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Friday’s foreigner: Fabio

Well, another week has come and gone. That means it’s time for our next edition of Friday’s foreigner. A few weeks ago you met Pedro. This week, meet his coworker and fellow countryman, Fabio.

Check out our previous interviews here, and check back next week to meet someone else!

 

What’s your name, where are you from, what brought you to Hohhot and when did you arrive?

My name is Fábio Castro, I’m from Portugal and I arrived in Hohhot on the 19th of October to work as football coach for the Luís Figo Football Academy. For those who don’t know him, Figo is a famous ex-football player from Portugal and won the “Ballon d’Or” in 2000 and was considered the best player in the world by the FIFA in 2001.

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If you are doing something different now than when you first arrived tell us about that also.

When I arrived in China I passed one month working in Beijing for the same academy, we have centers in different cities of the country.

 

What have been some of your professional successes in your industry?

I played as a amateur level football player and soon I realized I would like to become a football coach. Because of that, I decided to go to the university to prepare myself for this role. I made my graduation in Sport, one master degree in Physical Education and another one in High Performance Training, with football option. Besides that, I made my coach’s licenses to be able to work.

Until now, I worked with all the age groups and I had a short experience working in India. It was a fantastic experience that I will never forget.

 

Share with us some of the moments you were proudest of your students/players.

I don’t have specific moments, what I have are many memories from all the places I worked, the words from some of my players, special moments that only the football can give us. Those who have had the experience to share time with a team can understand my words.

 

If you have free time, what do you do with it?

I like to do different things during my free time, however, once I still don’t know very well the city I’m going to the cinema, I’m eating at some occidental/Asiatic restaurants, exploring the city, meeting some cultural places and I’m going to the gym.

 

Tell us something about your pre-Hohhot life that most people here don’t know.

As I told, before come to China I worked in India. Before India, I was working in Portugal as Physical Education Teacher and as football coach.

 

Favorite local food and where you like to get it:

As local food, I tried the lamb and I really have to admit that the leg is good. Besides that, I like to try different kinds of food as the noodles, the barbecue, the hot pot, the dumplings… I also ate Japanese food here and was really good too. The names of the restaurants I don’t know them and I like to try different ones.

 

If you could make one city-wide change to Hohhot, what would it be?

I would like that the Chinese could respect more the traffic rules and especially the places for the bikes, once I drive one electric bike and most of the times the cars don’t care about anything. But what I really would like to have here it was a beach, even if it was artificial! I like to walk near of the beach and relax at some bar in there too. I’m missing that from my country!

 

What has been the most surprising aspect of life here?

I knew a little bit about the Chinese culture and their traditions, however I wasn’t expecting as much cold as I felt here. I never passed by situations with these temperatures in my life and getting used to that was surprising for me.

 

What’s the most culturally awkward situation you’ve been in here?

One day I was on the taxi and I saw one person burn some money on the streets. After some time, I understood that wasn’t just one person but many people doing that and I asked what meant and the reason for many people have done small fires in the streets. The answer was that they were sending money for the dead people, usually for family and the money was fake. I never saw something like that…

 

What advice would you give to someone just arriving to Hohhot?

If the person knows another cities of China I would say to be prepared for a more quiet place and consequently, maybe a quiet routine too. And of course I would advise to bring warm clothes!!

 

Where do you go to “escape?”

Once I’m here for four months and once the weather is cold, I didn’t find yet that place. If I had a beach, definitely I would go there. As I don’t have I will try to find it for sure and until there, a ride on my bike with good weather should be good and enough for me.

 

When your time here is done and you return home, what do you want to take with you?

Certainly memoirs, new experiences, funny moments and once that I will start to learn Chinese language I want take that with me.

 

You can connect with Fabio in any of the following ways:

Email: castro.fabio5@gmail.com

LinkedIn: pt.linkedin.com/in/castrofabio5

WeChat: fabiocastro5

 

If you’re interested in more information about Winning League Football Academy call 13171090089 or 13304712425.

The Little Gym

For the families with kids, we’ve discovered a great place for our girls to burn off some energy and learn some basic gymnastics skills!

The Little Gym is an American franchise with a branch here in Hohhot. Staff are trained by their international program and are truly really great with kids.

There’s also a waiting room with activities and books for kids not participating in a class.

Classes are available for toddlers through age 12.

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actual gymnastics equipment!
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The address in Chinese is below. It’s located just west of the gong an ju.
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Follow the Little Gym on wechat by scanning the QR code below:
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last week of skiing!

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Slopes will close on March 7th, so hurry out if you haven’t been yet! More information on the link about how to get there.

I know some families going out tomorrow to take the kids ski tubing one last time.

The good news is, if the ski slopes are closing, it means the golf course will be opening soon!

公告

太伟滑雪场本年度雪季结束,将于2016年3月7日全面封场。

What about you? Will you make it out again? Did you make it out at all?

Friday’s Foreigner: Pedro

Hello, lovely readers. This week I’d like to introduce you to someone who is relatively new to the Blue City, Pedro Rodrigues!

Check out our previous interviews here, and check back next week to meet someone else!

 

What’s your name, where are you from, what brought you to Hohhot and when did you arrive?

My name is Pedro Rodrigues and I am from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. I am a football coach and I arrived here in the last days of October 2015 to teach football.

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What have been some of your professional successes in your industry?

Of course, before being a football coach I was a football player! As a player I won three times the District Championship of Porto in U9, U10 and U12, one time the International Pontinha Tournament in U12 and I was series Champion in U16 of the District Championship of Porto. As a Football Coach I was two consecutive times series champion in U18 of the District Championship of Porto and I won the São João de Ver Tournament in U11.

 

If you have free time, what do you do with it?

Yes, I have free time and I enjoy it a lot. I like to see movies on the cinema, read books, go to the gym and stroll into town…

 

Tell us something about your pre-Hohhot life that most people here don’t know.

My life before Hohhot was particularly linked to teaching physical education and football. I was giving physical education classes in a public school and I was football coach of the first team of Lamas Union Football Club.

 

Favorite local food and where you like to get it:

I am a person who likes very much to eat and unfortunately I cannot say the names of Chinese restaurants which I usually go, because for me is hard to pronounce the name and is difficult to write in English. I don´t know the name, but I can tell that I like to eat a kind of bread with vegetables and meat inside. However, I usually go to restaurants with international food and of course I know the name of them, it is the Fanier and the Seven Pizza Bar.

 

If you could make one city-wide change to Hohhot, what would it be?

For sure, I would like to have a subway in the city.

 

What has been the most surprising aspect of life here?

For me this is the first time in China, so of course it was the traffic on the streets and the way the Chinese people drive the cars.

 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve experienced here?

I think you will laugh a lot. The funniest thing that I have experienced here was after a dinner in a barbecue restaurant. I try to speak in Chinese and I call the waiter, but instead of saying that I want the bill I said that she was sexy, I confuse the Chinese words. You know, it was embarrassing, my friend was laughing, I turn red in seconds, I understood my mistake and I made what I need to do, I apologized to her. After I said the correct word to ask the bill, me and my friend laughed a lot.

 

What is the kindest thing a local has ever done for you?

I cannot specify a moment or a local, everyone has been nice, welcoming and polite with me.

 

What advice would you give to someone just arriving to Hohhot?

Come to Hohhot and bring warm clothes.

 

Where do you go to “escape?”

I enjoy a lot two things to put my mind where no one can disturb me, when I´m running in the gym or listening music and walking in the city.

 

When your time here is done and you return home, what do you want to take with you?

I want to take all the good and bad memories that can make me better and more competent and professional. I hope with this experience, in another country with a different culture, I can become a better football coach.

 

If someone is interested in your program, who can they contact? 

 The people who want more information about Winning League Football Academy can call to this number 13171090089 or 13304712425.

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Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area

All you need to know about the 2015-2016 Ski Season is right here!

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This could be you!

The slopes at Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area open on November 28th!

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map of the slopes

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Skiing at Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski Area is located north of Hohhot on highway S101. See this map:

map to tai wei

the green area near the arrow is the ski and golf resort

 

Here is the price list for the 2015-2016 season:

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski and Golf Resort Skiing Prices

If the image doesn’t display correctly, use this link: Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Ski and Golf Resort Skiing Prices

 

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snow sledding

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skiing

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ski lift

 

 

You can follow the public account on wechat for information about skiing at wechat ID: twhxjlb and for information about their other activities at wechat ID: nmgtw_djc.

 

If you need service in English, contact Sanny at 13674814130.

 

Get a group of your friends together and make some cool memories!

 

TO GET THERE:

Shuttle service is provided from Inner Mongolia Exhibition Center to Tai Wei at 9:30 am, 11:30 am, and 3:00 pm.
Shuttle service is provided from Tai Wei to Inner Mongolia Exhibition Center at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 5:30 pm.

 

Inner Mongolia Exhibition Center is located on the south side of Xinhua Road, east of City Mall (Mo Er Cheng)

 

*photos are property of Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Golf and Skiing Marketing Department, used with permission

 

 

Mongolian Wrestling Event

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Hasar is a local organization that is seeking to take Mongolian wrestling to an international level. They also have a number of gyms across the city and province and host other events from time to time. Their main event is still hosting an promoting Mongolian wrestling, also known as bokh, events.

The championships for the 2014-2015 season will be held on November 7 at the Inner Mongolia Sports Stadium.

I haven’t been to a Hasar event, but my husband says they put on a good show with singing, dancing, and other entertainers between each round of wrestling.

 

I haven’t been able to confirm this piece of news, but I keep hearing that Mongolian wrestling is slated to be an exhibition sport at the next Olympics. Whether it will be an exhibition sport or not, it’s still an important aspect of Mongolian culture, so check it out if you can!

 

 

Also, check out this canvas print of Mongolian wrestling and other gifts available for purchase.

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Skiing in Inner Mongolia

Today’s post comes at a reader’s request via email. Here’s what I know about ski resorts in Inner Mongolia. It’s not much so please leave a comment if you have additional information.

Da Qing Shan Tai Wei Golf Resort

Golf, Skiing and Giant Luxury Single Family Homes (clearly, the subtitle is of my own rendering)

Located north of Hohhot this resort has one slope. They operate the ski slope in the winter months and the golf course in the summer months.

You can follow their wechat account at:  nmgtw_djc

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ski slope

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luxury homes

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reception/hotel/activity center

 

If you want to get out of Hohhot, Chifeng is home to a large ski resort called Mei Lin Valley (My Lin Valley). Their website appears to be down, but you can follow them on wechat at: mylin_valley. I’ve never been there, but it’s rumored to be Asia’s largest ski resort.

You can get information by phone at:   0476-3962888

 

Have you been skiing in Hohhot? In China? Tell us about it in the comments.

Hohhot’s Soccer/Football Team

Did you know Hohhot has a semi-professional soccer/football team? I’m not sure if “semi-professional” is the exact right term, but anyway, we have a team that plays teams from other cities and provinces.

 

Baidu tells me this is their official English name: Nei Monggol Zhongyou Football Club Hohhot excellent football team

 

The links below are press releases in Chinese if you want to translate them and learn more about the history of the team.

from North News

from NMG News

 

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the season:

August 15 vs Shenzhen Yu Heng

August 29 vs Yan Bian Changbai Mountain

September 19 vs Qingdao Yellow Sea Pharmaceutical

September 26 vs Xinjiang

October 24 vs Dalian A Er Bing

 

We haven’t made it to a game yet, but those I know who have gone have enjoyed them. I don’t know the ticket price, but I’ve heard if you show up after the second half has started there’s no fee collected.
Games are played at Hohhot’s Stadium on Genghis Khan Road. A map is below.

sports stadium

special thanks to Connie for helping me find the schedule!

Here is the link to the team’s information on baidu which includes the team’s lineup for the 2015 season.

Tenth National Minority Nationalities Traditional Sports Games

Inner Mongolia is hosting China’s National Ethnic Minority Sports Competition. The games began today and will continue through the 17th.

Here’s the official logo of the games:

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The games are being held in Ordos at the Sports Stadium pictured below which is between Kangbashi and Dong Sheng.

Ordos Sports Stadium

I can’t find any English article about this year’s game in English, but here’s one from last year’s games. And here’s one in Chinese.

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