Firstly, we went out for dinner with Mark (The Head of English), and what seemed like half the local police force! There was good food, there was good company and there were many drinking games played
The drinking games were interesting, they were based on Rock, Paper, Scissors. Then, there was the added element of numbers – you had to uncover a number of fingers with your partner, and it could either be 0, 5, 10, 15 or 20. The one who guessed the total number of fingers for both partners won, and the loser had to drink.
I think i'm becoming something of an outcast I the group – i'm older than the rest of them, and I don't drink to get drunk, so I think that i'm not within the group dynamic. They have a big 'team' or 'family' thing going on, they're all very pally pally, and I don't feel that close to any of them really.
I met Cherry and Rob, and they were really lovely. Cherry is fantastic, such an energetic, sweet girl.
Rob's a great Canadian, and we were talking about schools, and teaching, and what seemed like everything else under the sun. At about half one, I joined the rest of te group at The Cotton Club. There was a rock covers band playing, and I sat down at the table, only to be nearly bowled over by a drunken Mat, who, it appears had missed me...
Later that night, Mat and Lilly disappeared, so we went back to the hostel without them. I think was the point that I realised how different the maturity levels are between us, I couldn't sleep knowing that two of our number were out in CQ all alone, in a big city in the middle of China – an unknown land!! I stayed up until about 6 that night – Mat and Lilly came back at about half 4, and then I spent the rest of the time keeping Mat alive. He stumbled into the room and took 4 attempts to take his trousers off, and then went to purge the alcohol (how polite was that?!). He was looking pretty rough, so I kept filling him with water in an attempt to dilute the alcohol in his system. I have told him that next time, i'll leave him to die...One chance...
So, on Sunday, we went to the CQExpat CAFE (Chinese and Foreign Exchange) Club. It was great to meet so many people that I have been 'talking' to online for so long. I did forget to take musicman his mustard though! I'll keep it for next time.
Phoenix came to the CAFE club with me, and she had a great time too, despite suffering a hagover from hell! She made sure that I got home safely, she took me on the bus from CQ to Hechuan, and then we got a local bus from Hechuan bus station to the College. The local bus was a fantastic experience, and i'm going to ask Phoenix to write 'To Chongqing', 'To Hechuan', and 'To Hili' on a piece of paper in Mandarin so that I can travel on my own soon. That's exciting!
I think I got bitten by something a bit nasty on Thursday night, I had an itchy foot on Friday and I thought i'd been got by another mosquito and ignored it. Saturday it started to swell and itch, and by the time I got home yesterday my foot was swollen and bright red and itchy. I've had something for infection, and double dosed the antihistamines and it appears to be working. The rash has travelled up my leg a bit, and my foot and ankle are still swollen, but its like a nasty attack of Urticaria (another one...), so i'm not really sure what's going on! It appears to be getting better – my foot's gone back to flesh colour today. When I see Susan again, i'll ask her whether she thinks I should see a doctor.
Went back to teaching today. I love my Monday Morning class, they are really interactive, they speak to me, and they get my sense of humour, which is nice. The class today was working from the workbook, and the subjects were starting a conversation, introducing yourself, introducing another and interrupting a conversation. The students in the first class were really into the subjects and really responded. We went through the words Compliment and Offensive in relation to speaking to other people. The second class are a different kettle of fish! They are really quiet. I have two rules I my classroom, the first is that No-one is shy, and the second is that No-one laughs at English. The rules seem to work, the chinese students are known as being shy, so i'm hoping that these two rules will give them the confidence to speak up more. The first class have grasped this concept. There are a few in the second class who have understood, and they are willing to speak up, but the majority are very quiet. I gave them some exercises to do and went round the class talking to each couple and explaining things to them.
I meet my third class tomorrow. The class was cancelled last week because it was too hot.
It was lovely this morning! It had rained overnight, so the temperature has cooled and the humidity has lifted somewhat, which makes everything a lot more comfortable!
So, that's the update finished...more soon!