‘A tale of two tea’s…’

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of China  , Guangdong,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

So, this week has been interesting on the job front. The language barrier has proved too great over the last few weeks for me to do my job. So, I am now being moved to a project-based job. It’s not something I have that much experience in, so more than a little scary - but on the brighter note, more to add to that C.V.  The work I’m doing at the moment will be replacing one of the directors projects from a few years ago, so it’s high profile and high-pressure. I’m considering it a test to prove my worth, and I’m really keen to prove myself. 
On another note, after much pressure on the university - my degree certificate is currently winging it’s way to the HK office. Ultimately meaning that my visa should be through before the end of next month, and furthermore - unaccompanied travel to HK will be possible again! I could not be happier about this fact. I hope I don’t become a hermit in the interim.  
This weekend is pretty chilled.  I arrange to go to the local department store Elaine took me to, Rainbow shopping mall, on Saturday for a couple of hours.  Two members of personnel accompany me, one speaks a small amount of English, but we get everything I need.  Including, this is so weird… ‘Waitrose’ tea bags?! I have no idea why they were there… just randomly on the shelf next to all the Chinese brands!  All the text is in English also, really strange! So, my first English tea in weeks (and the getting was good). After picking up supplies, we went for the ever-daunting trip to the department store. I’m increasingly hating clothes-shopping in China. I like to just go into a shop, pick out what I want - try on and put back or buy at my own pace and with no interference. It’s hard here, you’re followed round the shops with under a meter between you and the sales assistants, if you look at anything for more than a second - you find yourself almost immediately in the changing rooms with four coordinating items… it’s horrible. I’ve actually given up now. I’m just going to have a decent blow out when I get to Christchurch at Christmas instead.  Planning ahead for my beach holidays is just not going to happen.
After the mall, we went on a wild goose chase to find credit for my phone - on giving up, we found ourselves outside a strangely familiar sign… the ‘Teabucks’ teahouse I’d seen with Peter in Chang’an!  One of the personnel girls hopped out, and returned with 3 drinks. I was given one and explained that it was very milky, cold tea.  On tasting, it is incredibly sweet - almost bordering on a milkshake really… but, with small, jellied balls at the bottom! I thought they were chocolate at first - until one flew through the straw and I got a nasty shock! I tried to ask what they were, but the language barrier reared it’s ugly head - so all I can describe them as is small balls of jelly, fairly tasteless… google it!
Other news from this week is that as of Monday - I will be teaching English culture & language lessons 6 times a week… actually it’s 8times this week, 2 x Monday lunch, 2 x Monday night, and the same again for Wednesday.  I’m just glad Friday’s a national holiday else it’d be 12!  I am actually terrified about this, I have never taught before, and I’m not even sure that my English is proficient enough to qualify me teaching it to others!  So, that will be an interesting blog for next week, if I survive!

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