Saturday, 12 November 2011

The screech of the dentists drill...

First the good news, Steve has got his teeth back. Last Friday (11-11-11 - which is celebrated here as 'singles day') I took Steve into Nanjing to a dentist recommended to us by Laura the manager of the Blue Marlin. The dentist is a friend of Laura and we have confidence in the recommendations we are getting from our Chinese friends.

Anyway we took a taxi into town and found the dentist which was located in a little clinic behind a drug store.  Steve was in the chair for three hours and came out with a completely fixed mouth.

He had broken one of his front teeth completely off, just a bit remained and he had taken a large chip out of one of his front teeth.  The dentist capped the front tooth and has put a temporary front tooth on the badly broken one whilst the implant heals. Next Friday Steve will go and get a permanent replacement. All for 520yuan, about £52. He is, as you would expect, made up and smiley - showing off his new teeth.

But what about me? The last couple of weeks since the accident have gone really quickly. I still have an ongoing issue with the police and am waiting to see what they are going to do. Probably confiscate my scooter is the consensus and maybe a fine for not having a license etc.  Its a bit stressful but hey ho, it could have been worse right. As some of you know having the accident has been a bit emotional and brings with it some attendant depression, prob due to the bang on the head. And Ive missed my daughter Matilda and her mum Lucia a little more keenly. I think I might have said that I thought the accident had knocked the joy and adventure of being in China out of me. But Im hoping to re capture that and get on with things - the British stiff upper lip - what!

In the mean time I have been busy with work and we have been covering Steve's classes for him. I have attended a few things which I don't think I have mentioned.

Earlier this month or late last month I was the 'question master' at a speaking competition. The students had to come on a speak about a pre chosen topic and my role was to ask them a pertinent question whilst other Chinese teachers marked them. The good thing about this was that I was paid for my time!

Some of the competitors

The prize giving

So that was fun and I enjoyed doing that.

Then earlier this month we (the foreign teachers) were invited to a singing competition, like an x factor thing where 12 students came out and entertained their fellow students and there was a panel of judges who made comments and marked them. Then when the final two were selected, myself, the other three foreign teachers who came and a couple of other random people chose the final winner. That was good fun too and of course it gets one out of the flat of an evening (I wasn't paid for my time this time though)

I'm still having technology problems though. It seems my phone has lost some of its memory so I can only take about 6 photos, I'm wondering if this is because it was in my pocket when I was xrayed and CT scanned!

But the good news is I have received my Kindle, although Chinese customs charged me 400y (about £40) to get it through customs!. Plus Ryan, another American teacher here, seems to have solved my iphone problem, so I might have a working iphone again very soon.

Next weekend we are all planning to go to Shanghai on the fast train and stay there overnight or maybe two nights, go late Friday, cos some people work Fridays and come back Sunday, so I am looking forward to that.

Although saying that there are huge amounts of Nanjing that we haven't even glimpsed, but I guess it will be good to get away for a while and have a bit of fun after the last few weeks. Of course the Americans are also looking forward to Thanksgiving and there a loads of plans and things to do to get it right.  The Blue Marlin is hosting the event and doing a Turkey Dinner. Tom and Peggy have been the driving lights, discussing menus and finding ways of getting the food right or just trying to source the stuff they need. The Chinese chef must wonder what has hit him as he is being taught the mysteries of gravy and the like.

The poor guy has been through it this week as Tom has got a Fish n Chip night put on the menu. So Friday will be Fish n Chip night, so the poor suffering chef has had to learn how to make a 'proper' batter. Tom has shown him the key aspects such as adding beer to the batter to get it right. Plus changes had to be made to the types of fish they use. First they were using a white river fish, but on the taste tests it didn't work. So Pollack had to be bought in from the local cash and carry. They seem to have got it right now.

Not for me of course as I'm a veggie, I just shocked the Americans by making a chip butty - they were astounded.

Below are just a few catch up photos of Steve in Hospital and so on. Note the dirty conditions.

This is one of my freshmen classes being busy

Chinese teachers asleep on their camp beds - this is lunch time, they dive in as soon as they can - don't ask me why the Christmas tree is there!

So the teachers and the students sleep all the time - I can't understand it. Its baffling. 

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