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Archive for May, 2009

Zhuhai!

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Welcome to Zhuhai!

So our trip to Zhuhai came and went like a toothache. You pronounce it Jew Hi! so add an “el” sound to the end and you get something utterly different and bothersome.

I must say our impressions were certainly tainted by 56 Grade 5 kids but along with that it was a pretty boring experience. Two science museums stuck in the 80s with similar “attractions”. An urban planning museum trying desperately not to be one. And an agricultural centre disguised as a row of greenhouses.

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Tilt your head to the left I couldn’t be bothered rotating it. Nice pumpkin you got there.

I think the kids were bored, I know I was. We stayed in a nice hotel and the kids didn’t throw any televisions out the windows so I see that as a  success right there.
Meals were orderly and officious affairs with 8 or 9 of us at a table with plates of food thrown at us from all angles and place on a spinny carousel in the middle of the table for us to spin casually when we felt the urge for something else. It was like Wheel Of Fortune with foodstuff.

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You wouldn’t want to be a vegetarian or anything…oh wait. Let’s just say there was plenty of boiled rice had.

Um, what else. Oh yeah, nothing new for the Asia experienced readers out there but for those far away from Asia these are the toilets you face when at restaurants in China.

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This one is almost regal compared to the squat I faced in a floating village in southern Thailand.

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This was the dining venue one day. Quite grand. Except the toilet.

We went to visit a school one day. It was massive. With about 40 students. It was so quiet and desolate. After we left the kids told us all the students there were just swearing at us the whole time. Lovely. It was great to share cultural values and respect to one another.

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Maybe all the students were away getting experimented on….

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Every school needs a sign like this. It would stop all sorts of misbehaving.

After it all, we were very glad to be back home. Only two documented vomiting incidents, no visa or passport issues and no deaths. Job done.

Now back to report card writing….

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When in Honkers it’s best to look up. Things happen up “there”. Sometimes good things. Sometimes bad things.

Good things:
Bizarre sports goods shops in which you can buy the only set of steel tip darts in Honkers.
Cat shops. I have to look at one at the top of Lockhart Road every day to see if I can spot one of the moggies taking a peep at the stoopid hoomans.
Local type bars/restaurants. Well there was one on the 12th floor of a pokey little place opposite our apartment. Unfortunately when I dragged half a dozen of my colleagues it had decided to stop existing. They never believed me.

Bad Things:
I have noticed a trend of bad things going on up “there” too; it’s not all sweetness and light. Numerous times some people find it humorous to dump some acid on passers by. Children fall from up “there” and some people want to end it all from jumping from up “there” instead of facing what’s down “here” any more. Sad.

On a more banal note, leaky air conditioners start depositing pools of water from up “there” on to the pavements of Honkers now as the humidity has come back to kick our asses. I have relearned the lost art of hugging the inside pavement to get sneaky blasts of jewellery stores’ ice cold air conditioning.

Off to Zhuhai Wednesday; of course I get the only kid in the year who is allergic to everything and I have to have an Epipen close at hand. I’m going to make a holster and quick draw it out all day, twirling it around like a six shooter.

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I mean, seriously, where the swine flu have you been?!!

I been waiting here for over a month to see if you would drop by!! Sheeeesh!

Anyway, I forgive you. Just this once.

So what has happened since I last bothered my behind to write anything, I hear you ask?
Quite a bit actually:

Swine Flu
Now it has dropped off the radar worldwide I think the Honkers Government is a little less paranoid because make no mistake locking up 300 guests in a hotel for  a week is the definition of paranoia. Masks came out in force. More so. Seemingly a parent from our school was on the doomed flight with the infected Mexican. We were told this as an afterthought to our weekly meeting. Nothing to worry about of course.

My Birthday
Came and went. My age now begins with a 3 instead of a 2. Seems like forever that I have had a 2 there. Oh well. On my birthday I really felt terrible; broken, tired, exhausted, apathetic. But that was just my old brain playing tricks on me. Probably.

Someone Else’s Birthday
I was dragged screaming to a Karaoke hotel type place. You know one of those places were each room is a den of off key singing and horrendous sing alongs?

I loved it!

With the addition of copious amounts of food and drink, Nintendo Wii  mixed along with fun and laughter it was a great night out all together. It was a great night out.

Work
Continues. Slowly.
I think children and adults alike are just sick of the sight of each other and want to leave and start all over again next school year. Personally, things are beginning to form in my mind about what I need to do in the classroom etc. so these last few weeks are going to be ok. Slow but ok.
Here’s a photo of my desk. Along with Star Trek inspired font bits in honour of Star Trek being released in Honkers on the sloth like June 4th when dvd rips will be available for downloads already. I’m sure.
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Travels
Not much. We head off this week for our first mainland China experience to Zhuhai. Unfortunately an  experience shared with 54 Grade 5 kids. Naahhh should be fine. My goal for any trip is to not lose anyone. That’s easily achieved. Right?

Plans for Summer
Leave Honkers June 20th
Come back after a momentous summer July 21st.
Sounds simple.

Entertainment
Got a lovely PSP for my birthday. Saw Wolverine in the cinema (good) and Knowing (horrible). Will stare at the ceiling waiting for Star Trek.
Will go the Hong Kong Soccer 7s  at the end of May. Unfortunately when it comes to playing football I have a weird foot injury that keeps me away from the hallowed sport for the near future. Wah!

Expect a report on Zhuhai come Friday.


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