For whatever reason I’ve been a bit down the last couple of days. I think its been a combination of the weather (rainy season has started), too much teaching and lack of sleep. Even half-price espresso didn’t cheer me up; although it may have sent me a little jittery in my afternoon classes. My mood has lifted slightly this evening: I went to the gym to do my usual crossfit stuff and when I was finished one of the trainers came up to me at the end and said: “Hello. Beautiful [pointing to the weights]”. I wouldn’t have described it this way, but I appreciated the sentiment nonetheless.
Conducted an interview yesterday with a guy who wants to come over and teach at Newman School from September. He’s from the UK and has applied with the same TEIC programme that I am on, so I was able to give him some help with the supporting documents and what to expect if / when he comes to Huzhou. He asked a lot of good questions (better than the ones I came up with for my interview):
Q: I’ve heard the beds are hard.
A: Erm. Yeah. Memory foam hasn’t reached China; but you get used to it.
Q: How do you get on with eating. Do you cook?
A: Haha. No. But you might want to consider it if you want to return as anything other than a life-size dumpling.
It actually made me realise how much of ‘China’ I have become accustomed too. Like staring, which really bothered me at first: people will often stare, point and turn around in the middle of the street saying stuff like – “laowai” or “waiguoren” (which mean foreigner); but I don’t really notice it now. Most of the time they are just excited to see a Westerner, because many people in Huzhou, especially the elders, will have never seen someone from outside China. Other stuff I could rave about, like how friendly everyone is and how much help you get from the school, which reminded how lucky I am to come here, even if it is only for a short space of time.
Off to Shanghai tomorrow to pick out some more suits, although it will be a flying visit as money is getting a bit tight (who knew?). Will definitely remember my passport this time. Then it’s back to teaching for two more days before going to Hong Kong! I can’t wait to have an extended break and do some tourist stuff around the city. I will be interested to try proper Cantonese food (which is what every Chinese takeaway in the UK serves) to see what its like. Certainly I’ve never eaten much that resembles the takeaway stuff here in Huzhou, which is nice. I will obviously try as much as I can for your reading pleasure.