Almost Famous

We moved apartments this weekend. Four trips in a borrowed electric powered three-wheel cart (thanks Tim and Helen!) was enough to get all the worldy goods we own in Asia into our new neighbourhood. We’ll have photos and stuff once it’s clean and everything’s put away. We’re really happy with it – it’s definitely ‘Chinese,’ in an average neighbourhood, but not so different that living there will make us suddenly freak out from accumulated culture shock in a few months (there’s plenty of other things that can help us do that!).

A guy took pictures of me today – it may have been video. I’d just pulled out of the bicycle bunker where we park out bikes overnight and stopped to put something in the basket, looked up and there he was, standing in the middle of the path aiming his camera at me. I smiled, got on the bike, and started to ride off thinking, “So this is how it feels…” and he followed me with the camera. Can’t say I blame him; it’s only fair, considering the amount of Tianjin photos I have stored on this computer. I know that at least one other foreigner has lived in this neighbourhood before, but I don’t think there’s any there now. This makes us a little bit of a novelty, I guess. Good thing I shaved three days ago.

Tim and Helen and their two young boys get it worse; apparently a whole family of foreigners in a sān lún chē is a big deal. They’ve had people roll down the taxi window to get take their photo with camera phones.

Here are some photos from a nearby park tonight, taken on the way back from Home Depot (yes, it’s only a bike ride away).

5 thoughts on “Almost Famous”

  1. Super Cool. Being a spectacle. Just imagine if they had seen you with your beard and long hair. You might have stopped whole subway trains that way.

    I went to an immersion celebration today. We have special days for it since there is no designated place for it in the building. I wish you could have been there to be a part and hear the beautiful things that were said.

  2. Great picture Joel! I think I’m going to print this one! You’re motivating me to get our Jessica’s bike for school days!

  3. yeah, the electric san lun che was great… we’re totally packing our kids in one of those when we have them. But you can’t thread through traffic as nimbly as you can on an old black Flying Pigeon.

    We aren’t aiming to be a spectacle, and it’s really not that big a deal to the neighbours (not like rural Africa or anything). It’s still a bit of a novelty, and everyone we’ve met is really friendly. Tianjin is big but slower paced than places like Beijing and Hong Kong, so people generally have time to shoot the breeze a bit.

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