Behold, the Tianjin rainbow:
It rained last week for two days solid. Makes me miss Vancouver when it does that, and it makes our British friends say, “This is just like England!” I took this photo on the way to class around 8am one morning.
Central Park Marriage Market
A group of us took a little outdoor migrating history lecture today, stopping for lunch in Tianjin’s Central Park, which used to be the main park of the French concession area. Since it was a weekend with fine weather it meant the marriage market was in full swing, and that means crowds of grandpas and grandmas were haggling with… I don’t know what you call this kind of service or the people who offer it.
The people who have all the stacks of papers with eligible young people’s stats deal with grandpas and grandmas mostly, who are trying to find someone their grandchild might like.
This is the third time I’ve been here on a marriage market day, and every time these crowds have been warm, curious, but not aggressive, and that makes them really fun to chat with. All a foreigner has to do is walk over, and ten or so people will gather around and start the usual friendly small talk. Since it’s an older crowd, no one is real keen to practice their English (unlike the university students).
Click these marriage market photos to see them big size. See pictures and descriptions from my first experience with the marriage market here.
Interesting historical tidbit
I learned some more the abandoned ZÇ ZhÃº LÃn church building, which we’ve visited and photographed twice now. It was built in 1872 with compensation money extracted from the Chinese government by the French as reparations for the Tianjin ‘Incident’/’Massacre’ (1870). Foreign and local Catholics used it as a refuge during the Boxer Uprising (1900). It’s been disused since 1958. I noticed this time around that it has trees growing straight up out of the drain pipes on the side of the building.