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Starbucks & My new school, HIS

Got to Starbucks. So expensive!!! Well, not really. Same as if in a U.S. city. I paid $5.77 for a grande hazelnut mocha. However, that’s super expensive for here. I must say, it looks and feels exactly the same as any Starbucks in the US. Judge for yourself.

Something else I’ve noticed. This city is CLEAN. Not just tidy, but very clean for a city of this size. If there are gnarly parts I haven’t seen them yet. I was told ahead of time that there are no homeless people in the street and close to no crime. So far from what I’ve seen I believe it. I’ve read about a bit of vandalizing with regard to the rental bikes, but again something I haven’t witnessed.

I get to tour the brand new Hangzhou International School (HIS) today with my superintendent, Jeff Stubbs. I’m currently sitting in the old main office meeting some new folks as I wait for Jeff. Harriet is Jeff’s wife’s secretary. Jeff’s wife is Andrea. Yes, I need to type out all these names as I know I’ll need some help remembering them all. Harriet is from the central north part of China west of Beijing. She likes Hangzhou because it’s a more relaxed city compared to the fast paced Shanghai and Beijing. That blends well with some of the other things I’ve read about this city being more of a tourist destination.

Tour complete, and I had a chance to roam the campus. Here’s some pics!

Outside the main entrance.

Center of the main building looking up. There are an intricate set of stair cases that diagonally connect the floors. The blue tarps you’ll see are fire retardant sheets that fall in case of a fire. They are getting inspected and we'll likely never see them again.

I got into one of the single apartments and got a picture showing my views from each side of the apartment, but failed to get any pics inside the apartment. Next time.

And here’s a video of what my classroom will be like.

After the school tour Jeff and his wife Andrea bought me lunch at a local Italian restaurant. I had a salami pizza. It’s what they call pepperoni. Not bad. It was thin crust and had a New York feel to it. Super nice couple. They have two daughters that both graduated from HIS and are now attending colleges at UV David in CA and UBC in Vancouver, BC. We talked a great deal about the things they enjoy most about Hangzhou. They’re both big on the bicycle culture and gave me great advice about where to go if I’m looking for casual adventure on two wheels.

Andrea told me about the “army”. It’s a large group that performs nightly down by the river around 7:30 every night. Uniforms, dance, tai chi, etc. Will report back. Jeff is fascinated by the Silver Dragon that happens on the Qiantang River multiple times and a h year. It’s a true tidal wave that comes up the river. I can’t describe it. You have to see it to understand. Check out this link.

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