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Published: September 11th 2009
Janice and Evelyn, "the babes"
The Chinese sign on the back of the bike says "pretty girls only". lol
Yes, we are still here! It has been ages since I have documented my latest adventures here. Anyway, we got back to China on August 10 after freezing our butts off in Ontario for three weeks. A great time was had by all but damn it was chilly. Who has ever heard of 15 - 20 degree weather in Southern Ontario for the last week of July and the first week of August? Either we have become acclimatised to hot weather or Canada is getting colder.
We have loved the heat since we returned. I know, I know...enough about the weather but you can't beat the climate here....although some would disagree on the greatness of 100% humidity and forecasts that read daily, 38 but feels like 50. As we move towards the middle of September, it has cooled down a bit but still really nice.
Our school has come a long ways from the first year. In just over two years we have grown from 250 students to over 700 and climbing. The little Canadian staff of 12 from the first year is now over 40 and we have taken over a lot of the new building. Obviously with
such rapid growth, we are in a state of constant flux and many more leadership positions have become necessary, including a full-time Vice_Principal. This year will be exciting because we will have our first graduating class moving on to bigger and better things along with the production of our first yearbook and graduation ceremony. Lots of cool things to come down the road.
Of course, with this many more staff, there is the opportunity for that many more parties, although it is a problem getting everyone together under one roof. A little difficult to have 50 over for a pot-luck! But the group is still pretty cohesive despite its size.
My new sidecar motorcycle is now my wheels for getting back and forth to school each day. Last year two friends, Evelyn and Janice, made sure they had first dibs on riding in with me each day. They live in the same apartment complex and motorcycle pool each day to work. Chinese drivers get a kick out of seeing us and have occasionally given us the "thumbs up"! We all get that natural windblown look every morning without having to worry about expensive trips to the hair stylist.
Blurry Dinner Pic
One of many eating fests.
Along with the bike comes a little maintenance here and there. Last week the gas stopcock stopped working and had to be replaced. Before I could do that, I had to empty the tank. Despite the fact that I teach Math 12 and am the Department Head for the year, my volume calculations did not quite work out. I had my little group of 2L bottles lined up along with my empty gas can. I zapped the funnel under the tank, unscrewed the stopcock and watched the gas pour into the first container, 2nd container, 3rd container, last container.....oops, it just kept coming. I had a waterfall of gasoline until I managed to get the old part screwed back in again to stop the flow while I looked for another container.
Doing all this in the depths of the underground parking lot was not hidden enough to escape the scrutiny of the trusty security guards. They dropped by on their bicycles and proceeded to point to the sea of gas on the concrete floor that wasn't seeping into he ground quite fast enough. I made a sign to them that “it was just a little bit”. Yeah, right.
They finally got bored after watching me for another 15 minutes and took off.
Of course, that wasn't enough excitement for me for the week. A few days later, I bombed into the complex on my little scooter and tried to turn too sharply on the sidewalk too quickly. In the process, I slipped onto the grass for a short distance, shearing off one of the sprinkler heads and causing an immediate 15 foot geyser. Again, the security guards were not impressed. They took down my apartment number but I still haven't heard if I will need to pay for the bit of damage I caused.
So one week into the new school year, life is still good. Nancy is working her way through several books on Computer Game programmng and 3D Mathematics. She is enjoying life at home and her occasional shopping sprees. Many new people are going to be getting scooters or motorcycles so we are going to try to do some group rides into the countryside. Maybe we'll get some t-shirts made up...Wuhan Warriors or Maple Leaf Marauders! That is about it for now. In three weeks, Nancy and I are off to Hong Kong
for the week-long National Holiday. Till the next time!
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