On Wednesday it was Children’s day in China, which, as the name suggests, is a celebration of the little nippers who bring so much joy (and stress) to the world; unfortunately for me it meant the kids were even more hyperactive than usual – presumably from all the sweets that teachers and parents had been feeding them all day. In the second class of the day I was confronted with a student who seemed to know a lot about me, ruining the introduction I do at the beginning of each lesson: guess my age, country, height (they love this one) etc. He got them all – including my exact height – despite the teacher’s insistence that I had never been to her class before. He turned out to be a kid from another class who had snuck into the lesson, presumably in the hope of seeing more Mr. Bean. Can’t knock a guy for trying.
We have another holiday this weekend – the Dragon-Boat festival (端午節/端午节)– which celebrates a Chinese man who jumped in a river (not sure why) a long time ago. Unfortunately I have to work this weekend so probably won’t get to see much of the celebrations; although I definitely won’t miss the Zongzi that everyone eats during this festivity, which I have mentioned before as the snack that tastes like feet. Yuck.
Met a few more Chinese people this week. One guy, Gary, I met at the gym: it turns out he is an english teacher at Huzhou college and he promised to introduce me to the other foreign teachers there, one of whom is from the UK and went to Newcastle University – result! Last night I went for a drink with a Chinese girl – Christine, who wants to be a teacher – and some of her friends, who were all very nice (and luckily spoke excellent english). It turned out Christine had worked in Estonia for two years, which whilst a bit random, is pretty cool; she took great delight in filling me in on Estonian culture: they like to drink (who knew?); they invented Skype; it’s where Jagermeister comes from (this one isn’t true – its German) etc. Another guy who was there had studied in France for a couple of years and to my delight I discovered I could still speak a bit of French. And I do mean a bit.
This was all going very well until ‘a few drinks’ turned into the classic drinking game – get the foreigner drunk. The less said about the long walk home, the early morning trips to the bathroom and the hangover today the better. Even MacDonald’s didn’t help.