This trip is officially over!
Until my next whimsical escapade!...
Location: Santa Rosa Bataan, Philippines
I'm still here in my aunty josies place. Im really loving it here, espcially the philippines i really dont want to go back to china! for a week! its too loong, ive been considering ghetting a later flight back to china but i can't let my friends down who have made plans for my final weekend and week there in china!! even though i'd much rather be here! OOOOh
I feel so at peace here its unbelievable, i just want to go back to england and skip out the china bit-its way too stressful!!!! and lonely!
But nevertheless i've really enjoyed it here and as always its unforgettable. i'll miss everyone and everything..until the next time!!
Ah China has been such a nut case on my head! Im glad I did it but I did NOT enjoy it! It was like a rite of passage I had to go through to get me here on the other side of it!! haha
Onwards and upwards I say...
Oh on wednesday might appear on a philippine tv show called wowowee on the channel abs:cbn...got tickets to join the audience yesterday. went to manila with aunty josie, surprisingly relaxing day considering its one of the busiest and notoriously stressful cities in the world!! Went on the MRT (train in manila) and took jeepneys, tricycles. Saw auntys old place of work:PLDT and where she used to go! Went to the central church, always a great experience, but didn't go inside..
I've had a cold/cough for the last few days, been taking cough medicine, its slowly getting better. I think it's the change in temps (rainy season) and the pollution here at auntys place-all the cars/bikes on the main road - the petrol pumping into the house 24/7, as well as me sitting in uncles motorcycle shop a lot which is right on the road side!! good times
Location: Balanga, Bataan, Philippines
Yes, i'm in aunty josies place using the internet! Just chilling out really, its a bit rainy but hot. But its a lot less hot here than in San Fernando (uncle ador's house!!)
Went to Manila yesterday. Can you tell mum if she is gonna ring me or not? Managed to get a ready made toga, maybe get the hymn book next week-just the book not the music right???
Yeh just generally relaxing really, not doing much other than talking and eating!!
I just wish i didn't have to go back to china first!! And worry about getting all my luggage to the airport in shanghai! I bought a hand carry luggage on wheels...
i guess that's it for now
Location: San Fernando, Philippines
Hey Hey Hey
Work is over
still some problems over pay back in china
but i'll smooth those over when i return
its really hot here!
Staying in Uncle Adors place
will see grace today hopefully
Aunty josie picked my up at the airport
she wasn't too late
will go to aunty josies tomorrow
saw aunty chel last night
maybe get my haircut this evening.
ask mum for my new phil number.
I didn't tell you...
Last week in my Number 30 Middle School I was asked to attend an assembly.
I did not know what it was for, until the day I was to attend.
I was also told on that day I was to give a speech! So i had to write a quick speech in 5 minutes!
The assembly was for the grade 8 students (2nd year juniors) to enter into the youth league and out of the young pioneers. This is a chinese tradition for young people. Most kids are young pioneers, for this they have to wear a red scarf (which you may have seen school children wearing) this represents China's long history and the blood shed in wars of the Chinese people. Only the best kids can enter into the youth league, and this can happen at the age of 14, once in the youth league they no longer need to wear the red scarf, and so the scarf represents a lot. Once entering the youth league they need to pledge an oath to it's flag and sing its anthem. The assembly i was attending was the ceremony dedicated to those new students entering into this youth league. I have some photos. I was also made to go to the front along with the principal and another woman and they put a red scarf on each of us. And then I had to make my speech. Basically I had to talk about going into adulthood etc, so I talked about that, and what I said was translated into Chinese by my work colleague. I didn't have much to say and I was just talking a load of sh** anyway so they thought I was nervous. Anyway it was interesting to see!
Oh to be home where things are simpler....
there are some disputes here over pay, nothing to worry about...it will all be resolved soon! At the moment everything seems a little chaotic yet calm! A few days left here before Philippines, to finish my work and get ready to leave. I am extra anxious to get all of my fun activities done with my classes this week, as well as to finish examining them. This is a high priority for me as I will miss them so much and want some good photos of them before I go. Because it's the last week a lot of events are happening, farewell meals etc, a rush to get things done before people leave and get some closure. So not much time to do a lot this week! When most weeks I have too much time! Oh the irony.
China in a nutshell - chaotic yet calm
An eerie calm that is only skin deep, you feel if you dig a little things will be unsettling...I am never reassured by this calmness-it's too calm, like a hushed calm, not a calm because it is chosen. A calm that's forced? A calmness you don't choose to have, you just have to have!? Curious
Anyway this eerieness is doing my head in...I just want some reality and yet I can't seem to see it here..just pretend everything is OK and things will be!? That's what this year has been for me, I can't speak for others or for the Chinese (even though I have been increasingly mistaken as being Chinese to this day-I can't seem to think of myself as a foreigner often times-i don't even have any Chinese blood in me) Just pretending everything is OK, that is what i have been doing and will continue to do to live here. I can't explain it...yet i'm here wanting to go back to normality! Just to breathe some reality, and know that people are being real to you and that there is no facade there.
I am sad to go yet am not getting emotional. I think this is encouraging my anxious mood. The last time I will see my students, and I don't know what to do, I will have the class and then I won't see them again, just as memories and in photos .I don't know what to say or do. Sometimes nothing should be said. I said goodbye to one of my schools this afternoon. I did not get sad, but I felt there was an undercurrent of saddness. Yet I did not know whether I should show any sadness, and i think my school felt the same. I will never go to that school again and see any of the people again, it is sad and yet I am not showing it. Should I? Will this cause some withdrawal when I leave this place? I don't want to be sad! But should I? Just to have some closure?
I am packing today, and I feel exhilarated, and yet melancholy. I am packing a box which I will send home before I leave. I hope I can take all I want to.
What makes it sadder is I feel I will miss my students more than they miss me. They are young and so won't keep in touch through email etc. They all hoped I would stay in China and teach them next year. But alas I will be in England. That is OK with me but it's just this initial separation that's hard. I have been with these students for so long, and really grown to like most of them. It's a shame I may never see them again, or know what will become of them!? sigh
is it like this for every teacher? Am I being melodramatic?
I have been making the most of my weekends in Shanghai, but this is another thing to miss when I am back in England. I know this is all a part of life, and the latter I can handle better leaving, but the students is more difficult. Like I see what I will miss and yet they won't. haha craziness
Sometimes it's just easier to GO, not all of these farewells-I don't want to think of what I will miss!!!!!!!!
A crazy life
Location: Suzhou, China
Had a fab weekend.
Now that my time here is ending i'm finding i have more and more time to myself!
Did karaoke (again) last night, the best so far thouggh! Danced and sang my heart out, and so we all did! I did blur-beetlebum all by myself (no one else knew it) haha
Before that I went boating in the park, very relaxing in the mid day sun! I hope to have photos on facebook soon.
Time here is ending so soon it's scary! Not before a break in Philippines though!
Location: Suzhou, China
Photo's from the month that was:
Location: Suzhou fresh from Beijing, China
Just had a crazy wild whacky weekend in The Bei Jing! It was four days because it was the dragon boat festival on thursday and friday...went with a friend from church, Shiella and her friend Tom and stayed with her friend Kimberely in Beijing.
Absolutely gorgous weather there! Came back to shanghai and its grey wet and miserable! But dry hot cool in beijing.
We went to the great wall- the easy part which i enjoyed immensely! Went to a dingy KTV at midnight to sing! Ate sichuan spicy fish! Went to the gourgous summer palace, which we didnt see all of but what i did see was amazing and romantic!! Went to tiananmen square and forbidden city (again), went to the famous wangfujing shopping street and also the snack street with the bugs on a stick-which i ate (yes I DID!!!) well just two fried bugs! HAHA fear factor eat ur heart out! And last night we cooked in the apartment and had some of Kimberlys and Toms friends over and had a little house party! An array of foods! 3 chinese dishes, a malaysian curry (kimberly is malay chinese) adobo (Filipino pork-shiella's creation-my friend from church) and i was lazy and made a crap fruit salad! the guests brought more fruit and cakes! Im very lazy to cook-ive cooked too much in my life! after eating we had a little dance and shinnanigans until the security knockd on the door bcos we were being noisy neighbours!! After that we played truth or dare until 4am! All of this with no alocohol, I think the best way to have fun!! HAHA so pure :P
I was very excited to play it because I have never properly played it-especcialy with boys, but i knew more on how to play it than the others bcos im western! I was very enthusiastic but the bottle hardly every went to me!
Anyway I won't go into details on the truths or dares but it was fun..especially now that im single! ;)
Oh yes and how could i forget...i saw the long awaited birds nest at night! and the water cube and other buildings in the olympic area-very beautiful but my camera does it no justice! HA dropped my camera for the second time in beijing-this time in the summer palace! First time in forbidden city, 2nd in summer palace! Beijing wants to kill my camera! well it is a pain now! Slow!! Must invest in a new one!
Well I will miss these good times when i leave china...but i don't think there is a big enough reason for me to stay....
Location: Suzhou, China
Well my time here is nearing an end
Feeling optimistic and nostalgic
Trying to relax and take as much in as I can even though I can't wait to get away from this place!!
This week are my final lessons with my students, even though the next two weeks I am just examining them. Also Its a very short week, monday I was sick from the weekend, and tomorrow i'm going to beijing for a long weekend because it's dragon boat festival and there's no school.
Been chilling out in shanghai which is much easier to do at my friends apartment because then i have company, can forget about work/suzhou etc and just chill out filipino style! Anyway back in suzhou now, for one more night this week!
Not much more to say.....
Had a farewell party for me and a few others at church on sunday. It was really fun, with a little bit of karaoke and filipino food and speeches and cards. really nice to hang out with filipino ppl.
May Day Weekend:
Location: Suzhou, China
So, spent another weekend in Shanghai. Very eventful and tiring. On saturday went to the shanghai science and technology museum in Pudong. It should've been more impressive than it was, at 60RMB. It was a little disappointing but interesting to see how the chinese use technology! They had different sections, eg, body, robot, space, animals etc. The robot things were very monotonous and scary! But good to see all the same!
After that went to KTV with my friends, 2 from church, a friend of a friend, a filipina and her chinese friends, and a chinese friend of a friend and a malay friend of a friend! It is so rewarding doing karaoke when I actually succeed in pinning the vocals exactly! I did Kylie's Locomotion to a T, and everyone else was dancing to it! No one else really knew it as well as me, so I was really lucky that the vocals suit my voice. Some songs I can know really well but cannot sing because my voice does not suit the tune!! You really have to come and try KTV. It is really easy to sing because its a semi dark room with just you and your friends and a few microphones so ur not alone singing. It is the best way to do karaoke i think!
Location: Suzhou, China
Well things are getting interesting
scorching hot! lorraine if u read this i got ur txt, just nt enough money to text u bak! i love this weather. i really miss it when its not hot! its been 35 degrees! been in shanghai all wkend, staying with a church friend. did karaoke last night and filipino food feast. very good night! good days ...
OK this is just thoughts but maybe i will come back to china if i find a good job for sep/oct this year. And postponing my studies for one yr. it will be in shanghai, because suzhou is boring! Anyway i havent looked into it yet so its just thought at the mo. dont panic!
Anyway....i dont know what more to say...same old really....quarter life crisis? Or maybe im just lonely...
Location: Suzhou, China
There really isn't much time left here at all.
I only have to plan two more lessons, after that it's revision lessons and then exams!
Some more photos:
especially check out the sushi here:
and grand prix:
how's the swine flu? I hear it could be pandemic!! None here yet
Location: Jiangsu SUZHOU, China
Another Day Another Dollar
I think I will miss my classes, not just some of the students, but also just having classes and teaching. After a while it's a job where u just get to talk and be enthusiastic, and with the good classes this rubs off on them. And having a job where having enthusiasm even when you're tired is needed I am perfect. The only trouble with being a teacher is you have to have the bad classes too-the ones which dont want to know anything and dont respond or are just truant/talking to their friends. And this is why I don't want to be a teacher, you can't pick and choose your classes, and usually you are at one school for a certain amount of time. This, I would find boring. I like change, being enthusiastic to some of the same faces, but also to new ones too. This refreshes the brain and makes life feel more worthy. I don't know if this is the same for everyone or just me.
Anyway, Lorraine if you read this: Will you be coming to see me? I think it's getting late if you are. So maybe not. Also if you haven't already sent me a parcel, don't because by the time it gets here I will be leaving! Just give it to me in England!
Tomorrow is the Shanghai Grand Prix. I'm worried because of my ears, and I always have trouble with my ears. People say you need ear plugs, I don't have any, I hope they sell them there. I also hope it doesn't rain-fingers crossed for me! And look out for me on tv. Henry if you read this: can you tape it for me?
I managed to watch the first episode of the apprentice last night, through youku. It was good quality too. But I can't find anymore of them. I miss that show!
This morning I did Tai Chi. I am getting better at it now, perfecting the moves i've learnt. I now know to do it slower and less fast. It's more relaxing that way anyway. I now do it with one other male teacher who wants to learn it. The PE teacher is very good, can't speak a word of english but still very good.
Only two more months of classes. I still don't know what to do in the few weeks I have here before my flight to UK. I am thinking of fitting in Philippines, Thailand and Kunming. Maybe that's a bit ambitious. Right now i can't be bothered to travel anywhere!
Today I did my lesson on the royal family and family trees. I showed them my family tree. They are all very surprise at how many bro/sis i have. Also they also didn't know that grandfathers father is great grandfather, and they love saying it, espec great great great grandfather! It's difficult teaching them niece and nephew! They are such weird words! Some of them know nothing of the royal family in England, but a few usually know Queen Elizabeth, in Chinese they say her name Elizaberth. They are always shocked at how many children are in their family/my family, because they are all mostly only children in their family!