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Published: September 18th 2017
Best Wun Tun Soup!
Handmade dumplings in tasty broth: about a dollar in the school cafeteria. Fab!
Some time later...I've been back at school for a week already and as usual time slips by in a weird warpy continuum.
As we used to say in Korea "The seconds go by like hours, the weeks go by like minutes".
Jinhua is simultaneously alien yet so familiar, everything is in the same place and there are no surprises, yet I still feel out of step with the rhythms of life in China. Meal times are earlier and quicker--if you aren't in one of the many school cafeterias by 1:00 pm you are pretty much out of luck as the kitchen staff are clearing stacks of (thousands!) dishes, chopsticks (millions!) and mopping tables and floors getting ready for the next flood of staff and students.
Gary and I are in the newest cafeteria and a huge improvement over the previous versions. Immaculate and cheery, nicely decorated with live plants and relatively subtle lighting, at least by Chinese standards. Gary is our department ESL teacher, born and raised in Northern China, he lived in Victoria for ten years and is back in his homeland teaching ESL. Nice guy--really hospitable and helpful, pointing me in the right direction for the
All Freshmen (Yes, I know, it should be Fresh-People) do two weeks of military training when they start their first-year. A very warm day and real regular Army drill sergeants...
myriad of little things I'd forgotten, like how to recharge my ID card, which stores money for use on campus in the food services outlets as well as the campus store (sells cold beer!), in addition acts as a key card for the computer stations.
This day I had a hankering for wun-tun soup, the dumplings (about 12 of them) are handmade and cooked as you wait, then served in soup seasoned with ginger, garlic, green onions and some mystery vegetables and noodle things. Very tasty and quite possibly the best wun-tun soup I've had, at least in recent (and beyond) memory, and almost more than I can eat. Again, I am 'reverse sticker-shocked' by the price of all this deliciousness: 5 yuan, about a buck CAD.
So far, my classes have been great--I haven't identified any clearly naughty boys (or girls), but time will tell. I have three translators that are an amazing asset to the classroom experience. Yuan, Jamie and Belinda have been great and the Jinhua faculty and admin seems to have stepped up to the demands of delivering this program and considering the needs of foreign teachers.
My apartment was clean and tidy,
BBQ Duck and stuff stand...
BBQ duck and sundry meats stand in the Century Supermarket just up the street.
although I had to buy all the basics: toilet paper, towels and so on, but I anticipated that, so no surprises there.
Bonus! The old hideous, uncleanable (I don't care what you say; it was uncleanable.) toilet has gone replaced with a spiffy 'modern' unit apparently guaranteed with a 'Certificate of Approval: Quality 100%!'(MISSING)
. At least that is what says on the sticker on the tank.
The weather has moderated from 'surface of the sun' (40+C) when I got here and should be moving towards early fall cool and clear skies by the time the October break rolls around. Yes, I get a week off after being here for three weeks...
Tomorrow I go for a 'medical check' at the ominous sounding 'Jinhua Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau
'...good job I got my rabies shot before I left and my hoof-and-mouth disease is all but cleared up...
Best wacky tee-shirt so far: 'Happier than a duck with bread.'
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