Monday, April 19, 2010

Day off... aaaaahhhhhhhhh....

The weekend's classes went fairly smoothly, despite my lingering cough. If any teachers are reading this, I could really use some vocabulary/simple sentence games for children that require minimal prep and can be played either from their seats or one team at a time in the aisle. Most of the games I know either are too advanced, too prep intensive, or need to be able to rearrange the classroom space. I wasted some time searching the internet, but 99% of the search results were not useable for the reasons above.

I'm so happy to have the day off! I woke up so tired, but by early afternoon I had enough energy to go to the store, buy two bags full of vegetables, come home and make a huge stir fry. I found some helpful websites about cooking with a wok, so it turned out better this time. The stove has two heat settings, high and inferno, so the low heat cooking I'm accustomed to isn't possible. If I try to lower the heat to what I would consider "medium", the flames usually go out after a minute or three. Fortunately for my safety, the stove is brand new, and the gas shuts off automatically if the flame goes out.

Today I tried making a breakfast cereal of polenta, oatmeal, mystery grain (I thought it was millet, but the grains are much too large), and banana in my rice cooker. It was too hot for the polenta and it stuck all over the bottom of the cooker, but I just left the scorched part and scooped off the top and it was pretty tasty.

That's what I get for buying the smallest, cheapest rice cooker, I suppose. It scorches rice if I make just enough for one meal too, so I have to always make extra. Leftover rice with some spicy pickled things on the side is good for a quick meal when I'm too tired to cook.

Speaking of leftover rice, I made a huge batch this evening and plan to try making fried rice in the wok tomorrow.

The earthquake relief is on the TV all the time; the coverage on the one English news channel is very moving. Today there was a segment about a young volunteer who was killed by falling rubble while pushing others to safety. The government is going to give him some kind of posthumous award. I was watching the story and weeping, but when I saw the footage of his body arriving in Hong Kong, I had to laugh through my tears. The Chinese honor guard that escorted the hearse had a BAGPIPER. A Chinese military squad with a bagpiper. It was just so bizarrely, delightfully incongruous.

Will try to remember to post some more pictures tomorrow.

Today I got inspired by the idea of taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow at the end of my year here. Crazy? Maybe...


  1. Whatever will you do in Moscow? o_o

  2. Oh, get pampered in a nice hotel, wander around the city, eat a lot... tourist stuff. Then get on another train West.