Buildings, balls and Bonsai

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 03, 2013

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Flag of China  , Guangxi,
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This week had been relatively quiet in that I haven't been flitting out of the city and no superstar treatment!!
 Building works continue at a rapid pace at school. The new canteen was opened with much fanfare at 0600 on Monday morning - needless to say I didn't quite make it but could hear everything from my apartment!! We now have the workmen working day and night as they demolish the old canteen and adjacent buildings - with the assistance of a big "tonka" toy and jackhammers which start at 0600 and finish close to midnight - as well as others laying new concrete and marble tiles everywhere, replanting trees etc and so the noise goes on. My head is constantly throbbing with all the noise. Where have I put my ear plugs??!!?

In addition to the building works I have had the "pleasure" of listening to each class (all 67 of them) practising the school song day and night in preparation for the schools 10th anniversary in a few weeks time. I think if I was given the words in pinyin I could also sing the song as I have heard is soooooo many times!!

To enhance my adventures from last week I was taken to see Deng Xiaoping's boat this week. It sits on the side of the river and is used when visiting dignitaries come to the city, special ceremonies etc....not for the common people like me!!

On my adventures into the city this week I discovered a new park decorated with the famous embroidered balls which this area is renown for. A local custom amongst the Zhuang minority nationality areas in Guangxi the embroidered ball represents love,so if you want to show your love for somebody, you give him/her an embroidered ball as gift. So if a female throws an embroidered ball to a man it means I LOVE YOU . They are made with silk and come is all sizes and many colours.....will definately have to buy myself one..regardless of the legend/custom!! Seen once in the park and now I have started seeing them everywhere but they are lovely to look at so I don't mind.

I also encountered Chinese bonsai this week. It is amazing how different they are between each of the Asian countries. I think many of us are used to seeing the traditional Japanese bonsai but I've now seen the Vietnamese and the Chinese versions both offering different characteristics. Also spotted about town was a massive display of traditional chinese tea sets of which I photographed one to give you the idea....

It is amazing what my students can do with a piece of paper as seen here by the "origami" pen holder.....unfortunately they have been known to use pages out of their textbooks much to the horror of their Chinese teachers!! You will be pleased to know that mine is made from plain paper but I still felt I had to sneak it home - not sure how I'll get it back to Aus without squashing it!! 

Lastly this week I have to share with you some classic "Chinglish". I purchased some thermal underwear (in nice bright colours not like Nanna's!) in anticipation of winter and my visit North. Its cheaper to buy here as they dont really need them but sell them anyway!! For a good laugh here is the direct quote off the packaging;
"Breathe delightfully fresh with nature, finally understand, only there are pure comfort can let me am pleased, openning the heart"

Dont you just love it......bye for now. xxx
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Ray H on

Hi gorgeous. Great to see you are still active. The tea sets are wide and varied aren't they? What I like about China and Japan is how well they package everything from biscuits to tea sets etc. There are also some tea sets which change colour once filled with hot water. I used to like going to "tea houses" to taste the various flavours. They treat you so well and service delivery is excellent. Often they will take you through the whole tea preparation process from smelling preparing and pouring. Keep up the good work and enjoy the experiences. xox

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