The last few weeks have been comprised of a ton of studying on my part. I haven’t been able to do much that isn’t a CAPA activity or ransoming adventuring in an attempt to find something. I’ve found myself at the Electronics Market here, which is what it implies: a giant marketplace for all sorts of electronics where you bargain for every sale. I walked away from there with some decent quality headphones for a rather cheap price. My adventures have also taken me to a traditional Chinese flea market. Everything is extra cheap, as the the market is not designed to attract foreigners. I found many great souvenirs for loved ones there.
The major adventure of the last few weeks was a trip to TianJin. The city, which serves as the port through which Beijing makes imports, has been the center of much change in recent years. The city was essentially given to many Western nations as a concession after the Opium Wars that ravaged the nation. Due to the Western occupation, much of the architecture of the city reflects a European style, which is very beautifully done. The European influence juxtaposes the traditional Chinese architecture and culture of the city. When Mao took power in 1949, he banished all Western powers from TianJin, but chose to preserve the buildings to serve as cultural preservation. Today, many of the old European buildings have been converted to banks for different Chinese branches.
With all history aside, the city is absolutely stunning. The center of downtown is centralized around a shopping district where many Chinese and Western brands have complete shops, where bargaining is not allowed. This demonstrates how well-off most of the people that live there really are. Unlike Beijing, the apartment complexes and houses of TianJin are rather luxurious and expensive. The city possess a river that cuts through it. There are numerous bridges that cross it, each with a different theme and design. For example, one bridge is made only of wood and glass. Another is designed to replicate a Parisian walkway, and another is done as a butterfly design. All of the bridges are lit up at night, and the sight is simply breathtaking.
TianJin truly stole my heart during my visit there. If I were to ever live in Chia, TianJin would be my preferred living place. The city is not only beautiful, but also extremely close to Beijing, only a half hour apart by high speed train. Since the country is currently developing the land between the two cities, there is a chance that they will eventually merge into one super economic city. Another attribute to that possibility is that the people of TianJin are for the most part very well-off. The presence of beggars is practically nonexistent in the city. Perhaps that was just another reason that the city seemed so beautiful. The trip was something I’ll never forget, and if I have the opportunity to go back before leaving the country, I will go back.