Saturday, February 27, 2010

Getting better

Today was better and I felt less anxious (thank goodness for meds), but as usual they didn't tell us what the heck was going on until it happens. Yesterday it was "show up at 9:30 and we will do your demo lessons", which we all thought meant that we would be done by noon.  This morning we showed up and it was "Well, you will do the demo lessons at 11:00".  Then at 12:00 we had lunch break, after only 2 demos out of the 6 of us.

At lunchtime we wandered around looking for a place we had eaten lunch a couple of days ago.  The back streets around the school are interesting and more like what I would expect "China" to look like.  We did finally find the restaurant and the food was delicious like before.  Total cost per person: about USD $2.50.  I have to remember that I'm being paid in Chinese currency and be frugal here, but the conversion still amazes me. 

After lunch we had to go to meet the Chinese English Teachers we will be working with, that was totally disorganized.  I got to spend about 3 minutes with each of the teachers I'll be working with.  Then back to the demos... did one and a half demos when we were interrupted and told we have to go watch a public promotion class.  By the time we got back to finish the last two and a half demos, it was already quite late.  Finally around 6:00 we could go home.  So much for "just doing our demos in the morning".

And then I find out that on my DAY OFF on Sunday, they want to take me to do stupid errands that in my opinion could easily wait until Monday.  They will take David and me to the police station for registration, then get our bus passes, then get our cell phones. The others say that these errands are likely to take the entire afternoon, so much for having even one whole day to rest.  Well, at least I have HALF a day off...

Tomorrow evening the Pakistani restaurant we went to last night will have a special buffet dinner and a lot of us are planning to go, yum.  I have not had a single food so far here that I didn't like. Unless I can resist all these wonderful restaurants and learn to cook with the local foods, losing weight is going to be a losing battle!  Although the 35 minute walk to and from school will help quite a bit with that.

I begin teaching on Wednesday.  I will have one class on Wednesday night, one class on Thursday night, 9 classes on Saturday and 5 on Sunday.  Eventually I'll be bumped up to 20 hours which is my contract level, and after that any additional hours will be paid "overtime".

I did get an hour to play with the SmartBoard this morning and rehearse my lesson properly, so it went quite well, except that I was last and by that time my colleagues who were playing the "students" were getting tired.  Anyway I didn't get much criticism on my lesson, so I guess it was acceptable.

On the way home this evening I took a slightly different route, and saw some really cool back streets I want to explore someday.  Stopped at several street food vendors on the way home: the steamed bun shop where we have been going and the girl at the window speaks some English; a place selling what look like little custard tarts but who knows what they really are; and a woman on a bicycle selling corn on the cob and pineapple on a stick.  Probably paid a whole dollar for all that in US currency.

Finally had the energy to haul all my trash down to the rubbish bins since I got home before it was totally dark for a change.  I'll get to go to bed EARLY tonight for the first time yayyyyyy!!!!


  1. Do you have a kitchen set up for a Wok? Great food and easy once you get the hang of it. I would be going crazy around all that food :)

  2. My kitchen came stocked with a microwave, electric kettle, two beat up and burnt looking pots, a wooden spatula that looks like it resided in a swamp, one plate, one cup and saucer, one bowl, one rice bowl, two miniature spoons and some wooden chopsticks that look entirely too "used" for my comfort. There are two wooden cutting boards, and three knives that look pretty good.

    I bought a rice cooker on the way home from work the other day and there are some interesting looking grains in the bins in the store that I'd like to try mixing with and/or substituting for the white rice. When I overnighted in Seoul, there was a bit of millet in the steamed rice, which made it look beautiful and probably added some nutrients.

    Once I'm feeling well again, i will definitely get to work on improving the kitchen, it's lacking in equipment and needs a thorough cleaning before I will want to cook in it.

  3. Would love to see some pics when you start playing around in there :) I'd toss the scary stuff and buy new, less scary stuff :p Hard to imagin anything worse than SB water... /shudder...

  4. The water here is undrinkable, it tastes like mud (or something worse). Neither tea nor Emergen-C masks the taste. I have my doubts about whether my dishes are really clean washed in it. Just swishing after brushing my teeth gives me the heebie jeebies.