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Published: December 17th 2013
Of course I had to get some rock action
Yu Garden and Old Town Bazaar
I've never been so happy to have a day off every. It's been a long academic week of PPT watching and being spoken too about what Disney english is all about. On friday we had to produce a mock lesson, mine was about farm animals so of course I dug out the cow boy hat from the props cupboard. My only whinge is that Disney say that Modelling is really important but expected us to produce a mock lesson without actually showing/modelling how the lesson should be done. But anyway I had a good laugh with my LP (learning partner Jojo) who was a part of the training team, we got some good feedback and our observer actually finally gave us some teaching ideas to help with the lessons.. It was nice on the wedneday to be joined for lunch by the LP's as they usually did their own thing whilst us FT's (Foreign trainers) had lunch together in some form i.e. it was usually just Mae and Me. So friday was the last day the 6 of us FT's would be together apart from living in the hotel as we were
Beautiful ZigZag bridge
The pond had turtles and Kio in it
all sent off to seperate Disney English centres across Shanghai. Here is where I nearly had a massive melt down.
After performing our mock lessons we had a quick 1:1 with Liz the training manger we've been with all week a quick assessment and then were given the name of our new training centres and the training manger we were supposed to meet with. So this was about 1700 and it was already starting to get dark. At the start of the week we were given a small blue booklet that had a list of the centres within it which I had in my folder and a ringbinger also with a list which I kept in my hotel room as it wasn't needed on a daily basis during training. My centre is Dahua and I have to change from line 2 to line 7 - my instructions on the sheet I had with me were
at Daungshon exit metro and find Dahua Road walk for 15mins
needless to say it was dark, late and crowded when I arrived at the stop. On the map I had with me it said there were in fact 3 roads called Dahua - Dahua no.3 road, Dahua No.2 road and Dahua no.1 road.
Mae and Phillip
A lovely little sitting area over looking one of the many ponds
So I took the one straight out of the metro which I guess was No.3 after walking a fair distance I started to get quite scared as there was nothing in sight that made me think I was heading to where I needed. I was about to give up when I came across a road sign that said Dahua road ( turns out theres actually 4 roads with the same name) I then had to decide whether to go left or right. Now determining the way I'd come and the way I should have gone I choose left. Again pretty much open roads until I saw the amazing neon lights of Tescos - yes thats right Tescos. My hopes started to rise and I soon found a poster advertising Disney English. I found the mall but having gone up to the 3rd floor I only found a Cinema and restuarant. I soon found out I had to walk through the cinema lobby to finally find Disney English Dahua. Apparently the centre address sheet in the Ringbinder has different NEW directions to exit a different metro stop and walk an easier yay. AHHHH!!!!!!! needless to say by the time I made
Don't eat me
Phillip made me touch them :-(
it back to the hotel I needed cheering up and went to Burger King for the biggest bacon cheese burger they had followed my waffles and ice-cream. Yu Garden
So having explored the Bund, People's square and Shanghai zoo the next place on my list was Old Town Bazaar and gardens not far from the Bund and square. But the Shangahi book I brought with me makes it sound and look amazing so it was a must. Plus not far from the bazaar is a bird, insect and fish market where I hope to see a lucky cricket. Anyhoo....
A brief history (so I can show more photos) Yuyuan Garden is a famous classical garden located in Anren Jie, Shanghai. It was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age.
In the 400 years of existence, Yuyuan Garden had undergone many changes. During the late Ming Dynasty, it became very dilapidated with the decline
Yay Chinese Tourist pose
Sorry it just had to be done hehe
of Pan's family. In 1760, some rich merchants bought it and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings. During the Opium War of the 19th century, it was severely damaged. The garden you see today is the result of a five year restoration project which began in 1956. It was open to the public in September, 1961.
Yuyuan Garden occupies an area of 20,000 square meters (about five acres). However, the small size is not a representative of the attractions of the garden. The pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters all have unique characteristics. There are six main scenic areas here: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and the Inner Garden. Each area features several scenic spots within its borders.
Upon entering the garden, you will encounter a rockery, which is called the Great Rockery. With a height of 14 meters (about 50 feet), it is the largest as well as the oldest rockery in the southern region of the Yangtze River
. On the top of the rockery, you can get a bird's eye view of the garden. Cuixiu Hall sits at the foot of the rockery. It is a quiet and elegant place
surrounded by old trees and beautiful flowers. Visitors will find curio shops in the Cuixiu Hall.
Sansui Hall was built in 1760 and was originally used to entertain guests. Later it became a place to hold ceremonies for the gentlemen and bookmen. With a height of nine meters (about 30 feet) and featuring five halls, it is the largest and most commodious structure in the garden. The name Sansui is derived from the book History of the later Han Dynasty
, and means 'propitious' and 'lucky'.
Wandering in the area of Yule Pavilion and Wanhua Chamber, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features. Wanhua Chamber is a delicately chased building surrounded by derious cloisters. Spring bamboos grow beside the cloisters. In front of Wanhua Chamber, there are two old trees. One is a maidenhair tree which is 21 meters tall (about 70 feet).It is said that the tree was planted by the host of the garden 400 years ago.
The Dianchun Hall area is located east of Wanhua Chamber, and includes Hexu Hall, Relic Hall, Ancient Well Pavilion, and the Acting-and-Sing Stage. Dianchun Hall was once the headquarters of Xiaodao Hui,
I think I found my chinese double
a revolted group who fought against the government of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) during 1853-1855. The coins made by Xiaodao Hui and the bulletins they proclaimed are currently displayed in the hall.
The true treasure of Yuyuan is the Exquisite Jade Rock. Located across from Yuhua Hall, it is one of the three famous rocks in the southern region of the Yangtze River. (The other two are Duanyun Feng in Suzhou and Zhouyun Feng in Hangzhou.) The rock is 3.3 meters (about 10.8 feet) in height and has 72 holes. What is interesting about this rock is that if you burn a joss stick just below the rock, the smoke will magically float out from all of the holes. Similarly, when you pour water into the rock from top, the water will flow out from each hole creating a spectacular sight to see. Pan Yunduan was very fond of the Exquisite Jade Rock, and he built Yuhua Hall facing the rock so it was convenient to sit in the hall and admire it. The furnishings in the hall were made of top grade rosewood of the Ming Dynasty, appearing both natural and graceful.
The Inner Garden was a
The smog has been bad lately so a Mickey Mouse mask had to be brought
separate garden built in 1709, but is now a part of Yuyuan in the south. It is compact and exquisite, and the rocks, pavilions, ornamental ponds and flower walls offer some of the most attractive sceneries in Yuyuan.
The whole day was lovely, great weather of course great company. We had invited the other LPs and FTs to come with as we had an early start to miss the crowds but no-one took up the offer.
Once off the metro we were straight away pestered by street sellers trying to flog fake Rolexs etc. I was overcome with finally seeing some traditional China
the buildings were amazing. It was like walking through a street in the UK with Tudor buildings. The whole atmosphere with the bamboo parks to the side - ooo goose bumps.
Inside the gardens were some little antique shops with sooo much Jade (Monika you would have loved it) there was a beautiful jewellery store just inside the gardens which Mae and me wondered around. The store assistants spoken really good english and said that everything in the store was for sell and that most of it was half price. Of course I
Usually people can't spell my last name. At the airport the sign said Holly Yann Quick
happened to be drawn towards these gorgeous red garnet rings and sets that they had on display. The sales lady I was speaking too just couldn't get enough of my pale skin. But as per normal around here she asked if I was American and seemed more pleased that I was British.
We were invited to see this world famous wax stamp carver. I got talking to the sale lady Ping, Lin therefore Lin she wanted to know my date of birth but I told her I already knew I was a Dragon sign. She answered 'ooo my son is dragon too, are you a single lady he speaks really good english' She took a photo of me and we exchanged contact details as I wanted to come back for a jade butterfly ring they had in the store but I limited the money in my purse today to be safe. So she said she would meet me at the entrance and baciscally sneak me in haha - hello future mother in law haha
Wondering around the place was amazing, I almost felt wrong to be in western clothes. We left the gardens and wondered around the busy
market place full of stalls and niknaks. Then wondered towards the animal market. To get there we wondered down quite a dodgy area with building with half walls and open drains. At the market - well for one you couldn't miss the sound of chirping crickets - we wondered around the stalls were hamsters were in washing up bowls full of sawdust chippings. Crickets were being examined and birds hopped around in tiny little cages. Fish were in small bowls and made me angry like the person I saw at the zoo who had 20+ in a small plastic tank. What got me the most was the cute kittens crammed into a tiny cage. I'm soo getting me a pet when I have my own apartment and if it means traveling an hour on the bullet train to rescue one from here I will
Making our way back to the hotel we stopped off to finally allow Mae and me to explore Zhongshan park as neither of us have had the chance yet to explore in the day time unlike Phillip. So we watched kites sore above the trees for an hour contimplating what to do for Mae's birthday
check out the hottie in uniform
on wednesday and preparing ourselves for sunday when we would be at our centres properly.
The start of training
The usual weekend saturday and sunday are the busiest days for working at Disney english and usually consist of one long day and a slightly shorter day, as I'm following Chucks schedule that means 0830-2000 on Saturday and 1130-2000 Sunday. And therefore my weekend will either be a tuesday/wednesday or wednesday/thursday from now on. Having seen some of the kids of friday when I popped in I couldn't wait to see these other classes that Chuck was worried about. My training schedule isn't the normal format because its the end of term at the moment and its all preparation for End of Term Presentations for parents. So i'm really just doing assessements with them and jumping in every now and then to contribute towards games and doing some question and answering. But OMG!!!! some of the 3yr olds are just sooooooo uber cute it made me super broody.
I however did take note that the 'little emporer syndrome' that I taught about in my GCSE classes is so evident in some students. Mainly the boys. You can tell
Warminster might finally be world known haha
that the parents of girls are more hands on in their discpline and education but the boys ( as per usual) are more wild. It apparently costs a family 100,000rmb per year to have a second child and therefore at Disney English when teaching about families we don't translate sister and brother.
I have a whole week here getting involved with various things so it'll be a great learning experience. I then just have to wait for my Visa to be processed and then I should be moving onto Hangzhou pretty sharpish after that.
I've been emailing my LLD (Language Learning Director) at my Xiaoshan Centre in Hangzhou - the posh part ;-P and she's recently emailed me to say that:
• They have opened up 3 new classes for me to start with in January called Tigger, Piglet and Rabbit
• Given the names of my classes I could have chosen my classroom between Mulan's garden and 100 Acre wood - not much of a hard choice really given the class names and my obsession with tigger. So I can't wait to set up displays and add my touch to the room.
• My days off are Wednesday and Thursday. I have a 12hr day on saturday and working 0830-1715 on sunday.
• She's been super friendly saying everyone can't wait for me to get here and that my LP for the first few weeks will actually be an ELT until they find me a brand new LP to have YAY for new staff. She's also been enquiring about apartments for me too.
Ahhhh I'm soo excited. Of course I'll miss having my bed made and bathroom cleaned everyday but I won't miss watching just one english speaking channel because I already know more about Rome's underworld than I care to know.
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