Leisure in China: KTV and Ma jiang

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8th Annual Hangzhou International Cartoon and Animation Festival

Jesse and I attended the Cartoon Festival, courtesy of one of my students who got us VIP passes. We didn’t know most of the characters but we enjoyed the color and activity.

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Titanic 3D

Jesse is visiting me for three weeks. We’re not touring so much as we are just living the Hangzhou life. One of my students gave us a gift of Titanic 3D movie tickets. As we were waiting for the movie to start, I asked Jesse, “When we met over 40 years ago, did you ever think you would be watching a 3D movie with Chinese subtitles in the oldest theatre in Hangzhou, China?”

Jesse in 3D glasses

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Lei Feng Day

Lei Feng was a soldier who died in an accident in 1962 at the age of 22. Mao memorialized Lei Feng as a symbol of altruism.  The term “活雷锋/Huó Léi Fēng” (literally “living Lei Feng”) has become a term for anyone who is seen as selfless, or anyone who goes out of their way to help others. Lei Feng Day is celebrated on March 5.

My former student, Dr. Tu, asked me to volunteer with some of emergency room staff at a community of older adults. Booths included the public library, free computer repair, and several hospitals. Our booth gave free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings.

All volunteers wore red hats and the blue vest is the uniform of the hospital lay volunteers. This banner was erected in the park of the neighborhood community.  Lei Feng is pictured behind me.

Our team had three doctors and one nurse.

My job was to write down the blood pressure on a card and give it to the person being screened. I learned to say, 祝你健康, I wish you good health.

This booth featured a massage hospital – TCM (traditional Chinese medicine).

Dr. Tu and I at the end of the morning: cold, wet and happy.





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Hangzhou Marathon

My friend Ken ran the Hangzhou marathon. I came along as the friendly cheerleader and photographer.  The spirit of runners is the same all over the world.

Busses line up to take belongings to the finish

Lining up at the start

Calisthenics leaders warm up the runners

Some follow the leader, but not all...

Parents and children ran in the Family Marathon


I've never seen this main street so deserted, closed for the runners


Ken at the finish. (Note the smoking finisher behind him.)




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Shengsi Island

In the late summer, I took another teaching trip sponsored by the Provincial Education Department. Four foreign teachers visited Shengsi Island to talk with Chinese English teachers about teaching and learning. We also gave demonstration classes to students. Some of the teachers had lived on the island their entire lives and told me they had never spoken to a foreigner. The island is developing quickly due to the tourism industry. It is in the same province as Hangzhou but the people feel more closely connected to Shanghai.

The trip to the island took about 4 hours by car and ferry from Hangzhou.

We stayed at one of the newly built hotels on the island.

On the first evening we had dinner with the education officials and teachers.

After we finished our work, we had time to tour the island. Even in overcast drizzly weather, you can see why it’s such a getaway.

Just before we left, another foreign teacher and I walked along the docks in the town. The fishermen and cargo workers were friendly and curious.

Fruit delivery

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Sunday Morning Card Game

This is the view outside my window on Sunday mornings.  (Money changes hands.  😉 )

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