The second part of January.
15.01.2010 - 22.01.2010 -38 °C
I live and study in China, doing my master in a northern city of the once-called Celestial Empire. The city bears a nickname "Ice City", for its long and cold winter. It’s official name is Harbin, originated from Man minority’s language.
That finally was a time when all, excluding Chinese, new year holidays and parties went by, but vacation just began. Chinese winter holidays in universities usually last for quite a long time, mainly depend on when they begin - again that depends upon each university and its exams - so for me that was almost two months, January and February.
I've been studying here already for five months, but I made up my mind not to go home on this vacation. Instead of going home, my mum decided to come to visit me in China. I was positively glad to see her here.
Before she came here, I had planed a journey for her and us. She had about 16 days in China. And that was a rather difficult road for her to come from Saint-Petersburg (the city I approximately am from). She had a flight with three stops, and needed to change an airplane once. Saint-Petersburg -> Barnaul -> Irkutsk -> Blagoveshensk -> Harbin.
Astonishing it was, but when I met her at airport, she was not as tired as I supposed.
The first day was a day we saw a sculpture contest in front of the main building of my university:
This sculpture really makes you scared.
That's interesting, I met them many times on my way, until I saw a real one
The second day we went to a temple of Confucius (文廟), situated nearby my university.
Then, the same day, we went to the main pedestrian street in Harbin.
中央大街: Zhong Yang Dajie
The third day was a day I showed my mum a sauna. The good place in Harbin, head of which is friend of mine.
Then we ate huoguo (火锅 or Hot pot). We haven't even eaten a half of what we ordered, as we were really stuffed. The rest we didn't eat we daizoule (带走了).
Next morning. Just going to shop, buying simplest goods also might be interesting and very unusual thing, when you are new in China.
Really friendly people they are, Chinese.
The rest of the day we decided to spend on both good for health and interesting pastime. Ice-skating. Coz' Harbin's kind climate allows you to do it sometimes, really
Ghanaian friend Alex joined us. That was his first experience and also a big fun, indeed.
On the way to skating-rink , we met Mao. Actually, that was not a skating-ring, but just a frozen canal behind the building of a dormitory I live in.
That evening Alex invited us to his place, and we had opportunity to play 古筝(guzheng), a plucked half-tube zither with movable bridges and 21 strings.
Harbin is most famous for its beautiful display of ice sculptures in winter.
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1985. While there are ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas: Enormous snow sculptures at Sun Island (a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city) and the separate "Ice and Snow World" that operates each night. Ice and Snow World features illuminated full size buildings made from blocks of ice. Snow carving and ice and snow recreations are world famous.
On February 19 we decided to go there and see this world's miracle. That was the second time for me going there, since our university brought us there for free half a month ago. That's flipping cold there, but, anyways, that's world must-see. Fortunately, on my second visit that was not as cold as first time - about -25, instead of -35. Yeah...
On the last but one day in Harbin we met with my supervisor and his wife. She's chancellor of departure of Foreign Languages of my university, teaching Russian language. And that's why she speaks really good Russian. That was a fine day, nice meal and good conversation.
That was a really good time in Harbin, and time for us to leave this cold city. Time to continue our journey. To begin to feel new places. Yeah...