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Showing posts from June, 2008

quick blog

I have been very busy with work and trying to get my new apartment details worked out this week. I am excited to move to a brand new apartment no one has lived in before. From one side you can see planes coming and going from Hongqiao airport, and from the other side there is wide open space - a real empty field (for now) and view of Suzhou Creek. There is a little walkway along the canal. The apartment features 2 bedrooms, large bathroom, medium sized kitchen, living room, dining nook, and enclosed yangtai (balcony). All machines are brand new. Two TVs, two DVD players, a Karaoke stereo ('WOW' said my boss 'That is something new!' as his eyes lit up), washing machine, microwave, gas burners and a weird dish heating machine that supposedly kills bacteria; kind of a no water dish machine. Even my landlord didn't really know what it was. Hardwood floors, some kind of Korean hardwood dining table and bedroom furniture, window alcove in 1 bedroom. And last bu…

Ice Cream!

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This was the best ever gelatto, ice-cream whatever! OMG I have a new love and it's turned me upside down with glee! Inside I had green tea flavored, the outer petals are pistachio. Ha! Would it be bad to go back for another one to try two more flavors for dinner? I scream for ice f***in cream!!! It really was like walking around on cloud nine ... while it lasted! I don't think being crowned queen of anywhere would have felt better than this cold sweet treat! Friends, it might be worth the ticket to come visit just to try one of these!
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This is what Asian tour groups look like. Everyone wears the same colored (dorky) hat. You too can have a massive squirt gun on the metro. I spent a few hours wandering around the Bund on Sunday before the party. A lot of people flying and selling kites around there.

staff mtg

I had a shocking moment during yesterday's staff meeting. I wonder if I was the only one who was quaking in my boots, so to speak. A teacher asked for ideas for a reward to a class that wins a special contest, only the teacher specified can we be creative and not reward them with food like we always do. Another staff suggested how about we give them all books. Several people sneered, laughed and made sarcastic comments at her suggestion! I was dumbfounded and saddened that my so-called colleagues would act so uncaringly. I told her I thought it was a good idea, because it is really hard for kids to get their hands on good books in their native languages here!

a day at work

Most of the time I think what happens at work should just stay at work. This day, however, was so whacked, I have to share.

Whining students try to go to PE 2 periods in a row instead of coming to my class. A colleague (sorry) barfs into her lunch tray while a few of us were just nearly finished eating. Actually this is really terrible for her but it was one of those ultimately comical China moments where there just isn't anything that can be done about it except hope she would be ok! I look at it this way: that's better than choking!

A translator tells me 2 of our new students are panicking every day because they never studied English before and they don't know what they are doing in some of their classes. In Japan they would still be in elementary school so going to all the different classes and having different teachers is a major switch for them in addition to being in a completely foreign language. I think they are OK in my class, because they play violin an…

Le Jardin

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Sunday afternoon in 'Le Jardin,' a newly opened cafe. Twelve of us descended on the living room and so did one other party of 6 or 7 people. Jazz violin music, other oldies, antiques and flowers grace this place. The owner spent 5 years in Montreal, hence the upscale environment. This is a major winner I will definitely be back to. I may become a permanent customer here!

Brooke's Party

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I really want to ride my bike all the way across town to the Bund. I just keep chickening out. But today the weather does seem perfect. Maybe I will gather my personal momentum and just do it. My colleague who has worked in the job for 3 years had her going away party yesterday. Many of us and her personal friends helped celebrate. One major perk of this job is that no one expects you to make a life long career out of this particular place so you can leave when it is right for you. On the way to the party we passed by these lovely Gumby shaped bushes. At the party you could donate to the "Eartyquick" victims. After the party I was really hungry because they decided not to go for the dinner and stayed in one place eating finger foods, but by the time I left I was ready for some real food. This time it was my lovely local noodle shop across the street and boy were they glad to see me because it has been a few weeks since I came in. I stopped going because what I rea…