Merv Jefferies

Merv Jefferies

Merv Jefferies




Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua December 1st 2017

…and fruit flies like bananas…hard to believe I will be home in less than a month. I think this China trip has gone by the quickest of all. I’m really not sure why, but maybe it’s a combination of being totally at ease with what I do here and, to some extent, with China itself. China is always going to be a mystery regardless of how long you spend here as a foreigner, but at least some of the mystery becomes less, well, mysterious. Overall, the Chinese people that I am in contact with, even if just for a few minutes, have been great. Gentle, generous and genuine. (How’s that for alliteration?) As a ‘for instance’, I have been going to a restaurant by my supermarket for dumplings or noodles from time to time. The husband ... read more
Joel Rubuchon's Le The Salon, Shanghai
 Shanghai: chaps playing checkers
It really is just recycled...

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua October 14th 2017

Fall is here finally. Today, Saturday, is in the low 20's C (just started to rain! Yippee!), which is still shorts and tees, but last night I found myself surreptitiously eyeing my sweatpants; managed to stave off the temptation, though. As soon as you slip those bad boys on, it's a slippery slope to admitting that you are snivelling weenie that can't handle a bit of a nip in the air. Still, it does make for a much more conducive environment for "teaching", if that's what we're calling it these days. The students are a little more perky, but only marginally so. They just had the Fall National Holiday break, so theoretically they should be all energized and zippy. I'm still waiting for the zippy bit. The students are still scampering around in cut-off denims and ... read more
Duck necks...
Kids on Diggers...
Dumpling place...

Asia » China October 2nd 2017

Well...I got my health check document back--it's actually like a mini-passport only with entries for things like blood pressure and if I've had syphilis (I said No). All is within normal parameters, which is amazing. The health check is, apparently, mandatory if you are applying for a work permit as opposed to a regular visitor visa. Which, apparently, I am. The Bureau for Probably Diseased and Possibly Contagious Quarantinable Foreigners is on the other side of town from my apartment and an easy cab ride. I go as close to opening time as I can because I'm smart, and think I'll get there ahead of everyone else. Of course 'everyone else' has the same idea and the place is mobbed with Foreigners and also a bunch of giggly high-school kids there for immunization for some kind ... read more
Wal-Mart produce section
Wal-mart produce section
Wal-Mart chicken section

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua September 17th 2017

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 ... read more
Freshmen students...
BBQ Duck and stuff stand...
Crabs...

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua September 8th 2017

I won't bore you with the mundane details involved in travelling from Nanaimo, via Vancouver to Shanghai and then on to Jinhua, Zheijang Province, PRC for my third teaching semester at Jinhua Polytechnic University other than it went smoothly and without serious aggravation. Even the security clearance procedures at either end were relatively painless, apart from long queues at the Air Canada counter at YVR as passengers for three Asian flights were all checking in more or less simultaneously. My flight was on a sparkly new Boeing 787 with all the bells and whistles like newest version in-flight entertainment and spiffy cabin 'mood' lighting. Shanghai was hot and humid and predictably smoggy, although not as bad as the media would have you believe. My Shanghai hotel was great as always: old school service and a solid ... read more
The world's saddest breakfast...
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua December 29th 2014

Well…home again… It seems like a no time at all that four months has flown by…as I mentioned in a previous post, time is very elastic… My flights and transit to Nanaimo were more or less flawless, including a trip on the third generation high-speed train from Jinhua to Shanghai: around 320kms at a top speed of 320km/h in first-class for $42—amazing! I stayed at the Oriental Riverside Bund View Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai overnight, which was a welcome break before I headed home—very nice hotel in the ultra-modern Pudong area. Shanghai is high-speed hustle and bustle and money is clearly evident. On the way to the hotel from the train station the taxi went by the Shanghai Four Seasons Hotel, which has Maserati and Ferrari dealerships on the main floor… My worries about getting my ... read more
Pudong,Shanghai
Pudong, Shanghai
The Beer Bar, Jinhua...

Asia November 17th 2014

One of my eternal quests, it seems, when I am away from home, especially for long periods, is to find that little bar where I can enjoy a frosty beverage and generally ponder the universe. Or at least the blotch that I occupy at any given time. The trick is finding one that is open during the day—not ‘crack of dawn’ day—just one that opens before eight or nine in the evening, which is the common practice in China. Well, dear readers—I found one just up the road from my apartment that is just the ticket—compact (about the size of a decent size walk-in closet), clean, comfy chairs and a big TV. The bar only sells beer, mostly imports: about 30 or so I would guess, nice servers, well, server actually. I think only one person ... read more
Hangin' Out...
Welcome...
Jinhua street re-construction...

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua October 20th 2014

Man-cheese Runner-up for the best tee-shirt slogan spotted this week…the winner can be found at the end of this post… Almost two-months in wacky Jinhua (New Tourism Brand: “Jinhua—it’ll be great when it’s finished…”) and thankfully the weather has moderated to ‘just about comfortable’. Observant readers will recall that the big department stores had puffy jackets and down vests on sale during 40C+ heat—well, they’re all gone (pretty much) and the Spring 2015 fashions are all on-sale… The construction noise (or ‘the dragon’ as Mary calls it—because that what it sounded like to her when she Skyped in) has also moderated to an intermittent concrete drill and jackhammer cacophony, with a smattering of sledgehammer… As I was enduring the sixth (or was it the tenth—all a jangly blur…) straight day of jackhammers as they ri... read more
Just like Paris...
Having a quiet smoke...
Noodle stand

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua October 3rd 2014

“CAN I HELP YOU ORDER SOMETHING?” “What?? Sorry??” coming out of my day-dream in the quasi-Japanese restaurant in the posh mall. “Can I help you order something from the menu?” Ms. Wu, a well-dressed and easy on the eyes young lady, politely asked me again. "Er, right. Sure. OK. Great! Thanks!!" sounding like a complete bonehead. I was a bit unnerved at this point as it is not normal operating procedure to actually ask a customer if they would like to order something, especially if you are a foreigner: generally you have to flap around frantically like you would to (usually unsuccessfully) outwit a particularly irritating flying insect. It was especially unnerving as the servers in this particular restaurant are about the surliest servers on the planet. I have been here before, and I am not ... read more
Please, Dad...
The War Zone...
Prep...

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Jinhua September 27th 2014

Fuck-Off No, not you, dear reader…that’s what it announced on the tee-shirt of one of my more demure, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth students, (Maggie, I think). Uh-oh…do I have a closet rebel in the class making a ‘statement’ or…? Better nip ‘it’ in the bud, whatever ‘it’ might be. I wandered over to Belinda, my lovely and indispensable translator, and quietly pointed out the naughty word, indicating that we should really have a chat with Maggie. Belinda flushed with embarrassment: apparently walking around with naughty words is not the done thing in China…not at all the done thing... “Hi, Maggie” (me being all semi-stern, but not really…) “Hello, Mr. Jefferies?” looking quizzical, with that ‘what have I done?’ ... read more
Military Training Week
Jinhua Bentley dealership...
Downtown scooters...




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