyona told them all of that without speaking a word of Chinese, nor them speaking a bit of English.

Sign language is a wonderful thing.

 And so was this market.

Many days later we were saying, “What was wrong with our heads. Why did we leave that market so early. We should have spent every cent we had there.”

... red rope is to keep too many customers from entering the store ...
On our journey home, the subway line we needed to take was broken.

We would not have known, just the 5 of us standing there waiting for a train.

But the penny didn’t drop for us.

 OR ... keep your hands out of the subway door ...
A young man with fashionably shredded jeans tried to speak to us.

Then he went to find someone in the subway to translate for him.

She came back and said in English, “This person is telling you that you should not stand here, for the train will never come. Follow him and he will take you to the right spot."

... goodnight Tianjinn ...
That was the answer to a tourist’s prayer.

One not yet even uttered.


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