Little Improvements

I say I live in Greenwich whenever people ask. But I’m technically in a Lewisham postcode and spiritually closer to Deptford. Yes, I do engage in postcode snobbery. Saying I’m from Greenwich makes me 10% cooler. The practice is pretty rife in London, unlike in Liverpool, which is equally great everywhere -  and makes me 100% cooler.

Both Liverpool and Deptford have had a history of deprivation and poverty. Both are trying to shed their bad reputation. Honestly, you won’t get your tyres stolen in Liverpool. Times have changed. Now, your identity, credit cards and wife will be stolen while you are admiring your shinny new tyres. The money will be used to buy Mozart tickets. Capital of Culture 2008.

The news coming out of Deptford is dire (look up “Deptford stabbings”) but I do believe that things can change. The area has been recommended by the New York Times. The East London line extension will be complete soon in June 2010. The most tangible sign of improvement is the opening of a Tesco Metro on Deptford High Street:

tescoTesco will save us! More importantly, it will save me a 20 minute trek into Lewisham.

Miscellaneous Tianjin Blog Posts

In a fit of laziness, I’m going to combine all the things I wanted to write about but didn’t have time to do until I had left Tianjin.

丁字沽 (DingZiGu) Bus Stop Information

丁字沽 (DingZiGu) Bus Stop Information

Tianjin’s bus system is comprehensively covers the city. The buses are cheap, clean and frequent. In the space of 3 months, most of the old buses have been replaced by new ones. Though the overcrowding problem remain during rush hour, but it’s not bad considering the city is home to 10 million Chinese (and a few expats).

Unfortunately, the timetables are not tourist friendly. You really have to know the layout of the city and remember the Chinese road names in order to figure out where you want to go. I’ve missed a few buses whilst trying to decipher the timetable.

Roller Blade Academy

Roller Blade Academy

Children can learn how the roller-blade in the park where the school is located. I had to cycle through swarms of roller-blading children to get to school and, fortunately, always managed to avoid hitting anyone.

Earthquake Donations

Earthquake Donations

After the Sichuan Earthquake there was an outpouring of donations from all people of Tianjin. A list of donations in descending order was posted on red paper in all the apartment complexes. The donations ranged from 100 000 RMB to 10 RMB. In the West, there is honour in donating anonymously and this would be considered ostentatious. I asked my Chinese teacher about this and she said that the generous are respected. Are we too cynical in the West?

Tesco in Tianjin

Tesco in Tianjin

Tesco have started their invasion of China. However, they were behind Walmart (the world’s biggest retailer) and Carrefour (the second biggest retailer), who have a bigger presence in the city. I shopped at Carrefour more because it was closer to where I lived.

Tianjin has many more interesting stories but they are for another (better) blogger to write about.