I am sad to say that we left Beijing today. Kind of sad, but I am somewhat happy to be done with the touring for a while..the walking was getting to be too much! The last thing we did was go to the Temple of Heaven. Seeing all of the people there engaged in physical activity was pretty neat. As a group, we took part in some of the dancing and game playing. Our game of hackie sack got some attention, but it ended up mostly being people laughing at us. All a good time though. I really enjoyed the trees and flowers there, too. It is almost as if when they were planted, they were placed perfect distance from one-another. When we arrived to Tianjin, I noticed that there was just as much, if not more construction than that of Beijing. The only difference I could see was that the labor was a lot more mechanized. I took a walk down to the Shell gas station, walking into a few shops along the way. The people all greeted me with a friendly "hello" and they did not pressure me into buying anything. The people here just seem to be more laid back and easy going, kind of "Minnesota nice". Dinner with the students was something truly special. The food was not as authentic as it was at the previous restaurants, but the atmosphere of the place was fun. We went shopping with the students after, and I talked to one of them about the main differences I noticed between Beijing,Tianjin, and the United States. It was hard to get over the language barrier at first, but as I started to speak slower and use more simple words, things got easier. I am really looking forward to starting up class tomorrow. It should be fun!
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