Published: March 18th 2012March 18th 2012
New photos on: http://s251.photobucket.com/albums/gg311/draftwrite/
…..the Women's Day show was acclaimed as one of our better efforts. I know, we were starting from a low base here but Mike as Whitney Houston & other (male) teachers as various female singers, plus Justin Bieber, (yours truly) did raise a lot of laughs. A picture says 1000 words, a video proportionately more. There's video of the whole show on the school website on this page: http://www.neworiental-k12.org/show.asp?id=6043
If, for some unaccountable reason, you don't want to wait through almost an hour of Chinese speeches & incomprehensible skits, wind it on to around 51 minutes for the foreign teachers' breathtaking performance.....
…..there is not a good selection of English books in Yangzhou, even at the seven storey Xinhua bookshop &, even in Shanghai or Beijing, where they are available, they're not cheap. I recently bought Kahled Hosseini's “A thousand splendid suns” in Shanghai. A great read but at ¥70, (a bit over Au$10), a bit expensive on a regular basis. Some of the other teachers have e-readers so I decide it's time to buy one. As usual with new(-ish) technology I haven't investigated before it's not long before I am bogged
Women's Day show
J Bieber struts his stuff
down in formats, operating systems, software, screen types, (I didn't know anything about e-ink a couple of weeks ago). I finally decide not to get an e-reader, which is only good for reading books, but a Lenovo Ideapad tablet, which can do all the things a reader can do plus view photos, videos, listen to music or my Chinese lessons. It has wi-fi for checking email while travelling & a few other things I haven't worked out yet. It's quietly revolutionising my life.....
…..there are few more potent omens of things about to go wrong than a good start to the day. Three of us are going to Nanjing, to register for the HSK Chinese exam, the one the Chinese use to test foreigners. Alex, Patrick & I are ready to leave for Nanjing on Saturday morning at 7.30am. There' s a bus almost straight away, straight into a taxi from the city centre, then onto a bus to Nanjing, (about one hour fifteen minutes), within 10 minutes of buying tickets at the West bus station. Oh-oh, the first crack in the illusion of perfection; we have three of the five seats at the back of the bus. There
are already three guys sitting there. One of them must be in the wrong seat. We look at their tickets. One has seat number 50. The seats are only numbered to 49! We spend the next hour & a bit crammed onto the back seat, arriving at Nanjing East bus station with numb legs.....
…..Patrick has the address, at least, an address. We get to the University. After wandering round the grounds we realise it's unfortunately the wrong one. We need to go to the Nanjing Normal University, (as opposed to the Abnormal University we appear to be currently lost in). Another taxi trip. Ah, I recognise the place now. We find the same building we went to last time, when they told us we'd have to return in March to register for April's exam. Apart from a couple of people & a security guard in the foyer there's no one in the building. The office we found last time is locked.....
….we go downstairs. The guard tells us to come back at 2pm. We go to find lunch, a little suspicious of progress by now. After finding a small eatery selling Mexican food Patrick & Alex have
Doing his bit for detente between East and West
regained their initial optimism, aided by a Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick's Day & something called an Obama bomb, which I forego but am told is a pretty potent concoction of spirits & lime. Patrick goes off to chat to an attractive young lady who has been left alone by her male friend who has also left a table full of food & disappeared. Being China, she invites him to take whatever he wants to eat.....
…..back at the university there's still no one at home in the offices. However downstairs the guard points us to a man & woman at a makeshift table in the corner of the foyer. Yes! Success! They have registration forms for the exam. So easy. This, along with a couple of bottles of Guinness, have swept away memories of all the morning's fruitless traipsing around. But hold on, this form is for levels 4, 5 & 6. We need level 2. No, sorry, we don't have. Maybe at other university.....
…..Oh, China, sometimes it's just too much. We go back to the bus station & return to Yangzhou, still not registered for the exam & no wiser where, how or when to
Korean Restaurant, West Yangzhou
previous issues of the YYW are on: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Laotou/
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