Sunday, 27 October 2013

10th Birthday Party at Dongshan and toffee apples

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted and since then Dongshan Foreign Language School celebrated its 10th Birthday, so celebrations were in hand. First off we were all given more presents. This school is great, since I've been here its been presents galore!  This time we were given a huge fruit box and presentation sets of two silk ties and two silk scarves.

 The fruit box
 The silk gifts

The celebrations took place on a Saturday morning in the theatre on campus. There was also some sort of conference going on so principals from schools across China were attending. So the theatre was pretty full. The entertainment, in the main, was put on by the students, so for the past few moths they have all been rehearsing,  I have posted some videos and pictures before.  

The foreign teachers were instructed to attend in our best formal clothes, which we did, although this request didn't seem to have reached the Chinese teaching staff. 

These are some clips from the event.

The following day, the Sunday, I also had to give a demo class in front of the visiting principles. So I had spent the previous week coaching the Junior class, who were to be my demo class guinea pigs, in the mysteries of Halloween which was the content of my class, so by Sunday they were word perfect. So my class went down a storm with the visiting principles and I was congratulated for doing an interesting lesson. I had also used video and a powerpoint presentation. So that was all good. 

The big news is that Steve Wood is back in Nanjing. For those of you who have been reading this blog since the very beginning you will remember Steve was on the back of my scooter when we had an accident and his leg was broken.  So I went off to the Blue Marlin to catch up with him and also bumped into some other old friends.  Snooks was a great hit too. Rick in particular was quite enamoured. 

Of course most of my time is taken up with teaching during the week and on a Saturday. This is one of the Saturday pupils, Mary. Delightful!

The kids in my school are kept busy, they are boarders remember.  This is a Tai Chi lesson one evening.  And their time table. A bust day that starts with Get Up at 6am and lights out at 9:30pm.

I was highlighted on the schools info TV

  As its starting to get cold new bedding was the order of the day. I'm hoping the quilt isn't filled with the actual skin of the silkworms...

Snooks was also the beneficiary of a gift of two beds from a Chinese guy I know who works at Linkfun, my actual employer. That was very nice of him. Snooks loves the beds too. 

I've been out and about. I've joined an Art Club thats held in a bar downtown (which is about an hours journey for me) but it gets me out and meeting new people. I went the Sunday of my demo lesson, and met up with a Russian guy, Konstantin and Laurie an Australian. We were the only ones who could make it, but in the last week more people have been making themselves known so it could be quite a good club. Theres a gallery opening I hope to go to next Sunday which will be cool. I've also found out where the Art supply shops are, so will be taking a trip there maybe one evening or Friday to get some stuff.

Steven and I have scouted out this 'local' bar - its about 10 minutes away by bus. Its called Puzzle bar, and its new. Western style bars are few and far between in China/Nanjing. There are a few in the downtown area that cater for foreigners, but not many that are aimed at the Chinese clientele. We were the first western customers at this bar. We may be going to it after the Halloween celebrations at the school on Thursday.

More locally, opposite the school in fact, we tried a muslim restaurant, its mainly noodles, but its pretty darn good. This huge plate of ribbon noodles cost me about £1:20 I couldn't eat it all.

 On Friday I zipped off downtown before my lesson and got myself a flu shot from the Travel Healthcare Centre, it cost about £10 but worth it I think.

Sunset over the Auchan

Theres been a lot of tree planting along some of the avenues, they crane fully grown trees into place.

 Parents waiting for their kids at 5am Friday

 On Saturday I go to my Saturday class, which means getting the bus at 7am to get to the Metro, to get downtown for about 8:30 for a 9am start. This is breakfast - Shaobin. A pastry with a bit of green chilli and sesame seeds. I take 2 for about 20p.

Then the Saturday classes.  This Saturday, I did the usual 9 - 11 class, then had no classes until 3:45. BUT apart from my lunch break 11-1, I had to sit at a desk until it was time for class. Thats a bit boring. And I spend my time fighting off sleep, cos napping in class time is not allowed.

In the evening I was taken out into Nanjing for food. This is in a Japanese place. Udon Noodles in tomato sauce, with prawn fritter and squid I think. And banana fritter (left). No beer!

This is Sunny and Susanne who took me out for the meal ( I paid. £14 for the three of us - they thought it was expensive!) Both of the women have great English. Sunny was a teaching assistant at my school but she quit to get an easier job in the City  - she didn't like the 6am starts and the 9am finishes.

Then we went to the Hunan Road for these sort of toffee apples.  Hunan Road is a popular food destination with lots of places to go and lots of stalls selling stuff. 

So that's been the last couple of weeks.  It's Halloween this week, we're planning activities with the kids so that should be fun. There's a lecturer from Plymouth University visiting at my request, so he's turning up in Nanjing next Friday, I think, for a Monday lecture spot. I'm going to show him the sights next weekend, with the help from a Chinese teacher from the school. 

Halloween is also the anniversary of the scooter accident that messed me and Steve up. So that will be a good anniversary to get past without any mishaps. 

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