Saturday, 1 October 2011

On Holiday again.....

Sunday 11:15, its raining.  It’s the second day of a national holiday that lasts until next Friday.  So as I had Friday off as well I have a 8 day holiday. The downside is I have to teach the lessons I miss on Monday and Tuesday next Saturday and Sunday! (Why I have to cover Monday and Tuesday and not the rest of the week, I have no idea! TIC)

I have been running today with Todd an American guy. I ran Friday, Saturday and today, doing a new route which is about 7k. I’ve done it once myself, once with Peggy and today with Todd. As Todd is younger, I think he’s 24, the pace was a bit quicker than when running with Peggy,  so I was pleased to keep up.

After the run I treated myself to breakfast here.

They do an egg and cheese muffin, which I think is probably a good post run meal, some good protein and a bit of carbs. If you look carefully you can see this morning I had 2, but in my defence they are rather small, much smaller than UK Mc’Ds muffins, and 2 coffees. All for about £1.20. (and yes that is a hash brown)

Other big news is I got paid. This created another complication. My agent pays my wages into a bank in another city in China, so they organised the bank account and sent me a card.  That’s fine, but if I lose the card, I have to travel to that city for a replacement and its in the back of beyond). So on their advice I had to open another account in the same bank here in Nanjing, then transfer all my wages into the new account. It was quite easy actually, helped by the fact that one of the banks officers could speak some English. The process is quite easy also, just fill in a few details on a form, they photocopy my passport, input the data and then they give me a new card there and then. All my money was transferred and that was that, although they charged me 100y for the transfer. And I guess they will do that again next month etc.

I then had to go to another bank, the Bank of Nanjing to open another account. This account is so that the College can pay me extra money for the extra work they have given me.  So now I have three Chinese bank cards!

But as a treat for being a good boy I bought myself these!

They are Vans and they cost me 65y, about £6:50, and they are not knock offs as far as I can see. Bargain huh? The same guy also had UGGS for about £12. Order here please!

I then went for lunch and had a very nice aubergine dish with rice. The aubergine is done in a brown sugar and vinegar and spices sauce and is really good. One of the other funny things about the Chinese is they seem to be a very sleepy race. I have to yell at my students to stop them sleeping on their desks, and everywhere you go you can see people asleep, in cafes, restaurants, in their cars, in their trucks, the teachers at college have sun beds they sleep in at lunch time and breaks. It is quite remarkable.

Here's people asleep in the restaurants I walked past at about 3 in the afternoon.

The big news though is tomorrow, Monday, I am off with AJ, Tom and Peggy into the mountains to visit AJ’s in laws.  Currently his wife (don’t know her name, she’s Chinese) is staying with her parents and we’re off to visit and to bring her back.

This is where we are going

It’s a 3-4 hour bus to Anqing, then a 3-4 hour bus to Taihu, then a 3-4 hour minibus up into the mountains, so its quite a trip!

Although none of us are looking forward to having to use the squat toilets as we have been quite happy with the western type toilets we have in our flats, making sure all business is taken care of before we leave for the day. The college doesn’t provide Western style toilets for us, McDonalds don’t either, although I am told that some of the bigger venues in the city do, and the local bar the Blue Marlin does have western loo’s.  But they are few and far between and I am 100% certain they will not have them in the hotel in the village or anywhere else. It’s a worry! I will report back.

As its holiday time there is a constant background of fireworks exploding, they do like their fireworks the Chinese do. They were going off at 6 am this morning and have continued on and off through out the day. The Chinese, so I am told, are using the fireworks, to fend off bad luck or bad spirits.  But at times its like living in Beirut in the 1970’s!

So this is going to be the last blog until I get back next Thursday, I'm not taking my computer, and I will not even be able to access Blogspot via an Internet cafe because of the Chinese firewall, so I’ll take lots of pictures and get back to you all asap.

Love, peace and out…..

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