The current week in pictures

This week’s two PowerPoint intro slides feature less obvious aspects of the school dining halls.

students trudge by noodle ads
Larger-than-life personalities hawk noodles

First up is the stairway down below dining hall number four.  The basement of that building sports an assortment of small shops and a restaurant that features Western food. I haven’t actually tried that restaurant, but I sure have bought snacks from the quicky-mart and souvenir post cards from a small printing concern.

When I first came to Tianjin, postcards were only available at the Post Office, and they all had nothing to do with the city you were in.  Either they were a special series of antique ink stones, or the same old Great Wall postcards you could get in the next town over.  Now it seems that many small printers have rushed in to fill in the gap. And in a school like this one, full of architecture students who could mostly be professional artists if they had the chance, it’s not too hard to find people who can make effective postcards. In fact, maybe I’ll scan one into this message.

Anyway, it always seems odd to see normal people brush up against the air-brushed beauty of those beautiful people in the ads.

Nighttime strollers by dining hall number 1
Outside Dining Hall number 1

I took the second picture just last night. The weather has turned decidedly warmer this week. And since most places on earth don’t have the real weather of the Pacific coast, where it cools off at night, this means that strollers emerge from their winter hibernation.

Of course, they share the road with speeding bikes like the one blurring in the center of the picture. People don’t walk on sidewalks so much here.   That’s a subject for a whole other post sometime.

In this case, they’re strolling by the entrance to Dining Hall number one, the hall with those strangely-shaped light squiggles to attract the attention of the hungry.  Of course, by this time, (about 7:30 pm) the dining hall itself is closed and locked. But like dining hall number four, there are shops underneath that cater to desperate students.

And there’s also a whole floor of shops above the dining hall as well. Many times have I enjoyed the hot pot up there, on evenings just like this one.    And that should suffice for this post!