Boys are gone

Trip Start Aug 22, 2010
Trip End Jul 01, 2011

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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hello everyone.  Sunday night here and just a short entry before I climb into bed. Greg and Jeff left yesterday - their visit here was so successful.  Their exit sure leaves a hole:-( I worked at the school tonight photocopying and collating quizzes and tests I wrote today for the week ahead and sure missed their help there!  John's been a huge help ( not just dinners, but marking tests, typing out IRP/course outline stuff for do other first year teachers pull it off?). Having 2 extra assistants was sure a treat.

My day in Shanghai was long yesterday.  I guess they had record attendance at the Expo - some 900,000 people and it messed the train schedules up. Not only was my train delayed 90 minutes, but it didn't rip along at 200+ km/hour as planned.  I did have my speed hit for the day though.  After dropping boys at Pudong Airport I rode the Maglev back into Shanghai and it reached over 430 km/hour

I shopped in two places.  One I call the "Hello Luggage Land" as the shop vendors call out to you, "Hello Watches", "Hello Luggage", "Hello Bags" -  they really need a gap between their words, but it's not to be.  I managed to bargain with a few vendors with much good humour intact - it can be challenging as they push so hard.  I had one guy trying to get to buy all kinds of stuff, after I'd chosen a scarf from his shop.  As he picked up each item I grimaced and said "ugly" or "tacky" or "are you crazy?"  Soon I had him in stitches and he relented and backed off. In Hello Luggage land I was fitted for a jacket and dress - custom made - definitely part of the China experience.  The items are to come by mail - I'll share pictures if I ever managed to get the goods!

The other stop was also a mall - one that I was taken to back at our holiday by one of my grade 12 students.  Here too was a custom dress effort.  The final fitting was quite the experience.  It sure looks best on the size 2 mold in the store, I'm not so sure about a Western Woman's body,.... but again I'll share pics when it's all over.  That dress is also supposed to arrive by mail. 

I took a video to share.  It's hand held photography at it's worst.  But it does give you a little idea of what heading to the train is like.  The waiting room gate isn't opened until a few minutes before the train's scheduled departure, and then everyone crams through one gate, down an escalator to the platforms and then scrambles to get to their carriage.  You can see people running down the platform as I'm coming down the escalator. My ticket was for carriage 1 so I had to boot it down to the front of the train after stopping the video.  

I've encouraged Greg and Jeff to write me a bit to include in the blog about their visit here - so stay tuned for that.  John is going to write a bit about their Beijing time too - it went very well.

Since my last posting I'm afraid we've only had bad news about Eric's daughter so far.  Her name is Jade and now the doctors in Shanghai may be saying it's too late for surgery.  The information isn't clear just yet, but Eric has been too upset when we try to talk to him on the phone to ask too many questions.  We have heard through Kelowna, that people from across Canada, China, Vietnam, Britain and beyond have raised $5,000 Canadian for Eric's family.  Sadly it might not be money that provides life-saving surgery now, but it certainly is for a family in great need. I'll write more when I know more, for now we're just hoping there might be a happy ending somewhere in this for Eric and his family.  

TIme for bed, but will try and write more soon,

love kate
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