A couple of interesting lessons today. The first was a Teddy class (7-8 year olds), who I held the attention of for about 2 minutes before the room descended into chaos. One kid was tired, one held his head in his hands for 50 minutes and another kept asking how I knew her name (despite her telling me on more than one occasion). Add in watching T.V. and a couple of crying episodes and you have the outline of my lesson. The other class was a mixture of 17-18 year olds who were really easy to teach. I planned a lesson about food so did some discussion, Mr. Bean watching (the part where he visits a restaurant and orders steak tartare) and a quiz at the end. I also decided to play some rap music, which they told me they liked, on the solemn promise that they wouldn’t tell their parents. I had a few choices, but decided to go for Lil’ Wayne who, for those of you don’t know, is an American rapper known for his colourful lyrics. Some of his gems include:
“And I got the haters like when will he stop? Maybe a minute after never, so set your clocks.”
“I put her on my plate, then I do the dishes.”
Educational stuff. Needless to say, he went down a storm.
Not much else been happening lately. Took a trip to my favourite coffee bar today to find seven people working behind the counter – which to serve about 5 people I thought was a tad excessive. This isn’t Starbucks in the middle of Waterloo station, serving city commuters their caffeine fix before embarking on a successful day in the office: this is a small coffee bar tucked away in a shopping plaza, in a country that isn’t mad for coffee. It seems to be the norm in China to calculate how many people are needed to do a job, and then multiply that number by a factor of 3 or 4. The same happens at my local supermarket, where every counter seems to be staffed by 2 or 3 people and you have employees that help you pull your trolley up the escalator (why!). I guess I shouldn’t complain – I did get my espresso and banana smoothie made in double-quick time (after the inevitable argument between all seven about what I had ordered).
I also found my new favourite place to eat, which has put my desire to start cooking on hold. It’s a fantastic noodle place, situated in what can only be described as an Army mess tent – complete with canvas doors and lack of space. I ordered a spicy beef disk for 9 Yuan and half expected a small bowl of noodles and stingy portion of meat; to my surprise I actually received tasty, tender strips of meat – which certainly bucks the trend of other places I have been – and a lot of noodles. Naturally I thought this was an absolute steal and I will definitely go back again. It also makes a change from eating dumplings and talking about Chairman Mao with my friendly (ish) restaurant buddy. Bonus.
More lessons tomorrow (sigh) but I have the morning free to go the gym. It also coincides nicely with my day off from eating healthy (ish) – half price MacDonald’s look out, I’m coming….