My hoped-for free time hasn't really materialized. The difference is that now, instead of finishing my lesson prep at 2:00 AM, I am finishing around 8-9:00 PM. That is definitely an improvement, and I am getting more sleep.
This week and next week will wrap up the summer session, and then there will be a two-week "break" before fall session begins. I use the term "break" loosely because I know that since the branch school I'm at is newly opened, both the other foreign teacher and myself will be teaching demo classes and going to promotional events during these two weeks. At least I don't have to prepare new lessons for those.
The August weather has been a bit cooler, but a lot of rain and extremely humid. I went without air conditioning for a couple of days, and I guess due to the humidity, today I had to buy an anti-itch cream for the insides of my elbows because I'm getting heat rash there. the anti-itch cream seems to be similar to Tiger Balm in that it makes the area feel hot - the itch does go away, as it is replaced by a burning sensation (slightly better than itching), but I'm not certain this cream will do anything to heal the rash. I am looking forward to the fall weather like you wouldn't believe.
One evening last week I braved the massage shop near my apartment. I thought I had asked for back and neck 30 minutes (they even repeated this back to me), but ended up with a full body massage with most of the time devoted to the back. It went on and on, I lost track of time after around 30 minutes or so, but as it was 8pm when I got home, it must have been more than 90 minutes. The style was very different; it is done fully clothed and the man used a small sheet or towel over the clothing or skin in the area he was working. There were a lot of percussion (pounding) and rocking type movements, no kneading, no point work. It was a bit rougher than I'm used to, and I was extremely sore for a few days afterward, but considering how tight my muscles were and how long since my last massage, that wasn't surprising. It was worth it. For this I paid 40 RMB, by Chinese standards a luxury, but in USD only around $6. If only I were being paid in USD... but I can still afford this occasionally without going broke.
That's all I have time for today, must get some more lessons finished tonight.