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Chitchat - Phil McKerr



Phil McKerr
23 years old
From Ireland
Student at Nankai University

1. Favourite place to grab a quick bite:
I swear by veggie Baozi 绱犲寘瀛 – the steamed dumplings, Da Bing Ji Dan 澶чゼ楦¤泲 – basically an egg wrap, and Sha Xian Xiao Chi 娌欏幙灏忓悆 (look for Pacman) if I want to sit down and eat. They’re all cheap, quick and everywhere!
2. Where do you love to spend your kuais (yuan) at night?
Good question! That’s just what I try to avoid doing, but when inescapable, you’ll most probably find me at some tea house/caf茅, the cinema or jogging around the locality, which I now realise requires exactly zero kuais!
3. Favourite dish you’ve tasted in Tianjin?
Easy! Teriyaki Chicken at Gang Gangs. Hands down, no question!
4. Which nights do you prefer to go out - Friday or Saturday in Tianjin?
I actually go out on Sundays, for 2 reasons: I have little to nothing planned on Mondays but most importantly a fantastic jazz duo, sometimes trio, plays at the Astor Hotel bar on Sunday evening. It’s chilled, friendly and the live music really hits the spot!
5. Do you prefer to play or watch sports?
Play. I’ve never been much of a spectator. I’ve had to make some compromises since coming to Tianjin, but the track and pool at Nankai serve their purpose well and the city is never short of badminton courts.
6. Where do you and your friends usually hangout?
A couple of places spring to mind: The Astor, as I’ve mentioned above, 211 House on Cheng Du Dao not far from Gang Gangs, The Spot Caf茅 near the medical university and Star Bar just by the entrance to Sitong.
7. The perfect spot in Tianjin?
In the city proper I would say the Dui Shan Park 鍫嗗北鍏洯, poorly named Trash Mountain, is worth a stroll through and around. There is a running track around it, places to sit and picnic and as you might have guessed, a hill!
8. Which do you think is the perfect place to bring a date?
That would depend very much on the date. Ding Tai Feng 榧庢嘲涓 for Chinese food, KUDOS for Thai food, Gang Gang for fusion and Pizza Bianca for salad and pizza. The Astor isn’t bad so long as the over-elaborate lobby doesn’t intimidate them! For something more lively, I’d go with Q Bar.
9. Strangest thing you’ve seen in town?
Pick a memory! Umm… An old chap, who was cycling on a rickety, rattling bike ahead of me, stopped at a red light, dismounted, walked over to a nearby building site, returned with a spade and proceeded to beat the bolts out of his bike. Satisfied, his work was done, he returned the spade, mounted his bike, no more than just a little worse for wears, and set off, having dispelled whatever caused the rattling.
10. Bestand worse things about Tianjin?
It can be a little grey at times. But! It’s a good place to lock yourself away and consolidate your studies, focus on work or learning without distraction.
11. Happiest moment in Tianjin?
Learning to cook Filipino cuisine with Osang and the Sitong crew, they’re awesome!
12. Any advice you’d like to give to Tianjin newcomers?
Take everything, EVERYTHING, that you are shown and told with a moderate pinch of salt.


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