School’s back! ISB has returned from summer break, with all students back by Friday, August 12. This week begins their first full week back at school, as it does for WAB. Harrow commences on August 23, Dulwich returns on August 25, and both BSB and the new Rego British School begin on August 29. With schools in session, what’s going on in the Shunyi area?
*It was a bit of a surprise to me when I returned to China after summer break — the Jenny’s stores no longer seem to stock China Mobile top-up cards. Perhaps they will again soon, but the promise of “tomorrow afternoon” several times made me realize that maybe this wasn’t going to be the case. One employee directed me to a local Hutong area in which I could make my purchase, but talk about a fish out of water — I wouldn’t know where to begin. So, just in case some of you are not aware of the nearest (I think) China Mobile store location, here’s the info. Take Tianbei Lu east, past Jinkelong (on your right), past Mercedes (on your left). Tianbei Lu turns into Tianzhu Lu going towards the airport. At the intersection just before turning off for the airport, do a quick U-turn and China Mobile is directly on the north corner. Most of my visits there have not had the benefit of any English speakers, however they have four kiosks inside the entrance to help you get top-up cards. Simply hit the “English” button and it’ll guide you directly through. I figure this will be an easy — albeit less convenient — alternative, and it beats trying to find my way around the Hutong.
*With schools back in session, now is the time that some country-specific education programs become available as extra-curricular courses. The American Employee’s Association (of the U.S. Embassy) will offer a 30-week academic course for K-8th grade students. Beginning September 21, this program is available to all nationalities holding a foreign passport. Two locations for classes include the Canadian International School and River Garden’s clubhouse, every Wednesday from 5-6pm. Cost is $600 for the academic year. To register, contact Dirome Anthony at 8531 4602.
*Oh, no! The Ice Zone has closed! Often this local skating rink is closed during the summer months, as it’s hard to maintain the facility during such hot weather. However, the sign on the door says that their lease was up on July 31 and there are no plans to renew. Might someone else take over the business? Please?? With all the hockey leagues and ice skating lessons, not to mention open skate time for families, it’s a disappointment to see this activity center leave our Shunyi neighborhood.
*Last fall I wrote about Girls Achieving Balance (GAB), a weekly fitness, empowerment, and confidence-building program designed exclusively for girls ages 10-12 (to see that blog post click here). It’s beginning again on Friday, September 2 from 5-6:30pm, and the cost is RMB 1600 for the 8-week program. Contact Stella Marinaro at 186 0127 4767.
*I also previously wrote about specific businesses that had fantastic customer service (click here for that blog post). A jeweler named Joanna was working from her home, helping many expats design jewelry treasures. Now she will open up her first official storefront in Pinnacle Plaza! To celebrate this achievement, Joanna is hosting a grand opening this Saturday, August 20, from 10:30am-8pm in her new store (located behind Baskin Robbins). There will be refreshments, free jewelry polishing, and special discounts for this event. Contact Joanna at 136 8118 8285 for more information.
*New MAC Time Community Art Center classes begin later this month at Euro Plaza, and they are offering free trial lessons now! On August 26 and 27, children aged 3-12 can register for a variety of classes ranging from Chinese painting to pottery and more. Take advantage of this free trial opportunity and see what the rest of the schedule looks like this fall. Call 8046 1820 or 138 1033 4208 for more information.
*Don’t forget the International Newcomer’s Network (INN) meeting this Thursday, August 18 at Mrs. Shanen’s Bagels & Café. Meet new people and find out what’s going on in our local community during this coffee gathering, from 10am-noon. All are welcome.