Qin Dynasty Emperor Costumes

If one picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are in a dozen pictures or more, and what do these pictures say?

Annie, Robert and Yanqin in typical Qin dynasty emperor costumes.

I have been to several places in the states where they will take pictures, with their camera, of you, dressed up in replica clothes from as far back as the a couple hundred years. In China, they dress up in clothes that date back for several thousand years and even used your camera for a fee of course. This picture is of Annie (Qin’s daughter) Myself and Yanqin (known as Qin, pronounce as chin) at Beihai Park in Beijing China.

Teaching English in China

Teaching English before the 2008 Olympics in Tonggu China

Tianjin community center invited me to join them in Tanggu for a special event. While there I was a guest teacher to a class of 5-7 grade students. The topic was the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. Afterward, we went to the docks and launched some model rockets.

 Small Lotus Garden

NanXan Garden of Harmony

NanXan Garden of Harmony was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) by the wealthiest man in the city. It is an exceptional example of a garden in a small space. There are many such gardens around China.

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

There are over 8,000 life-size Terracotta Warriors in battle-ready formation. Along with the Warriors are several hundred chariots, horses, and Calvary.  The figures are from the Qin dynasty (211 – 206 B.C.)

Mount Taishan Porters

They make 5 to 7 trips a day up the mountain.

Also known as Mount Tai. These two porters carry about 50 pounds of dried noodles to various stops along the over 6,000 steps up the 5,000-foot mountain. Mount Tai has a history of religious importance dating back to the Shang Dynasty (1766 BC – 1122 BC)

China Money

china money

The monetary system is to some degree easier than our own. Every denomination has a different color and size. They don’t have a lot of currencies less than a Yen, but it is in both paper and coin. They don’t have anything equivalent to our penny, nickel, or quarter. Just 1/10 of Yen or 1/2 of a Yen. When shopping, if the total is over 0.5 then it is rounded up, if it is less than 0.5 then the total is rounded down. The same is true when receiving change.


YieFeng Gate

Part of the Great Wall in Nanjing.

One of the 13 gates that are part of Nanjing city wall. Built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) when Nanjing was the capital of China.

Not far from this gate the city wall intersects with the Great Wall of China.

Tianjin Youth Community Center


Tianjin Youth Community Center. I was invited back many times as a guest speaker. When they went to Tanggu and Tianjin City in the mountains, we were asked to join them.

American English Education Center

The front door to our English School

I am standing at American English Education Center front door. During the three years that we had our school, we moved three times. It was all about finding a location with easy access, which included ease of parking, which is difficult in Tianjin.

Motorola company in Tianjin

Motorola China

China Motorola was putting together a Toastmaster’s club for the company. As the area governor, I was invited there to speak to them about Toastmasters and assist them in forming a corporate club.


Tianjin Cityscape


Looking out across Tianjin from my window on the 25th floor. The short white buildings are apartments from the second floor up. The first floor faces the street for businesses, while the residents enter the building from an interior courtyard. In the distance, you can see the Tianjin Radio and T.V. Tower.


Springtime in Tianjin

Spring in Tianjin

One of many green belts along various waterways that tie into the rivers that flow through Tianjin. During the winter months, the rivers and canals freeze over, and people ice fish.


Garden of Harmony Prayer Tree


The Prayer Tree in the Garden of Harmony. Each of the red tags hanging from the tree represents a prayer, usually for a lost one. They also will burn paper money and clothing for their dead relatives.

Qin’s Car

Qin car

Qin’s first car a 2007 Buick.  Parking on the sidewalk is a common practice in Tianjin, and being blocked in by other cars is also common. When the local school lets out, the four-lane road becomes two lanes because they are parked two deep waiting for their child.

Restaurant Shrine

Old god shrine in restaurant

Many restaurants have shrines or statues of the different ancient gods. This shrine is next to a set table that is kept neat and clean with the shrine at the head of the table.

Song Dynasty Theme Park

Song Dynasty Park

Song Dynasty Theme Park just outside of Hangzhou, China. In addition to many activities, there are many artifacts and replicas from the Song Dynasty. In the evening, there is a live theatrical play of the Song Dynasty, which includes the legend of White Snake. Later on our tour we visited several places mentioned in the White Snake Legend.

Toastmasters Tianjin China

Toastmaster meeting Tianjin China

The China Toastmasters is the fastest growing division of Toastmasters. Not only did I attend the meetings, but I was also the club president and area governor. There were only a few in the club members that would evaluate my speeches, but they mostly wanted me to evaluate theirs.

2008 Olympic Chinese Fuma

Olympic Mascots

The 2008 Olympic mascots.  Beibei,  Jingjing,  Huanhuan,  Yingying, and Nini. Each with their own personalities and representations.

Bicycles in Tianjin

Parked bicycles

Still the most common form of transportation is the bicycle. Many major businesses and shopping centers have large designated places to park them. Some will even have an enclosed area with a guard for the bicycles. It is not uncommon to have the sidewalks filled with bicycles, forcing the pedestrians to walk in the street.

Chinese New year Firecrackers

Chinese New Year

The use of fireworks and firecrackers are abundant in China. Many businesses will set off a line of firecrackers to scare away the evil spirits and to bring prosperity for the coming year. I was told that if you hear fireworks in the morning, someone had died. If you hear them in the evening someone got married. The exception is the new year when they go for days.

Lantern release

Lantern festival


This was a lantern release for newlyweds. Everybody at the gathering would write on the the lantern,  then a candle would be lit, filling the lantern with hot air. Once light enough to float it was released taking the hope and wishes to the spirits above.

Social Meal

large meal

Food plays an important part in Chinese culture. Knowing the proper etiquette when eating will go a long way towards fitting in with the culture. While I can’t name all the foods, I remember it being delicious. You can tell which is my plate, it is the one with the chopsticks not properly placed on the plate. My first major dinner was a wedding reception. The bride is the young lady in the red dress across the table.

Hospital in Tianjin

HuaHu Hospital of Tianjin

The building on the far right is HuaHu Hospital of Tianjin where my ex-wife mother worked as a doctor until her passing.