Winter

In Tianjin the weather doesn’t so much transition smoothly between seasons as smack you in he face with them. So 2 weeks ago winter happened, and since then the thermometer has hardly hit above freezing. So here are a couple of photos of leaveless trees and an icy river

A Walk Around the Block

Everywhere I look in this area I can see the school, big, imposing… and fee paying. Although it’s not the most expensive school in the city, parents do pay 10,000 rnb/y (£1000) for the pleasure of having their kids educated here. Given that the average wage in Tianjin is between 3,000-5,000 rnb a month that makes these kids rich (even if they do pale in comparison of the top 1%). The view out of the big window of the main building looks out into downtown Tianjin and it’s major building works. The place most of these kids are aiming for.

Two steps outside the school though, you catch a glimpse of another China. Here, house doors are covered with Chinese New Years decorations (believed to protect those who live inside), little corner shops with crickets in cages (Jiminy!), and old men sitting outside playing Chinese Chess. What is most surprising is that around a school, there are also quite a few derelict shops. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in investing money locally.

China grew rich and changed so fast its not a place where old and new exist alongside each other, it’s where they literally crash into one another (warning: gapyah blog/guide book line). For a lot of people this experience is similar to that old friend from home that won’t leave you alone to hang out with your new glitzy University friends, and keeps wanting to visit old haunts when all you want to do is go to the college bar and pretend you’ve always been this ‘cool’. However, usually these friends are also the ones who are best able to remind you who you are and why on earth you decided to study Anthropology.