From Winky to China: Day 9

It is hard to believe it but Sarah’s visit has come to an end. It has been a lovely time and we spent the last day having a lie in, relaxing with another favourite movie (Pitch Perfect) and continuing with the packing.

Our last bit of adventure was finalising our new apartment. We met with our agent and the owners to make our final payment and get our keys. We were lucky enough to have some members of the property management staff there to help us with translation. After a few hours contracts were signed, money was counted and the keys were in our hands. It is still hard to believe we are really moving.

To celebrate we first stopped at Cholito for a jug of sangria in the summer sun and then it was off to Oscar House for dinner. This was our first proper meal there and we enjoyed every bit of it. As always we were greeted with a warm welcome and Tong, the owner, even surprised us with a complimentary bottle of bubbly as a farewell to Sarah. The dinner was fantastic from start to finish, especially the chocolate molten cake.

We had a bit of rest before heading off at 3 am to get to Beijing airport. We really enjoyed being able to share a bit of our life with Sarah and getting to spend some time together. We look forward to our next visitor, who ever it may be!!

-Mrs T

From Winky to China: Day 6

Today took an unexpected turn, when at 9:32 we arrived at Tianjin West Train station for a train we thought was departing at 9:45. Now this was pushing it a bit, but we didn’t think much of it, in our minds we were still ‘on time.’ It turned out that the 9:45 on our ticket was for Tianjin South! I had bought the ticket at Tianjin West and had taken the train from there a few weeks earlier so I expected the same. Only in the moment when a kind English speaker translated what the information desk had explained did I remember the last time I took this journey the train departed ‘early’ which we found quite odd.

So we were at the station all set for a trip to the Great Wall faced with the prospect of having to try to negotiate in a foreign language to get them to change all of our tickets to another day! This was not how I had intended on spending my Saturday morning. After a lot of queue hopping and Google translate we were able to get the same tickets for Monday, and with no additional fees!

A disappointing start, but a bit of relief as we were all exhausted after two very busy days. Instead we spent the day relaxing and packing. We put some of our favourite movies on (A Place Beyond the Pines and Bad Words) and got to work. We made a good start but still have a bit of work to do.

We did venture out in the evening, to Kitchen Igosso for dinner. It was delicious as usual and we followed this with a walk along Nanjing Lu, to the Tangla hotel. We stopped in there to visit China Blue, a cocktail lounge on the 49th floor with stunning views of the city.

What started as a bit of a disaster turned into a highly productive, peaceful and enjoyable day.

-Mrs T

Time to travel

We’ve completed our first term at Wellington Tianjin!  After a fabulous staff party last night at the St Regis, we are ready to think about heading off to the states for my first Christmas at home in four years.  A quick trip to the pet market today and we’ve got everything Ravi should need whilst we are gone.  Suitcases are out and nearly all packed.  One last sleep and we begin our traveling tomorrow.  Two hour bus journey to Beijing, flight to Vancouver, Canada and finally arriving in Portland, Oregon.  It is quite a amazing with the time zones we will be landing 2 and a half hours earlier than we departed!

Mrs T