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AC Milan Youth Training Camp to Be Held in Shenzhen This Summer

Posted: 04/11/2014 9:49 am

soccerworld children training camp

It may be too late for you to become the next Shaarawy or Boateng, but football greatness may be waiting to be discovered in your children.

The AC Milan Children’s Football Training Camp will be held this summer in Shenzhen at the Soccerworld facilities in Shekou, TE Times reports. This marks the first time the training camp of the famous football club has taken place in China; it has previously been held in 35 countries around the world.

This inaugural camp is expected to attract 150-200 participants that range in age from 7 to 15. Both boys and girls are welcome to attend. Campers will be separated into groups categorized by age, physical build and football skills in order to provide personalized training specific to the individual. Attending the camp will be three to five football coaches that will provide hands-on instruction and guidance to the children.

Campers will be competing to take part in an exclusive international training camp of elite players from around the globe and from various training camps, a privilege offered to just two players at this camp location.

Photo: Soccerworld


PRD People: International school teacher and author Sarah Li Cain

Posted: 04/9/2014 1:00 pm

John Steinbeck once said that great teachers were as rare as great writers, but Shenzhen-based Canadian Sarah Li Cain has managed to carve out decent careers doing each. As well as teaching grades two and three at the Shenzhen American International School, Sarah has a web content writing business that has led to considerable exposure and more clients than she can even handle.

Sarah Li Cain, via Google Images

Since graduating with a degree in English and Visual Arts Education at York University in Toronto, Sarah’s career has taken her to Australia, the United States, and Hong Kong. She was working in Seoul when she accepted her job in Shenzhen, where she now lives with her husband in Shekou.

Sarah kindly took the time to talk to The Nanfang about living, teaching and writing in Shenzhen.

International school teacher

Sarah’s teaching is all based on the common core standards found in the US, focusing on project-based learning. Her students are currently creating a website for tourists of their own age coming to Shenzhen.

Trained as a high school teacher, this is different to what Sarah is used to, but she enjoys the challenge. “Basically, kids learn about problems in the real world and through self-discovery and guided inquiry, solve that problem,” she told The Nanfang.

Since taking this job, Sarah seems to have come to agree with what Aldous Huxley said about the child-like man. As any teacher knows, working with kids is not for everybody, but Sarah just about manages it. “When I first arrived, I was really scared about teaching little kids, and thought I had no idea what to do. It has turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Little kids have a lot to teach adults about life,” said Sarah.

Much of her writing focuses on overcoming fear, and Sarah had to overcome two fears in Shenzhen. The first was a lack of Mandarin: “I spoke a little bit of Cantonese when I arrived, and now I can at least carry a simple conversation in Mandarin if I need to.” The second was a lack of experience with children, but she quickly overcame that: “The children I teach are some of the funniest and genuine people I’ve met.”

Running a web content business

When she is not teaching, Sarah blogs for a wide variety of clients. “I guess you could say it’s self help. I mean I write about my experiences and how to reclaim your fearlessness, and people have told me about how they’ve taken some of my advice,” she says of her writing style.

One of her best known pieces is one in Life Hack published in November 2013 titled “Don’t go into marriage if you haven’t done these things.” The piece gives a list of 20 experiences and abilities one needs to have before getting married. It has been shared over 6,400 times on social media so has obviously pushed the right buttons with a lot of people.

Another, titled “Practical ways to use unemployment to your advantage,” was syndicated by Chicago Tribune and AOL jobs. The piece puts a positive spin on the situation of long-term unemployment faced by so many in Europe and North America since the global financial crisis of 2008.

This business has opened doors both personally and professionally. “I’ve met quite a few writers how have shared their stories with me, and it really helps when I get frustrated with work or my business. Through blogging people have also recommended me resources or books which have helped me immensely in my professional life, and I’ve gotten more clients that I can handle at the moment,” said Sarah.

Bringing it all together

To some expatriates, everything they do is a side project. But some are lucky enough to have their various projects feed into each other. “Teaching definitely feeds into entrepreneurship! If you think about it, you’re left alone with a group of kids with some resources and are working towards making them successful. It’s a lot of trial and error. I feel like that’s been the same with my business,” Sarah told The Nanfang.

These twin passions for teaching and entrepreneurship could yet lead to more projects. “Just the other day I was talking to a programmer and I was mentioning how I’d love to create an educational app one day. He’s showing me a couple of things now. I’ve been asking my students a lot of questions about what they like, and what they want to learn, so maybe I can use that as part of my market research,” said Cain, suggesting a possible future project.

For now, Sarah will continue building on her body of work about subjects such as travel and yoga, growing and hopefully helping others grow along the way.


Shenzhen this weekend: Sabu Toyozumi, tennis, tap dancing and salsa

Posted: 01/3/2014 9:59 am

The first weekend of the year and it’s off to a great start. Here’s what’s happening:

Jan. 3rd – Saturday Salsa Night @ Curv Bar – Make your way down to Curv bar for some Salsa with the Fun Salsa Club.

Jan. 3rd – Japanese Legendary Improvising Drummer Sabu Toyozumi @ B10 Live – Let Sabu beat away your boardom this weekend on his drums. A professional famous improvisational drummer from Japan.

Jan. 4th – 2014 Shenzhen Tennis Open – The Shenzhen Open is coming to an end. Come see Li Na defend her title in the 2014 Shenzhen Open as she competes for $500,000.

Jan. 4th – Tap Dance: Rhythm of the Dance – Come experience some true Irish culture through storytelling by song and dance.

Jan. 5th - Sunday Ultimate Frisbee by the SZUPA – Join a growing group of expats and local Chinese players play the fast growing international sport: Ultimate.

If you attend any of these events, please email me at [email protected] and we may include some of your reviews in a future post. Let’s keep your event organizers working to provide better and better events!

(Editor’s Note: We’re looking for dining and nightlife writers in Guangzhou and Dongguan. If you’re interested, please get in touch with us at [email protected])


Shenzhen this weekend: 2014 Shenzhen Open, bar hop with Uber, salsa and more

Posted: 12/28/2013 1:46 am

Hope you all had a great Christmas! Here’s what’s happening this weekend:

Dec. 28th - Bar Hopping in Style with Uber – Foreplay, a well known group of event organizers, have come up with something unique. They have partnered with Uber to help you barhop to threee locations. Uber is a service that lets you book Audi’s to drive you around town. Sounds like a fun night!

Dec. 28th – Saturday Salsa Night @ Curv Bar – Make your way down to Curv bar for some Salsa with the Fun Salsa Club.

Dec. 29th – 2014 Shenzhen Tennis Open – Come see Li Na defend her title in the 2014 Shenzhen Open as she competes for $500,000.

Dec. 29th - Sunday Ultimate Frisbee by the SZUPA – Join a growing group of expats and local Chinese players play the fast growing international sport: Ultimate.

If you attend any of these events, please email me at [email protected] and we may include some of your reviews in a future post. Let’s keep your event organizers working to provide better and better events!

(Editor’s Note: We’re looking for dining and nightlife writers in Guangzh


Shekou’s transformation continues, new ferry terminal being built

Posted: 12/6/2013 7:00 am

If you haven’t been to Shekou and Seaworld Square lately, you’re in for a surprise. Much of the construction around the square has been completed, and a whole new complex has opened to the west of the big boat.

The complex resembles Sanlitun Village (for those familiar with Beijing), and will even come with Shenzhen’s very first Element Fresh. The Tavern, a popular bar from Guangzhou, is one of the first spots to have opened, and was already full on our last visit.

The Hilton Hotel Shekou has opened, and there’s a new 100-floor office tower in the area. That’s right, this isn’t your grandpa’s Shekou. To complete the overhaul, a new ferry terminal is in the works. It will open within three years, and be built right where the current one is. Shenzhen Daily talked to some passengers who lamented the crumbling facility:

Shekou’s ferry terminal is more than 30 years old. People have complained about the two-story terminal’s limited space, lack of an escalator, inconvenient links to transportation and insufficient food services.

An unidentified passenger who uses Shekou ferry services frequently said the terminal’s waiting hall is routinely filled to overflowing on weekends. Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to stand and people have to wait in the public square outside the terminal’s entrance, the passenger said.

The question now is this: if the new ferry terminal will be built where the current one is, what happens in the meantime? That hasn’t been answered yet, although some speculate an interim terminal might be used. If not, get set to navigate around construction for the next few years.

For all of the ferry terminal’s faults, it’s still a nice open, breezy, and quaint building that stands in stark contrast to the tourist-filled Shun Tak Centre in Hong Kong. It’s been part of many a warm welcome back to the Mainland.


Foreigner in Shenzhen heading to jail… for driving without a license

Posted: 11/19/2013 10:00 am

After being stopped by police, image courtesy of Sina Weibo

It’s common for foreigners in China to drive a car or motorcycle without a license, but a few will probably be questioning their decision after a New Zealander was jailed for 15 days for failing to have the proper documents.

The law is quite strict and gives police the authority to detain those driving without a license, but they do have discretion. Many foreigners have been let off the hook because police can’t be bothered to get translators and processing them is just too ma fan.

This particular foreigner wasn’t so lucky. He was caught by traffic police in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District on Friday (Nov. 15) riding a motorcycle without a license, Shenzhen Traffic Police reported on their microblog.

According to the cops, after the man was stopped on Taizi (Prince Edward) Road, he was found to only possess a C1 driving license, which does not enable him to ride a motorcycle.

Explaining himself to the cops, image courtesy of Sina Weibo

Despite him being detained, 15 days in the clink won’t make him among the Pearl River Delta’s more long-term prisoners.  However, even if he had had a license, the vehicle itself may have been illegal as Shenzhen has been cracking down on the use of e-bikes for several years.


Donate to the Philippines… Here’s how

Posted: 11/14/2013 9:42 pm

There has been so much devastation in the Phillipines from both tropical storms (Super Typhoon Haiyan) and earthquakes. Some people would like to help out but don’t know how. Here is your opportunity.

Tonight at Rapscallions you can bring your old shirts, shoes, hats, and canned goods to give to either Shenzhen Local Music or put in the Donation Box from the Filipino Community.

St. Anthony’s Church will also have a donation box. The church is located on Nonglin Lu next to Sam’s Club. Another location to drop off goods are McCawley’s in Futian and Trainspotting in Shekou.

The Filipino community is also throwing an event this Sunday at Luna Bar. It is a buffet Dinner for 100RMB called “Dine for a Cause”. The proceeds will go to the typhoon victims in Tacloban City and Leyte.


Read it and weep: a price list from Shekou in the early 1980s

Posted: 10/14/2013 7:00 am

Here is the list, image courtesy of Shenzhen Noted

Local blog Shenzhen Noted has published a price list of items in Shekou from the early 1980s that is a real reminder that the past is a foreign country.

The list, which came from Shekou Industrial Zone Life Services Bureau, gives the “approximate” (just about everything was negotiable) cost of a list of meats, vegetables, spices and dairy products.

Prices would fluctuate and items would become unavailable due to outside forces such as typhoons. But here is a translation of the list of the cost of 1 jin (approximately half a kilo) of the following items:

Pork: 2.4 – 2.5 RMB

Beef: 2.2 – 2.3 RMB

Tripe: 2 RMB

Frozen chicken: 2.6 RMB

Eggs: 1.7 RMB

Freshwater fish: 1.3 – 1.4 RMB

Seawater fish: 0.45 RMB

Green vegetables: 0.35 RMB

Melons: 0.15 RMB

Green beans: 0.4 RMB

Green onions: 0.5 RMB

Ginger: 0.6 RMB

Sponge gourds: 0.45 RMB

Balsam pears 0.4 RMB

Onions: 0.3 RMB

Tofu: 0.5 RMB

Preserved eggs: 0.25 RMB

Salted eggs: 0.25 RMB

According to the blog, the reason why the list contains RMB next to each price is that Hong Kong dollars and Foreign Exchange Certificates (or waihui 外汇), a surrogate currency used by foreigners, were also common.

Keep in mind that prices in Shenzhen were higher than in parts of the country such as Hunan and Sichuan, where the migrants came from to build the dazzling metropolis we see before us today.


Shenzhen this weekend: Beer pong, open mic, proton packs and all that Jazz

Posted: 10/4/2013 8:58 am

It’s a week-long holiday so why not get out and have some fun? Shenzhen is celebrating with a few fun-filled days this weekend. Check out what’s happening:

Oct. 4th - Jef Neve Trio – The 3rd OCT Jazz Festival - The Jef Neve Trio playing live @ The 3rd OCT Jazz Festival. One of the best festivals in Shenzhen for music with lots of new acts each time.

Oct. 4th - Samuel Blaser Trio – The 3rd OCT Jazz Festival - The Samuel Blaser Trio will play live @ The 3rd OCT Jazz Festival.

Oct. 4th – Open Mic at XPATS – Come enjoy a beer, and keep drinking those beers till you have the courage to go up and perform.

Oct. 5th -  Beer Pong at The Snakepit – Beer Pong Returns to The Snakepit. Lots of discounted beer and prizes. Hosted by the SZUPA.

Oct. 6th – Sunday Ultimate Frisbee by the SZUPA – Join a growing group of expats and local Chinese players play the fast growing international sport: Ultimate.

Oct. 6th – Luna Sunday Cinema: Ghostbusters – Enjoy great food and classic movies at one of Shekou’s best bar’s, Luna Bar. This week: Ghostbusters.

If you attend any of these events, please email me at [email protected] and we may include some of your review in a future post. Let’s keep your event organizers working to provide better and better events!

(Editor’s Note: We’re looking for dining and nightlife writers in Guangzhou and Dongguan. If you’re interested, please get in touch with us at [email protected])


2.95 tons of narcotics incinerated in Shekou in 1 day as part of crackdown

Posted: 06/27/2013 7:00 am

The Shenzhen Public Security Bureau incinerated 2.95 tons of narcotics in Shekou on Tuesday as part of a yearlong crackdown, Nandu Daily reports.

The bureau claims that by June 20 this year, it had cracked 1,746 drug-related cases, detained 1,915 people, smashed 43 criminal gangs that were involved in drug-dealing, and sent 1,443 drug addicts into rehabilitation.

Tuesday’s move was symbolic as it took place just one day before the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. According to the UN website, the theme for this year was: “Make health your ‘new high’ in life, not drugs.” The guy in charge of coming up with catchier themes must be on his summer holiday.

The problem of drug trafficking in Shenzhen however, is still serious. According to Shenzhen Daily, some expats have been getting locals to help them traffic drugs:

Foreigners taking advantage of Chinese friends by getting them to sign for international express deliveries that contain drugs is an increasing trend in the city, officials with Shenzhen People’s Procuratorate said.

At least 20 such cases have been brought to the court in recent years, Procurator Yu Hongwen said. Yu said foreigners in those cases took advantage of their Chinese girlfriends, business clients or acquaintances by getting them to sign for deliveries containing drugs.

In 2009, a mentally ill British man was executed for allegedly smuggling drugs in China. Considering the history of the country, any foreigner who does anything with drugs here is asking for trouble.

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