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Published: August 6th 2005
My "Food" class. The little one on the left with the pigtails is my FAVOURITE of all time.
It's been a long day and I'm eager to get home but I want to update on what's been going on so I don't forget later, and I want to keep you all up to date with the "high life" that is life in Jinan....
Yesterday was a really rough day. I taught at Shanda all day, the elementary class, then for lunch I went to the UBC Cafe again with Duncan. They have a "chocolate coffee" that I've grown quite fond of, but coffee here isn't anything compared to home and I still pay about the same. We had a chat that kind of brought me down, with the thought of being "alone" in September.. but I got back to the school, sent a long email to someone that always cheers me up, and was indeed cheered. My afternoon class was actually kind of fun, and I think the students are warming up to me?? I hope so at least. There was one funny incident, when I was explaining why we use "going to" when we know something will happen. For example, "it is going to rain" because we see storm clouds and we know it will. I don't
Me and a sweety from the "Food" class... we call her "Cheeks"!
even know how it happened, but for some reason, the two phrases, "Take an umbrella" and "I am going to sneeze" came out of my mouth and everyone just thought it was hilarious.
I miss my SLR camera and wish I would have brought it. I want to work on my photography while I am here and even though my digital can take tons of pictures every day, I like the art form, the search for a good photograph... the control I have with my other camera. Should have brought it.
After school yesterday I went to Daphne's to help her bring down all of her stuff, which was A LOT. I wonder if I will accumulate that much "stuff" in my 6 months in China... yikes. Anyways, we finally got it all to my place around 6:30 and now she is officially moved in, until the end of August. At 7, the two of us walked up to the corner to meet Duncan and David. We all went to Jenny's cafe, a decent "Western" cafe where they serve mediocre but familiar food (which is key here), and we hung out there until about 11. I had pizza
These are the bumless baby pants!
but only ate about half.. I think cheese in China is different because every time I have anything with cheese I feel sick. Two Chinese students, Danny and Molly, joined us later and we just chilled out on the couches and played drinking games. I had a rum and coke but quit after that because I was the only one teaching this morning. Responsible Laura. We played a game called "pyramid" and a game that is pretty much just "war" but with drinking involved. Daphne spent all night trying to figure out WHAT her beer tasted like... she originally thought it tasted like licorice, but was disappointed when the licorice flavor faded into no flavor at all. At about 11, we left Jenny's and walked down to the Pyramid. We only spent about 20 or 30 minutes there, but I got some dancing in. I really needed just to dance.. to have that freedom, to raise my spirits and get some good energy going. I accomplished my goal, but not without effort, as I've discovered that dancing in China is just ridiculous. Everyone is so mechanical and hilarious to just watch... and the music is even worse then at home.
These two little ones live with their parents at the end of my street.. they live out of and under a truck that they sell watermelon from...
Haha, Court we'll go in December and kick it up!! Anyways, we left after not too long because I had to teach early and I had a creepy old Chinese guy eyeing me and trying to dance with me all night.
Got home around midnight or 12:30 and talked with Daphne until about 1:30 AM. Finally got to bed.
Saturdays are long days for me. I only teach 6 hours (of KIDS) but I'm out of the house for usually 11 or 12. My classes on Saturday mornings are fun, I teach animals and colours. The kids in both of those classes are so sweet. This morning, I played "Red light, yellow light, green light" with the colour class, and we all just ran around, then stopped, then creeped around... hha it was a blast. I feel so much like a big kid in those classes. It's good. Back to the school for lunch, and I met up with Daphne at Maccers... then I had to go to the Young Pioneers school to teach two afternoon classes. In my first class, the "my face" class, there is the sweetest 3-year-old girl.. I just LOVE her.. but there are
Me and Peter (and my bear!)
This is Peter, who was my awesome Bulgarian roomate for the first while I was here...
sweeties in all of my classes. There is this little boy who is just a goof, and who won't choose and English name because the only name he wants is "man". Haha he wants his name to be "man" and he's 5 years old. I love it.
I've come across some strange names in my classes and in others... in my elementary class I have Blue, North, Apple (a guy), Jiji, and then in Duncan and David's classes there are Summer, Autumn, Sky, Rain, Sunshine, and there was a Black Bread... supposedly named after Black BEARD the pirate.. but he decided to call himself Black BREAD. Just crazy. I want to name kids obscure names like Amadaeos.. or Napoleon.
My first class this afternoon, the "my face" class with "man" (hehe) was just a BLAST. There are only 3 kids in this class, but today I had another little girl sitting in... so 4 in total. They were RUNNING AROUND and we were having so much fun. They are just CRAZY. I love it. I would point to my eye and ask, "What is this?" and just to be funny they would all yell "NOSE!!!" but they all
This guy.. this is Stuart. He's an upper-intermediate student whose only mission in life is to get me to fall in love with him, and to find out my age. "Laura I looove you, tell me your secret. How old are you!?" I tell him I'm 50.
know it's an eye! And then they were telling me to stand up, and sit down, and they were climbing all over me. I laughed so much.
I work again tomorrow morning, but only for three hours (2 classes) at the JAC, and I have the afternoon off. I'm meeting Duncan and Daphne at the school and we're going to Quan Cheng Square (the center of the city) where there are all kinds of things for sale... little shops and street vendors.. we want to go buy some new DVD's. You can get bootlegged DVD's here for a dollar a piece. I'm going to come home with about a million movies.
Monday I have the day off, so I think I might climb the Thousand Buddah Mountain... it's about 2 hours up, so I'll be able to do it, I just want it to be a decently clear day so I can take some pictures. Clean air just doesn't happen in Jinan, unless it's raining.. so I might do it in the rain. I'll see what the day is looking like.. but I might just spend the day wandering the city (ALL DAY) and taking pictures.
This is a picture of my street in the morning.
decided that Jinan is a synonym for the word "filthy". So, I want to go home and have a shower because i just feel so Jinan. haha. So true, so true.
Here is another random list of things I have seen or noticed here:
...Kids don't wear diapers, their pants just have no bums so they can go to the bathroom whenever and wherever they want.
...I've seen dragonflies the size of my hand.
...Traffic, again, is insane.
...The strangest fish I have ever seen... people selling them in the market on my road in the morning. The entire market itself is just so charming. They use hand-held scales... it's neat.
I have a couple of pictures up today...
Anways, I think I am going for Chinese with Daphne pretty quick here, and I am so tired, I just want to sleep!
PS. I miss peanut butter.
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