Saturday, November 16, 2013

China: Shenyang

I am in Shenyang after 3 flights that totaled 17 hours but the actual travel time from leaving home to arriving in Shenyang is closer to 21 hours and if I count from the time I got up in Winnipeg to the time I went to sleep in Shenyang, it was closer to 30 hours. I left Winnipeg on Thursday morning and arrived here on Friday night. I don't know if I lost a day or part of one but luckily, I'll make it up on my way back.

This trip is mostly work related but I plan to work hard while I am here so that I can spend a few days in Beijing at the end of the trip doing some sightseeing. I am at the Shenyang Institute of Engineering which is a partner college with Red River College. I'll be conducting a Quality Assurance Audit on three programs using a QA tool from another sources that I adapted and refined.

That's the work part that starts on Monday. For the last day and a half, I am I am trying to manage the 14 hour time difference. It's literally day and night. This jet lag thing is nothing to sneeze at and sneeze is what I am doing. As soon as I arrived in Beijing (my connecting point from China), I could smell the air and when you can see and smell the air, that is not a good thing. Shenyang has a similar air quality and there are lots of smokers in public places.

Yesterday Grace (who works at SIE and is kindly acting as my interpreter) and I went to a few of the local markets and we sampled some of the food. I had grilled squid on a stick (similar to a kebab) and it was very good and spicy and tasty!

 Dried chicken & duck

 Dehydrated fish and meat

 Black and gold sesame seed squares


 Street food grill

 Street food - grilled squid


 Sandra and Grace enjoying grilled squid on a stick

 Variety of nuts

 Faux (wax) ham and bacon

 Dried pig (or cow) heart; dried frogs

We went to a market that sells many kinds of flowers and plants and I have not seen so many beautiful and unusual orchids as I saw in this market. And fish. Every unusual variety that you can think of is sold here ranging in price from $1 to several hundred. Grace explained that many families have fish because they believe that if you have a fish, you will never go wanting.
All in all it was a very interesting and enlightening day. By 4pm I was pretty tired so I went back to my apartment on campus and Grace ordered room service for me so I wouldn't have to go out again for dinner.

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