Home Again, Home Again

Here we are, back in the sunny climes of BC. Twelve days home and finally fully adjusted from the jet lag. We have eaten and drank too much already – but that is not likely to change.

We have noted some things already which have raised our eye brows. Personally, I am ready to start either a sit in or a revolution. I stopped at Coquitlam Centre’s Sweet Factory for an ice cream cone the other day – 2 scoops $4.79 plus tax = a nice round $5.00. Excellent marketing! A couple of days later it was at Crepe Delicious – also at Coquitlam Centre. $4.95 plus tax = $5.20 – in a cardboard cup! Want a cone? $1.00 more  A DOLLAR? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The woman says “Well, they have to be paid for too.” I passed and walked down the street to Tim Horton’s/Coldstone Creamery – geez, what a deal – a cone is only 85 cents more there.

It is nice not to have to look fourteen ways before you cross the street and to have drivers actually stop while you cross – crosswalk or not. What a treat!

Now some final reflections from Jiaxing

Jiaxing Transportation

If you think that look is pure terror, you’re spot on.

On the back of a student's scooter

On the back of a student’s scooter

How can we not have a last shot of typical parking.

Sidewalks are for parking - community bikes and Land Rovers

Sidewalks are for parking – community bikes and VW SUVs. I don’t know for sure, but it is conceivable he got out and moved those bikes to create his “parking spot”  (Ed. note: Okay, not possible because of a couple of reasons, but still…)

Jiaxing Deconstruction and Construction

We have told our Jiaxing friends that the only possibility of us returning would be to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the school Terry started. If we do I am looking forward to seeing how much more deconstruction/construction will have occurred in the intervening 7 years.

Some scenes of how they knock down building in Jiaxing

Some scenes of how they knock down buildings in Jiaxing

And then there is the construction…

This is an abbreviated 5 minute video of some of the construction between the railway station and our apartment. The entire video was approximately 25 minutes with the other 20 minutes showing a similar amount of construction. With the exception of one gas station in the video, every and I mean EVERY building you see was built since we arrived in Jiaxing in late August, 2012. This is one of perhaps 5 routes in or out of Jiaxing where you would see the same amount of construction. (Ed. notes: 1. If you are in China and want to get a taxi driver to drive responsibly, pull out your phone and film the ride. They slow right down. 2. The Lincoln dealership is one of the 60 they are opening in China between 2014 and 2016.)

Jiaxing Wildlife

We talked about the mice in Terry’s office in a previous post. Can you imagine the size of the mouse (Ed. note: Rat?) that carried this bone up to the desktop to chew on? And no, the critter didn’t find the bone in her office – he/she/it brought it from elsewhere.

That is a Chicken bone!

That is a Chicken bone!

Yes – Jiaxing Wildlife*. Grandmas are always looking after the babies. There are so many things which come to mind in this photo Terry took. The overwhelming one is the changes these three women have seen in their lives – from The Great March (Ed. note: A bit of a misnomer in Mao’s history of China) through Mao’s reign of Terror to having cake in Starbucks.

Three Grandma's and a kid

Three Grandma’s and a kid – *the kid is typical of the wildlife which frequently runs rampant in Starbucks.

Jiaxing “Signs”

We went to the Jiaxing Dragon Boat races. They were very ..uh…dragon boatish which caused this father and son to need some sleep before the next heat. The sign? Chinese people sleep anytime, anywhere.

I hope the baby fell asleep first

I hope the baby fell asleep first

I hope this fellow thoroughly enjoys the case of milk in his right hand that he is taking to the picnic. The sign? Typical outfit of any males in Jiaxing.

...and wearing a lovely floral peony outfit....

…and wearing a lovely floral peony outfit….

There are either many ways  – or no possible way to interpret this sign. It will always be a memory of the plethora of signs we saw. I could never figure out why they bothered since under the sign there was no English. It was the same in many Chinese magazines. An English title over a Chinese article.

Our Last Chinglish Sign

Our Last Chinglish Sign

Jiaxing Beauty

In China, as elsewhere in the world, women will do almost anything to enhance their natural beauty.

Lord help her if there is a short...

Lord help her if there is a short…

Shanghai Oddities

On our last visit into Shanghai we wandered into a mall, looking for Muji. Instead we found this sailboat which was three stories high.

Why? Just Why?

Why? Just Why?

The Shoe Blog – The Final Episode

This is it. Nothing spectacular – even a couple that may have made an earlier appearance but I do like red.

Hope you enjoyed them

Hope you enjoyed them

Well folks that is it for me. I have no other interesting photos, anecdotes or bizarre memories to share with you. As I said the last time, thanks for the comments and kudos. Terry may have one more offering in her to share – if she ever finishes unpacking and rearranging our home or gets off the golf course.

However, whether or not this is the final Jiaxing Express is entirely up to you – and I hope you take up the offer. We offer you the opportunity to share your experiences with our readers. After three years of reading you know what we do. Write about your trip and add a few photos and voilà – a blog post is created. Feel free to ramble, or be succinct, to give advice – go here , don’t do that, or to just do captioned photos. One thing we have learned over the years is that people just enjoying reading about other parts of the world. Don’t be intimidated – “Oh, I could never write like those two”. You don’t have to be sarcastic like Geoff, or a deep thinker like Terry. The writing doesn’t have to be overly long. For example this post is 1154 words. 500 words is plenty – or just do captions and photos. Put it all together yourself or send it to me in parts – all text and a separate file of photos and I’ll do it for you. Talk about a recent trip or one in the distant past. If it was a long trip write about a couple of places now and then in 6 months give us another set of experiences. (Ed. note: Ed retains the right to note. Looking forward to hearing about Jan and Peter’s big trip!)

Travel has given Terry and Geoff many memories and provided you with some laughs and insights into Southeast Asia. That’s what we hope to continue. If you want to write anonymously we won’t share your name, but if you want the credit you are due, we are happy to publish your name.

We all look forward to hearing from you.


12 thoughts on “Home Again, Home Again

  1. Petra Kintzinger

    Not to put too fine a point on it, Geoff, but are you supposed to be eating ice cream every day? … xo

    1. tdwatt23

      It was lunch! Plus ” I stopped at Coquitlam Centre’s Sweet Factory for an ice cream cone the other day – 2 scoops $4.79 plus tax = a nice round $5.00. Excellent marketing! A couple of days later ” Just wait until I see you Ms Kintzinger. I am a waif!

      1. Catherine

        Hi Terry + Geoff
        I may work in Jiaxing this coming academic year. I was looking for information on the place when I stumbled upon your blog. Fantastic account of your experience. Very informative for me! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy BC !

      2. tdwatt23

        Hi Catherine – Please accept my apologies for not replying sooner. When we were out of there, we were OUT OF THERE. I haven’t looked at the blog in a long time! If you did wind up in Jiaxing, feel free to contact Becky Block. She is the principal who took over from Terry. Her email is beckyjblock@gmail.com Good luck and thanks for reading.

  2. George Wright

    Hi Terry & Geoff,
    A welcome back, don’t know how you stayed so long in that country. Must have been so you could go traveling to other parts of East Asia. I read about 60% of your blogs, some were very interesting, others quite boring. See you at the Pitt some day. Cheers ……gw

  3. Kim

    Welcome back, guys! Glad to hear that you are almost over the jet lag. What an adventure! Hope to see you over the summer!

  4. Jan Gustafson.

    We met Geoff at Osooyos a few years ago before your trip began but we stated we would be interested to read the blog. My goodness we have learned lots from your blog and your adventures.

    Enjoy yourself back in Canada. Jan & Butch in Moosomin, Sk

  5. Bruce

    Great to have you back! I’m thinking an evening of good food, wine with some former Chinese teachers and admin.


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