That’s our train headed back to the Jing…
The three-week educational working visit to Harbin’s come to an end today. It’s been three weeks of Chinglish. During this trip, my iPhone’s ran into about 25 cases of new Chinglish in Harbin. I’m up to about 2,200 cases of the concoct language, and while it’s far from perfect, I did like one of the most recent Chinglishes I found this morning — that the restaurant lies on the second floor, complete with the MAIE RESTROOM. Now just how do you pronounce the latter?
My thanks to the trio that made it possible: two lessons plus a title of International Teacher of English at the newly-formed and grassroots Chenguang School, and two more visits to more established locations, including the Hulan campus of the well-known Harbin Normal University (哈爾濱師範大學) and the Yuan Dong campus of the Harbin Institute of Technology (哈爾濱理工大學). About 80 joined me for the first one; the second one was sheer magic with 200 people. ▶
Both my wife and my dad-in-law don’t fear the winter cold here in Harbin, northeastern China, as much as I do. Which I have to say is a tad odd. Remember I spent 12 years in Switzerland, which has super-tall mountains (eclipsed probably only by the likes of Mt Everest), so ideally, I should come “ready and prepared for cold weather”…
But the thing is this: over the past few days, I’ve been to the loo about 30 times, due to a massive stomach kernel panic. Apparently, this freezing weather just isn’t ticking with me well. Add to that standards of food different than that in Beijing, and the sad result is a recipe for stomach disaster. ▶
Our train tickets are with us: we’re headed back to Beijing in the next few days. I leave behind a Harbin I’ve found more crazy Chinglish in (and even up north in Bei’an), but also a Harbin I’ve tried to de-Chinglish-ify as much as possible.
I have to say that I’m happy with Harbin and the lessons. I spent time teaching groups — be they just four people or a class filled with dozens and dozens on end. There was no real multimedia service, so I had to rely on a blackboard and plenty of body language to engage them. Which is good, as nobody really does that here in China… ▶