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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blogging from China - Day 6

Today was the first full day in Tianjin. We started the day with a boat sight seeing trip down the Haihe River. The Haihe River is the mother river of Tianjin. The river is a major source of recreation. There were people swimming and fishing in the river. The river is much like most of the water in China in that it is somewhat polluted. Everyone in China drinks bottled water.

Exercise is a major part of the Chinese people’s lives. They bicycle ever where as well as spend a great deal of time working out in the local parks. I have found the Chinese extremely friendly. They want to know just as much about us as we do about them. You can clearly see cultural difference between the generations of the Chinese. The youth look like they would fit into any major city in the United States.

We then traveled to the “Five Main Roads” which were a concession of the nine foreign powers and now is the major area for International Architecture. After lunch we traveled to the Tianjin Museum. The Tianjin Museum hosts over 200,000 pieces of cultural and historical relics. The museum allowed everyone to really learn about the industrial development that has taken place in Tianjin over the past 100 years

We ended the day with a formal banquet hosted by the Tianjin Educational Commission. One of the purposes of this trip is to establish relationships that may provide opportunities for English speaking Chinese teachers to travel to the United States and teach for a year at a time. Mr. Newsom is our group's leader and has performed the official duties anytime there has been a ceremony or a presentation.

On the search for food front…
My Chinese hosts are beginning to worry about me. They are trying very hard to find foods that they think I would eat. What gets lost in translation is that I have always been a picky eater and it matters not what country I am in at the time. We went to a Chinese Restaurant where they specialize in Western cuisine. As you can see in the photos, there needs to be some work between our cultures on what is considered Western. I am thankful that they are concerned, but they don’t understand the amount of food I brought with me and that I am really not going hungry. Word on the street is that there is a restaurant around the corner that has French fries. I will give you a report tomorrow on my efforts to find American food.

Update…I found some French fries…All I can say is they were great!!!!!

Signing off for now…Bob


Anonymous said...

Hang in there Buddy! You'll be eating lots of burgers really soon!!! Glad you are having such an awesome trip!

Fred Van Acker said...

As I read through your comments each day I am saddened that you are being paid to attend this trip. Your mockery of the food is childish. Having just returned from China with my 16 year old, he was definitely a greater ambassador than that of which you have displayed. The biggest part of the Chinese culture is their food and the presentation of such. You have openly shown your dislike long before ever trying a single dish. Perhaps someone else should have taken your place that would have the decency to respect the culture while representing a gov't entity from the United States. Your hosts have been too kind to put up with your antics. You should be left to starve a week so you could appreciate the food. I myself have had dinner at the Great Hall of the people and am sure your antics were an embarrassment for everyone else attending. Not everyone gets a chance to have dinner there. It’s an honor. I have hosted many Chinese delegations to the US as well and can tell you, they don't like Del Frisco’s BUT they eat everything as it is done out of respect, something that you lack. Before you leave, apologize for your rude behavior as you will be working for those who hosted you in a couple of years.