A Travellerspoint blog

Dongguan Weekend

"The weather here is lovely!"/sarcasm/..."Well, it actually doesn't get any better than this"

rain
View My placement on ChinaSarah's travel map.

This weekend we went to Dongguan. As soon as I had devoured my lunch in the canteen I ran to my room for a shower and to pack my stuff. I didn’t have more time than absolutely necessary, because I did this in the course of 20 minutes. I met the others by one of the many buses outside our canteen. Six of us were going (Nick, Jeppe, Mark, Aline, Amanda and me) The bus was almost full. We tried to find seats, one of my students (No I don’t know his name, I have 390 students a week!) greeted me and pointed to a seat a few seats away- I ended up sitting next to an awkward teenage boy for two hours. He did say “thank you” when I moved to let him get off the bus though, his pronunciation was really good from what I heard.

We got off the bus, but then we realized that we had no idea where we were. In Dongguan for sure, but where? We asked some of the other students who were on the bus, we needed to find Wallmart. We got a cab and surely, we found our way. We stayed in Wall mart for awhile. I bought some juice and chocolate to take with me. The guys bought wine for Jasmine (she let them stay in her apartment over the weekend) We went to Starbucks, we waited for the others to meet us. Jasmine came to get the guys, they left quickly- leaving Nick, Amanda, Aline and me behind, which I found strange- I mean, I didn't even get to say “Hi” before they were out the door. We waited for almost an hour before Jonas, Jesper and Faith came. We didn’t know where to stay. After dinner, Jonas and Faith went back home. They didn’t feel well. After searching for hotels, and finding a few- but we weren’t to keen on any of them, we decided that we’re staying with Jonas, he lives in a shared apartment with fellow swede Jesper. So Jonas and Faith came back, to collect our luggage and we went out. We came back by midnight.

DSC_0320.jpg

Saturday morning, I went to get breakfast in their campus shop- it’s so much better than ours! It actually looks like a little supermarket, and not like a lousy kiosk. I had a strange, soft bun with a yellow fruity filling and a sweet cake + the berry juice I got the previous day. We waited until Aline, Jesper and Nick got up and we went out to see some of Dongguan. They weren’t too happy about this city, there was “not much to do”. There was some expensive shopping possibilities and western places scattered around. Like Wall mart, which is great- I found loads of stuff I would love to have in my room- but I can’t carry it with me back. But of course, if you do your weekly shopping there all the time- it’s going to be fairly expensive, compared to Chinese markets. We ate at Pizza Hut. I had my first Pizza in China- it was good! We walked to a café called Northern Lights. I was still full from the pizza, but I still enjoyed looking at the beautiful cakes and sweet, little creations they had on display. We wandered off to something called “the Pillow Museum”. Jonas had picked up a free magazine at Starbucks when we met there, it had tourist attractions, maps etc. in it and it was our best friend. We used the map to navigate towards the hotel. It took a long time. It was a few kilometers away. And it rained. The hotel was called “Silver..- something” that was all we had. Eventually a building appeared on the other side of the busy road, it said “Silver..—something. This was it! We were delighted and ran up to it quickly. The hotel was very luxurious and we got some weird looks upon entering. We were told that the pillow museum was on the 2nd floor. But once we got there, it was closed! It said open at request in the magazine, so we requested. We really wanted to see some pillows! The museum wasn't that big, but they had quite a display- we probably spent the longest time out of anyone who’s ever visited. But we left, and found our way back to their apartment. Some of us agreed to not go out, like the others were planning to do. We nerds had a movie night instead. Jonas, Amanda, Faith, Aline and me. We bought snacks in the handy little campus store and tried to relax on their hard couch (much like one you’ll find in an airport- waiting area) But it was nice. We saw “Inglorius Basterds”, because Aline hadn’t seen it, which I found strangely funny... she’s German.

DSC_0317.jpg
DSC_0309.jpgDSC_0307.jpg

Hannah lives with Jasmine. But like us, she didn’t want to go out with the others. She came over, she was supposed to join us for the movie night but some complications hindered this from happening. She took a cab, usually its about 20 minute drive and costs no more than 30 yuan. Her cab driver was a woman (they’re usually men here) the license, however, had a picture of a man. So poor Hannah thought she was a victim of human trafficking. The lady was confused and got lost. She ended up being very late and had to pay 70 yuan… She stayed the night.

DSC_0322.jpgDSC_0323.jpgDSC_0310.jpg

Sunday at noon we were all up and ready to go. We left to go to Hannah’s apartment (she shares with Jasmine) to visit and to pick up the guys- so we could go home. Firstly, their apartment is the nicest one I have seen yet! Proper kitchen, dining table, proper living room, nice furniture! I would love to live in that apartment in Norway! They’re lucky. We didn’t move until 15.00. We found the bus station. But on our way there- we managed to lose the three guys (we took separate cabs). We waited and searched for them, but they were on another bus station ? We got tickets. Then we had to wait in the boiling heat for an hour. Finally our bus showed up. We got seats and relaxed while we moved closer to Shenzhen. Problem this time was that we didn’t quite know where to get off. Amanda sat next to an English speaking boy, who told us where to go. Aline got in a bus and left for her school. Amanda and I tried to wave a cab for 30 minutes, when we got one, she showed the address and they declined. Every. Time. So we got a bus. The people on the bus were helpful. Amanda called an English teacher and got her to speak to a Chinese woman. I was dead tired at this point. I' impressed I didn't pass out then and there. The women talked to Amanda, though. Asked her for her Skype and stuff. I think they could see that I was not up for talking, I wanted to go back and plan my lessons! It was getting late. We walked all the way to the school from the bus stop, it’s a 30 minute walk. We were back by 19.00. We missed dinner, but we grabbed a burger before trying to flag all those cabs. So it wasn’t too bad. I managed to actually plan what I had in mind (I was considering shortening it, making it simpler. Because it was late in the evening) But I can proudly say I made most of my plan come to life. I finished the PowerPoint and from there my mind goes blank.

Sleep came early that night.

- Cecilie

Posted by ChinaSarah 07:28 Archived in China Tagged buildings china weekend ttc dongguan Comments (0)

“Today is special…”

To say the least

overcast

So I’m still staying in my room at the moment. I’ve been nervous all day, though. Caroline (the maintenance lady) didn’t contact me. She told me (yesterday) that she would tell me when the renovation is beginning, so I can get out of the room in time, knowing China she’ll probably tell me 5 min. in advance.

I met a fellow foreign teacher who lives just next to me in the hallway today, he asked me if they told me to move out as well. He’d just checked out the room he was given, just like I did yesterday. “Do YOU think you can live there?” he asked, no doubt about it-his room was as bad as mine. I laughed a little “No, absolutely not!” I was relieved that I was not the only one. He also told me that the renovation was going to take 10- 15 days. So I must have misunderstood her then. 50 days did seem like an awfully long time to build something in China. But I still reject the idea of living in such a disgusting space for “only” 10 days. Just like my neighbor said; there’s NO washing machine, TV, bedding, internet, western toilet- just a (nasty) bed. I have all of these "fancy" facilities in my current room (well, except for washing machine- but I share one so I’m OK for now) The foreign teacher (I still don’t know his name) was going to move his stuff down to his awful room after we talked. No wonder those rooms are empty… no living creature can live there! From what I can hear, I’m pretty sure he has moved out by now, it took him a few hours. But I think he’s still in his old room. I can hear his chair moving...these walls are like paper. I guess he's staying for as long as he can too. No use staying in that horrible place, if you can stay on the 7th floor= heaven /in comparison.

I’m staying in my nice room for as long as I can. I haven’t heard anything from Amanda so I don’t know if she has spoken to Caroline. I was pretty persistent about having internet in the room, but even if Caroline can fix that, it’s still not very tempting to sleep/work in there. Even for 10 days. If I only had a tent and a sleeping bag, I’d honestly just sleep outside my door (it’s out in the open, but there are walls/ceiling) This whole thing is just stupid, but I haven’t really been able to relax all day- because at any time I could get a phone call or a knock on my door saying I have to move out NOW and they will tell me that there’s no other option than that terrible place… It upsets me. I don’t want something like this to ruin my experience here. I don’t mean to sound whiny and overly demanding, but believe me when I say that’s the last thing I am. Take today for example, after lunch I always have a 1st grade class. This lesson usually starts 14.40. I strolled into the school at 14.30- basically ready to go straight to the classroom. There was teacher in the classroom. She saw me, came to the door and spoke Chinese- but her gestures made it clear that she was taking the lesson. A bit confused, I walked up to the office where I asked Sophie (English teacher who’s one of my contacts) if my lesson was being swapped. She said that the lesson started 14.30 today, because “today’ special” Too bad I didn’t know that today was special until then! Annoyed as I was, I didn't say anything- just "OK, that's fine.. see you". Apparently this happened because the children were hiking in the hills after class. I didn’t know anything- as usual. Sophie said she couldn’t reach me, which I find funny because they all have my phone number. Everyone here only think about their own affairs. So my lesson was canceled, which wasn’t too bad. I just wish they told me sooner, so I didn’t have to waste time walking over there and back again. I started planning 3rd and 4th grade classes (I have 4th grade tomorrow) I’m almost done.

I ate at the canteen for dinner, I went early because I was really hungry. I'm a true, starving teacher:/ I haven’t been to the supermarket yet. I was supposed to go yesterday. But lack of energy, and too much lesson planning got in the way. I still don’t have any food in my room. But if I’m moving anywhere I might as well wait before I go ahead and stock up on eats. I haven’t dared to really unpack my stuff again, because I never know when I’ll have to go. I feel like I can’t relax and be comfortable in the room anymore, it no longer feels like mine when I can expect being ‘kicked’ out any time now. I’m stressed, tired and hungry. Although I much rather would describe all the fun, idyllic, positive things about this trip, there’s no avoiding the inevitable bad things that comes with it. Hopefully things will get better in a few days (meaning I don’t have to stay in the awful room and I’ll have some food available)That would definitely help! Maybe I’ll have canteen breakfast tomorrow morning for the second time here...It's not super good- but it's food.

I try to look on the bright side all the time here, but sometimes the bright side is a little too naïve in my opinion. I mean, this is still a completely different country and culture than what I’m used to, it’s thrilling but also tiring at times. It would be nice to be able to explain things, without being misunderstood EVERY time, for example. That’s one of my daily challenges. I know I’ll start enjoying this fully again, when this though phase passes. Hopefully that’s soon.

This upcoming weekend I think we’ll just stay local. Go out to eat maybe. KTV too perhaps. Maybe someone comes to visit, I don’t know. I hopes so, it would be nice to see some faces I haven’t seen in awhile.

My arms/shoulders/neck’s so sore from carrying around all of my luggage everywhere yesterday. I remember when we arrived here, one month ago- my arms were sore for DAYS. I think SOMEONE needs exercise…

Please, if you read this- leave a little “hello” in the comment box below. I want to know who’s reading

- Cecilie

Posted by ChinaSarah 05:42 Archived in China Tagged buildings accommodation china shenzhen primary_school Comments (1)

Bad things have happened in there...

A not-so-short tale of a meaningless event...

sunny

So today marks the date. It's officially one whole month since I first stepped out of that tiny, packed van and onto the school grounds of Shenzhen Oriental English College. It has gone by unbelievably fast, but I still feel like I have been here for awhile. I've gotten accustomed to our accommodation and life here and was quite happy about everything. I'd spoken to Mrs. Ying (our vice president) about my missing washing machine, but she was really stressed at the time. So I'll probably have to remind her again. That was my only problem- until lunchtime today, that is.

I had lunch with Amanda and we just talked about the usual stuff- our stay; the lessons and the students who most often than not, are impossible to handle. We were about to leave, when a Chinese woman approached us hastily. She greeted us and sat down beside me. She'd apparently talked to Amanda earlier that day and asked her if she'd told me about my room. Amanda looked confused. The woman turned towards me as she said "You're Serenity?", To what I replied "What?" "Serenity?" she repeated. "Oh, Cecilie"" She said shortly after measuring my mute, skeptical expression. She waved a key in my face and told me that I had to move to another room. Because in a few days they're tearing mine down to make a two bedroom apartment. Amanda and I both live on the 7th floor. There's one door between us, and I'm the only one moving anywhere. "When can you move?" she demanded. "Er, today is fine. I don't have any classes this afternoon" I asked her when I had to be out, and she said that the other Chinese teachers already moved this weekend. I was in Dongguan, so she couldn't reach me. She didn't even try to call me so I don't know what to think about that. "By today, or tomorrow (Tuesday) preferably" she told me. Ok, so that doesn't leave me much room to plan ahead. Tuesday is long day for me, so I figured, move tonight and just get it over with.

When I woke up this morning I knew nothing of this. I was going to spend the majority of the day planning for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classes- so I won't have to plan tomorrow. But this changed when I was told that I had to move out. I took a quick nap, because I was almost asleep when I came back from lunch. Then I spent 2, 5 hours packing everything and cleaning up the room. I dragged all my stuff out and Amanda helped me to carry it down all the flights. My "new" room was in building 4, room 112. First floor. "Great, I don't have to climb 6 flights of stairs everyday." I thought. Truth is I don't even mind all the stairs anymore, I hardly get any exercise here anyway.

I found the door. It's right by building 3. I struggled with the key for awhile, but eventually the door opened with a loud creak. In the dark room before me my eyes looked straight at the ceiling, where something was dangling from a string. Two dark, glassy eyes stared emptily back at me. Carefully swaying in the draft from the door, the tainted innocence of an old, creepy doll greeted us. That was basically all there was left in the room. The only thing with colour in there was the faded red dress of this old, "executed" doll. The walls where white, like in an abandoned asylum. Everything seemed to be touched by death. Spider webs and a filthy, broken desk, an extremely uninviting bed and about 500 dead/alive flies. There was a squat toilet which looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the last century, and a bunch of cocoons and unidentifiable insects under the sink. It made my 7th floor room look like a room in a five star hotel. The maintenance lady (which was the lady I met at lunch) is called Caroline. At lunch she had repeatedly said that this move was only temporary, it will be about 50 days and then I'll be able to move back. Hearing her stressing that it was temporary made me think that this new room maybe wouldn't that great. I expected a squat toilet (but a relatively clean one!) I didn't expect to have to sleep in the room of a psychotic serial killer who rips little girls' dolls apart in the dark of night. Because that was really what it was like in there, it looked like a real life crime scene or a set from the most disturbing horror movie imagined. I was upset to say the least, I was actually scared for the first time since I got here. If I had entered that room alone, I probably would have cried, but luckily Amanda was there and she was equally freaked out. She told me that she almost expected there to be something written in blood on the walls. Every fiber in my body protested against staying in that room for longer than 5 seconds. I will not be sane after 50 days in there. I carried most of my stuff angrily back up the stairs to the 7th floor and called Caroline. I told her that the room was quite...different. She seemed to be unaware of the state of it. Because she said she'd talked to someone about bringing a mattress in- there was already a mattress in there. Not that I ever want to sleep on it, the serial killer probably used it to absorb all the blood from his killing sprees. I'll rather sleep outside, it's cleaner and free of any nightmarish sights.

She asked me if there's anything else I needed, i told her that there's no bedding and no internet. No wires at all. I need internet to plan my lessons in the room, because I haven't got internet in the office. "So internet is the most important thing?" she asked after I was out of breath from explaining. "YES". I'm not going to be able to stay in that room, let alone sleep there. I'd rather eat a bat, than live there. She said she would try to discuss with IT people to get internet there. Which might mean anything from "in a few days time" to "never". But I still don't want to work in there, with my frail mental health and my butt- ton of anxieties, I'm not really fit to stay in a place like that; a prison cell filled with ghosts. But Chinese people don't really think about that. She apologized for "this uncomfortable room" and said she will try her best to make it better. I just don't want to move anywhere right now, but I have no choice. They're tearing my room down. After I talked to her on the phone, I chose to get my suitcase back from that horrid room, having to enter it alone. I didn't want to leave anything in there. I turned on the yellow light in the bathroom, just to see what was there and instantly a dying fly came at me and clung to my backpack before it's tiny legs lost grip. "Nothing can live in here" I thought. My bags were covered in zombie- flies. I shook them off and slammed the door shut. "This is no place for me..."

I brought my heavy suitcase back up all the way to 708. I'm staying in my "five star" room at the moment. But probably not for long. Caroline said she'd call me when they start renovating. They're doing the entire 7th floor at once, so hopefully it'll be done soon. 50 days she said. But I know for sure I'm not living in that poor excuse for a room for that long. Preferably not at all. But I don't know what to do. I feel like it's a bit intruding to have to stay at Amanda's, it was a bit awkward when I had to stay there for one our before we left for dinner the night I locked myself out of my room. We both have a "pull-out" sofa. I have never checked to see if it actually works, but it's not something anyone would voluntarily sleep on. But I would much rather sleep on that than in the "bed" in that terrible place. Amanda told me she would help me out, she's going to talk to Caroline as soon as she sees her. She usually sees her a few times a week. But I doubt it'll help much. They probably can't do anything about it. I just wish that there's some other place I can stay, a place where I can live in peace for 50 days without being exposed to permanent emotional damage and being haunted by images of my vivid imagination. I'm thankful that I can sleep in my real room tonight, and have a shower (the death-room didn't even have a shower- but if it did I would have to shower right next to the squat toilet which looks like a gaping hole to hell) NO THANKS.

So instead of actually being productive this evening and finish my lesson plans, my evening was ruined by some foolish woman asking me to pack my stuff and move it to effin' Elm Street... I had to carry all my bags up and down the six flights of stairs- I don't know how many times... I still need to plan for 1st and 2nd Grade classes which I have tomorrow. But at least that's easier than the others. I'll have to plan for the rest tomorrow. It dawned on me that China sucks sometimes, but there are nice things too of course. I never usually get home sick, but for a few seconds this evening I desperately wished I was at home. In Norway. In my bed. Under the covers. Where. I'm. Safe. But that's also one of the reasons why I chose to come to China, to not feel safe. I don't mean to be in immediate danger or anything, just to be out of my numbing comfort zone. But I still don't want to sleep in a room where a lot of people may or may not have been brutally murdered.

I just feel miserable right now. Everything I did tonight was in vain, I didn't get anything out of it- except maybe nightmares for the rest of my life.

So.

I wonder where tomorrow takes me.

Please, everyone at home; enjoy your beds, showers and tap water to the fullest. Think of me!

- Cecilie misses all of you

Posted by ChinaSarah 04:23 Archived in China Comments (0)

I'm tired, but happy!

Last weekend, food, next weekend and other things

overcast

15.03.11:
I’ve just returned from the local supermarket, I had a food emergency. I had no food left! I was supposed to go food shopping yesterday, but I had too much planning to do for today’s lessons. I had an apple from yesterday’s lunch which I saved for breakfast. I should go have breakfast in the canteen once in awhile, but since I usually eat lunch and dinner there, I can’t bring myself to do it. I might go to the big supermarket on Thursday and get some new sheets for my bed. I’ve only used the ones that were left behind by the former intern, and without a washing machine I can’t even wash them. I think I need to talk to Mrs. Ying about this soon. I’m fearing the mosquitos too, I haven’t really noticed them much. I had one inmy room just now, it’s safe to say that they’re bigger than regular mosquitos back home. According to our contract we were supposed to be given mosquito nets. Let’s hope that happens.

This past weekend was Mark and Jeppe’s birthdays.On Friday we went out to eat a one of the (few) local restaurants here. We had bought them a cake and some gifts which they received at the restaurant. We made a big deal of fixing everything in our room (we always get a VIP room at this restaurant) while they were at the toilet. The waitresses got eager and started finding blindfolds etc. But we just told them to wait outside until we'd lit the candles and cleared the table. I had to go back to school while the others were in the restaurant to collect a key for my room. I had managed to lock myself out of my room earlier that day. I called one of the teachers when I noticed this, but she was having dinner at some wedding party with the person responsible for all the keys, so I had to wait for them to come back. I had to wait two hours. I took the schoolbus back and went over to the guard who's English abilities strecth as far as: “No English”. Luckily the teacher mentioned above, had given him my key so he understood right away when I tried to say my room number “qi ling ba” (708).

When I came back to the restaurant, we went to KTV. But we were only six and the room we got was far too big. Could probably fit twice as many people in there. We were still just 40 minutes from our school, so we returned to sleep in our rooms that night. Saturday we went to Futian district. We took two buses and subway to get there, it took about 1 ½ hours. We checked in at a hostel. We met up with the people from Dongguan, where I was supposed to be placed. It was nice, but strange to see them again after almost a month. We went out for dinner, we got some pretty spicy food! We stayed for awhile. It was nice to catch up with the others and hear how their placements are like. We got back to our hostel for the night. Sunday we slept in, for once! We tried to find the big electronic market which is supposedly in this area. But we were too hungry and food was more important. After lunch we started making our way back home. We said goodbye to two of the girls who went back to Dongguan and we went back to our school.

18.03.11
This weekend we're going to take the big school bus (the one students travel home in) to go to Dongguan. I can't wait to see what it's like there. We're leaving this afternoon as soon as people finish their classes and had lunch.

Now it's time for lunch, I still have a presentation to make. I'm using it on Monday. I just might have to finish it on Sunday, when we come back from Dongguan. I'm having “Animals” as my topic this week. This past week, I had “Travel 2.0” (I kept this topic for two weeks). I managed to end my lessons earlier this wee, I usually overplan. So we watched films in a couple of classes. The first class waved a DVD at me while I was teaching. I said we could watch it at the end of class, and keptmy promise. I figured out that it was “The Green Hornet”. I've never seen the film, but the title was in Spanish. They spoke English, but this was useless when you had Chinese subtitles and bad quality sound...

Time to go!

- Cecilie

Posted by ChinaSarah 20:40 Archived in China Comments (0)

"Happy Women's Day!"

Luho Dstrict, Women's Day, hiking, plans for next weekend

semi-overcast

So remember how I said I was staying on campus last weekend? Didn’t happen…But we didn’t go far. We went to Luohu District in Shenzhen. We took the bus and spent the day there. I wanted to back home that same day, but ended up spending a night at a hotel instead. We went back Sunday. Luohu is a commercial area, much like Coco Park. Only a bit more expensive. But then again it was better. A lot of foreigners seem to go there too. We had our fair share of fun and headed back to the hotel to sleep. Then went back to the school Sunday afternoon. The bus was packed (it usually is) and I had to sit on the floor at the very front of the bus for half an hour (it felt like ages), the bus ride was a little over an hour.

When we got back, I set to work in my room. I chose ‘Travel’ as my topic and might stick with it for another week. It's a broad theme and can easily be used in all of my classes. I didn’t get to do everything I had planned. The classes varied a lot again this week, I’ve started writing comments on each class’ performance each lesson. It helps me remember how they respond to different things. How they behave and keeps me on track of which lessons I've had with them. Hopefully it will be useful for planning future lessons.

Tuesday (08.03.11) was Women’s Day. I didn’t really realize this until I woke up and noticed the date on my phone. I was planning on wishing all the female teachers Happy Women’s Day, because for some reason I thought they didn’t celebrate it. Boy, was I wrong.... They love women here! When I walked to school I saw a group of people outside the canteen. I had already had breakfast in my room, so I was going straight to the office. The people were giving each other flowers, I had no idea what this was all about. I thought someone won a prize or something. I just smiled at them and they stared at me while I passed by. When I arrived at the office I received one of the flowers they handed out by the canteen and they wished me a “Happy Women’s Day!”. Students approached me in my office and tried to say this in English, but a teacher translated it for me. When I went to my first class the entire class said “Happy Women’s Day!” to my surprise.

Later that day, one of the female teachers invited me to join them for a hike in the mountains by the school. Apparently, this is an annual ritual. Every year on March 8th, all the female teachers climb the mountain. I said yes immediately, forgetting that I had a lesson when the hike was taking place. She told me that my lesson was moved from 5th period to 6th period. The 6th period lessons start 15.30. Our hike started 14.30. I was nervous about making it back in time for my lesson, but trusted the other teachers plan. It had just rained (I’d almost forgotten what rain was) the previous night, so the air was humid. It was a bit colder than usual, but we got pretty warm from hiking, so it was OK. When the hour hand on my watch crept closer to 15.00 I started feeling the urge to go back, in order to make it on time. I turned around, going back the same way. One of the Chinese English teacher (a young one, actually able to speak English) stopped me and asked why I was going back. I explained my situation to her. She encouraged me to continue, telling me that it might be faster to keep walking towards the top, since we were walking around. She stressed “I think”, though. Which made me a little insecure. Because she had never participated before either, she's a new teacher and started teaching at the school a week before me.

Despite the fact that I was worried, I kept on walking. I tried to enjoy the beautiful sights, but the pressure on being back on time ruined the experience a little. When we were almost back, it was 15.30 and I felt devastated. I missed my lesson! They’ve told me numerous times how important it is to be on time and I always am, I felt like I’d let them down. At the bottom of the last hill there was a van and some people. “Great!” I thought. “They are driving us back so we can have our lessons!” This was not right. The principle was there, she cheered me on (I was walking by myself, in front of the others at this point) I felt awkward, I didn’t realize this was a race! Which made sense in retrospect, when a bunch of teachers started running at the very beginning… She gave me a note with a bunch of Chinese characters on it and pushed me towards the van. Someone in the van took the note and gave me two big, industrial sized bottles of shampoo/shower cream. Then they all smiled and cheered as if I’d won a marathon. I was frankly too stressed out to sense anything of this and hurried off towards campus. I didn’t even stop by my room to clean myself up. I went straight to the school, dressed in a hoodie (which needs washing) and running shoes. I went to the classroom,but didn’t enter. Because guess what? There was a teacher there already. Gee. I guess all that stress was for nothing, eh? This annoyed me, but I went back to the office anyway. Which was a good, because here they told me that my lesson was now moved to 7th period. I guess everyone's lessons were moved because the hike took longer than expected. The lessons going on while we were hiking, were taken over by all the male teachers. I stayed in office until 7th period, when I went downstairs to teach 1A. I went back to my room and I finished the Powerpoint I was using in the 4th Grade class the following morning and went to bed early. Exhausted after a busy day at OEC.

I think I’ll meet up with everyone today (Thursday), we're discussing the plans for the weekend = Mark and a Jeppe’s birthdays. They probably have an idea where they want to go. On Tuesday I went to the big supermarket/Ren Ren Le 30 min away from here (by bus). Amanda was already there with german Aline. I did some much needed food shopping and met them at U.B.C Coffeeshop (which has the most amusing neon sign (“Coffee & tea, steak” ) We didn’t eat there, but just sitting there is nice (the chairs are so comfortable!) We discussed what we’re getting the guys for their birthdays, we still have to talk about it with Nick. We might get something from all of us, maybe a voucher or something. We have a few ideas, the problems lies in making these things happen and explaining what we want to Chinese people. But I think it will work out fine.

Now it's time to head back to school for my 11.05 1B lesson (my last lesson today).

I hope that all of you back home are doing fine and that Spring is around the bend.
Please, leave me comments if you feel like it!

- Cecilie

Posted by ChinaSarah 18:04 Archived in China Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 14) « Page 1 [2] 3 »