The weekend that was and the KTV experience
Trip Start May 05, 2012
54Trip End Mar 01, 2013
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As Sunday was Father's Day here, the centre celebrated it by putting on a "Father's Day Activity" for any and all of the kids to come along to. Since I (Evan) was only scheduled to do a demo in the afternoon I got roped into being the foreign teacher that had the joy of doing it. It was quite cool but we had 12 kids plus parents turn up which meant madness was sure to ensue. Further, we held it in a room that has A/C issues at the best of times let alone when it is +36degC outside and we have 20-30 odd people crammed into one classroom!
It went well enough and thankfully the TA in charge ended up doing most of the talking in Chinese for everyone's benefit - I just had to teach the kids the few key words as and when required
My last class for the weekend was a PCA for a class that had finished officially a few weeks ago so only one girl who has already re-signed at our centre turned up. Easiest PCA ever! We did the exact same lesson as I had done an hour before and since it was one on one I think she actually enjoyed it and might even have learnt something! We made the same rice-balls at the end and the TA I had for this lesson took great joy in making me try *delicious* Chinese treats - the little girl had a fit of giggles when I would screw up my face and say "bu hao chi!" [boo how chuur] which literally means "not good eat" but could be translated to disgusting. It was a great way to end a fairly stressful weekend for me - see my post on the class quizzes and competitions I had been trying here: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/steph_evan/1/1340107196/tpod.html
After work on Sunday night we had chuaner [chu-arr (said with a strongly rolled r sound)] and pi jiu [pee jehh-oh], meat kebabs and beer, for dinner. They were so tasty and exactly what we felt like
We got our first pay check on Friday. So being that we are here with the goal of saving up for our trip to Europe I decided to buy a new smart phone on Monday morning! We went along with our boss James who is a techno-junkie and he showed us the Tianjin Electronics Market. Its basically a shopping mall about the size of St Luke's and across the five floors they sell nothing but electronic goods, as the name may have suggested! I got a new toy and have been playing with it ever since! It is all cheaper at this market too - they import the electronics from Hong Kong and somehow avoid playing tax, making it much cheaper for us to buy!
On Monday afternoon we had a great Chinese cultural experience: KTV. KTV is super big in China, and is basically a place where you can rent out rooms for Karaoke. Some of the TAs from work invited us along after they found out that I (Steph now) love to sing and of course they wanted Evan to come along too (they think he looks like Tom Cruise and they think I look like a young Merryl Streep). Evan wasn't so sure that he wanted to go but felt pressured by me and the TAs so he did. As soon as we arrived they made us find songs in the data base to sing (I chose the Britney Spears version of "I love rock and roll" and Evan choose "Wonderwall" by Oasis)
That night we went out to a house-warming party that some of the other foreign teachers were having to celebrate escaping from Cheng Ji. Their apartment was very close to Cheng Ji but was much nicer and looked a lot more modern! The lifts even came to you when you pushed the button - we couldn't believe the luxury! We had a nice casual night chatting to the other foreign teachers and making future plans.
Yesterday we also had another social day
So, the Chinese is progressing very well, Evan has a new phone, we appear to have made new friends (yay!) and so China is looking brighter by the day (unfortunately not literally - the sky has been disgustingly smoggy the last week ahh summer!).