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It is always challenging to throw ourselves back into the daily grind after a well-deserved break. Shunyi was practically deserted as the locals celebrated Chinese New Year last week. Though there were still fireworks nearly every night, this year seemed quieter than previous ones. And just as we thought we were heading into spring, Beijing finally saw its first snow of the season.
At my house, there was definitely some dragging of feet on the first day back to school. If your family is like ours, you may already be counting down to the next holiday. In the meantime, here are some things to check out in our neighborhood.
Parenting Effectiveness Training
Another Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) course starts today. This is great for adults who want to learn how to communicate better with their children. The module will run over eight weeks and touch on topics like doing homework, back chatting, messy bedrooms, sibling fights, moodiness, being late, adjustment issues, and more.
The course takes place on Wednesdays from 12.25-3.25pm on the following dates:
- February 12, 19, 26
- March 5, 12, 19, 26
- April 2.
All classes will be conducted at the British School of Beijing Shunyi campus by PET trainer Naomi Taylor. For more info, contact her at email@example.com
Workshops by AMS President Dr. Joyce Pickering
Dr. Joyce Pickering has been a Montessori educator for the past 40 years and is the president of the American Montessori Society (AMS). She will be in Beijing to give workshops to parents and teachers. She is also a speech and learning pathologist and learning disabilities specialist.
Her talk is entitled “Respecting the Individual Learner in Every Child” and will take place on Thursday, February 13 at 7pm at the International Montessori School of Beijing. The registration fee is RMB 500. This talk is appropriate for all parents, not only those whose children attend a Montessori school.
A separate workshop for teachers on the topic “Montessori Applied to Children at Risk” will be held on Saturday, February 15 from 10am-4pm. The venue is 688 Glory Palace, 2 Shunfu Lu, Renhe Town.
RSVP required. For more information, contact Snow Zhang at 186 1134 4852 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Song and Dance Classes for Children
River Garden Clubhouse is hosting new dance classes for children taught by an internationally-qualified and experienced British teacher Becky Bradbury.
- Tap classes for children aged 5 and above. Wednesdays, 4.30-5.30. Teacher is qualified by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).
- Song and Dance classes for children aged 5 and above. Wednesdays, 5.30-6.30
- Ballet classes for children aged 7 and above. Thursdays, 4.30-5.30pm. Teacher is qualified by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).
For information and registration, contact email@example.com or call 131 2105 8134.
Fitness Classes for Adults
Also at the River Garden Clubhouse, Kari is offering classes for adults of all fitness levels: vinyasa yoga on Mondays at 10am, and step class on Tuesdays at 8.45am. Fee is RMB 100 to drop in, or RMB 300 for five classes. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Market Tour with STARAfood
Stacey and Sara of STARAfood Beijing are offering market tours for the aspiring cook:
- Monday, February 17: Trip to the Hotel Equipment Corporation (HEC) and the restaurant and hotel supply market in Wangjing.
- Monday, February 24: Trip to the Indian food market in Sanlitun and Sanyuanli Market
Both tours depart from Shunyi at 10am with an estimated return by 3.30pm. Market tours also include lunch at a local restaurant.
The market tours complement the cooking classes offered by STARAfood. Contact Stacey and Sara to reserve your slot at email@example.com or by texting 186 1170 1730. You can also request to be put on their mailing list. Class descriptions and schedules also available on their website (VPN required).
Valentine’s Day Bouquet Delivery
Flowerley can deliver Valentine’s Day bouquets. They have a limited number of signature “Wild at Heart” bouquets available and you can place your orders up to today, so hurry. The bouquets cost RMB 650 and payment can be made online via Alipay, Chinese bank transfer, Visa, MasterCard orPayPal. For more info, contact Lyndal at 186 8843 5274 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share the Love Bazaar
Today only at Shayne’s Teasures and Clicia’s Designs, there is a special Share the Love for Valentine’s Day bazaar until 5pm with a variety of items from Tai Tai, Pretty Little Things, Image Optics East, Vera Bradley, Solo Per Te and more.
Shayne’s Treasures and Clicia’s Designs is at Lake View Place, Dragon Bay Villa. Phone 8042 2203 for more information and driving directions.
ISB Charity Fashion Show and Girl Scout Cookies
The ISB Charity Fashion Show is a student-led project that takes place this Saturday, February 15 at 6pm at ISB. Cool clothes, food, and gifts await. All proceeds will go to the New Hope Foundation, which cares for abandoned, physically-handicapped babies.
If you are a fan of Girl Scout cookies from the US, they will be on sale this Saturday at the ISB Charity Fashion Show. Hurry – there are only 100 boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas at RMB 50 each.
Admission to the fashion show is RMB 70 for adults and RMB 50 for students. For more information, email email@example.com.
One of the most recent additions to the Shunyi restaurant scene is Blue Elephant, which serves Thai food. The interiors are reminiscent of family restaurants we’ve visited in Bangkok. Service is efficient and friendly. Owner Lisa and her husband speak good English and personally check on diners’ needs. The menu is extensive, and while the food is not cheap, portion sizes are decent and a lot of thought goes into presentation.
We ordered jelly fish salad (very spicy, RMB 40), seafood tom yum soup (spicy but flavorful, RMB 78 for a small serving), stir-fried chicken with mango sauce (tasted too much like a Chinese sweet and sour dish, RMB 58), chicken wrapped in pandan leaves (very well done, RMB 45), and roasted eggplant with minced meat (this was quite similar to the Chinese glazed eggplant dish, but a generous topping of basil leaves gave a Thai twist to the flavor, RMB 48). Dessert was sago in coconut cream (RMB 38, available hot or cold) and sticky rice with mango (RMB 38).
After such a big meal, we decided that dessert was best shared. Both desserts were good and heavy on the coconut cream, which may not be to everyone’s liking but it was exactly the kind of tropical flavor that our family enjoys.
The bathrooms were clean, with western toilets. For a family dining place, I was a little disconcerted that there were three giant TVs airing the Winter Olympics during dinner. Even with the TVs set on mute, I would have preferred not to have my dinner companions distracted by skiers and skaters. Overall though, it was a good dining experience and we would definitely go back.
Blue Elephant is located at Pinnacle Plaza beside Laker’s Cafe. Open daily from 11am to 9.30pm. Telephone number is 151 2277 9935.
A family craving for Malaysian food led us to Europlaza right before the Chinese New Year. We discovered to our dismay that one of our favorites, The Yard, had closed down. We hope they will resurface soon in another Shunyi location. In the meantime, you can still get your sambal, beef rendang and other Malaysian favorites from Malacca Legend by Roma Lake (Luoma Hu) in Houshayu. Call 8049 8902 for directions.
Also at Europlaza on the third floor, Chinese restaurant Li’s Imperial Cuisine has also closed down. To get your Chinese food fix, try South Beauty for Sichuan cuisine, Treescape for Yunnan specialties, or the hotpot restaurant on the third floor. For more casual dining, there’s Mr. Kong’s Table for noodles and a Shanghai xiaolongbao and dim sum place, both located on the ground floor.
We’d like to hear from you! What are your Shunyi favorites? Any recommendations or bits of news you’d like to see here on Shunyi Happenings, please feel free to send it on to us via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana is the beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.
Photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado and courtesy of muffet (flickr)