It’s been a quiet week so far, notable highlights include:
1) giving advice on boxing to a couple of fighting 10 year-olds
2) breaking my personal best on solitaire (my days at school are less than productive): 2min 35secs, with a high score of 5195, which must be close to a new world record
3) cooking for the first time (scrambled eggs in the microwave, but it still counts)
Today I finally got round to booking tickets to Thailand for when I finish teaching. This was after a frustrating hour trying to negotiate a Chinese airline website, which made me want to smash my laptop / kill somebody (I think the staff in the coffee shop were worried for their safety). After two time outs – of course it takes me a long time, your website is in Chinese – and the inclusion of a hefty tax right at the final stage (of course), I was able to put matters to rest. It cost more than I originally expected, but it looks like this will be my only time spent travelling around Asia before coming home a bit earlier than anticipated. I now have to deal with KLM to change my flight coming back, which I expect won’t come cheap. Sharks.
My mum asked me what my Chinese name was the other day, and I thought I would tell you all because I guess you’re dying to know (right?). I have a couple: the first is the literal translation of Stuart – 斯图尔特, which doesn’t mean anything (literally in pinyin it is: ‘si tu er te’); and the second is Jiangbei – 江北: a nickname which means north of the Yangzi river – the longest river in China. The children at school laugh every time they hear my nickname and then correct the order / structure of my drawing – does it really matter? Apparently it does. I debated getting either tattooed on myself before coming home, but decided against it on two fronts: 1) people with chinese tattoos generally aren’t the coolest cats; and 2) everyone might suspect it meant something different, like “Crazy diarrhea” or “Whipped husband” – see for yourself: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/22251.