What can I tell you about life in China over the last 9 months. Well I guess, I'm not much different from the rest of you. I work most days. Do stuff on weekends and generally keep busy.
The highlights have been travelling to the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand during the spring break. It was a flying visit to each of the countries really. Just about 8 days in the Philippines and 10 days split between Oz and NZ.
The Philippines was basically just a holiday with some friends. It was a bit disappointing really. I was expecting white beaches, blue sea, cold beers and a relaxing time. I didn't really get that. The first few days were spent in the city of Cebu on Cebu island. The Philippines is poorer than China and conditions for the people that live there seems to be tough for the majority of them. I saw quite a lot of poverty. Then we went to the resort of Lapu Lapu. But again I was disappointed. Nasty beach at the hotel. All the other beaches privately owned so you had to pay to go on them. Not much swimming in the sea.
The trip to Australia and New Zealand was to visit friends and relatives. I mean in China I'm half way there so it made sense for me to try and get there while I have the chance. So after leaving the Philippines I headed back to China to catch my flight to OZ from Shanghai. Stupid really as I should have gone direct from the Philippines rather than take Air Asia to Sydney. What a mistake that was to use that airline. Never again. Delayed and cancelled flights on both legs. Plus completely cancelled on the way back so I had to buy tickets with a different airline (got a refund though).
All I saw of Australia was Sydney which was Ok. The weather wasn't as hot as I thought it would be, I guess it was the end of summer, some rain and grey skies. I did the usual touristy things while my friends were at work So all in all I had a good time. I enjoyed the victorian feel of Sydney, especially the architecture.
In New Zealand I visited New Plymouth to visit aunt, uncle and cousin. I also got to meet an old friend who was the best man at one of my many weddings! I also spent some time at my cousins house at Hot Water Bay on North Island. I didn't get to see any hobbits though.
Circular Quay - Sydney
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Circular Quay - SydneyIn other news the book I was writing with a Chinese colleague has been published. Its a text book aimed at Chinese students taking the speaking part of the IELTS examination. I'm not sure how successful it will be. It all depends on how far I trust the guy I wrote it with and to be honest my trust levels in him have fallen recently. Its going to be hard for me to know if the book is selling or not as every thing, all the business is done in Chinese of course. I have a contract but I have to trust my co author to pass on any royalties. My fingers are not crossed.
And this print was was framed and hung in Australia.
Heres some more random photos of what I've been up to in the last 9 months
My vegetable seller in the local market
At the antiques market
In the park - Xuanwu hu
Sightseeing in Anqing
Bookseller - Anqing
Knitting circle - Anqing
A death gift - boat building
Carpenters shop buddha
Snook at the vets for yearly jabs
Me getting a flu jab so it must be October.
Temple in Anqing
Antiques market - Nanjing
Shoes for bound feet
Woman who lives in the community near my school
Halloween at the school
Charity Las Vegas night downtown
Fitting for a new jacket at the tailor
Proletarian Art work bought from the antiques market and got framed
Off to Thanksgiving at the Blue Marlin
The wild turkey didn't last too long!
Lower Show at the local Art University - we took the kids
Christmas is coming
Peggy my good american friend
Tom (Peggys Husband) My other good american friend
AJ and Steve
Christmas - was a work day at school
Ho Ho Ho
We, the foreign teachers were given Christmas day off so lunch was had at AJ's place, Turkey with all the trimmings.
Well thats got us up to Christmas and the New Year. I'll post some more pics in the next blog to catch up.