22 September 2008

Before My First Day of School

Well on the weekend I wanted to go out to the Supermarket to buy some supplies to use in class with the students. I had asked my assistant Mrs. D to help me and she agreed on the Friday. Saturday came and she was no where to be found. I woke up early ready and waiting for our agreed leaving time which was 11 o'clock. 11 o'clock came and she didn't show up, I phoned her but a message told me "...the phone you are currently trying to reach is switched off. At this point I was getting slightly annoyed to say the least. I waited, waited some more and even some more but still she never came.

Just in case you are wondering I wanted her to go to the Supermarket with me because I cant speak Mandarin and the whole thing of telling the bus driver when to stop is a bit funny to me. I waited til night until I got a phone call from Mr. Lee asking if I had eaten dinner yet, I obviously said know because people who know me know I like to eat late (btw it was only like 7 at the time lol). For lunch I had eaten a pot noodle, it seems like I eat those everyday. I feel like I'm starting to get a little sick from eating those now lol. Any who Mr. Lee picked me up from my place and he took me to a noodle place. I hadn't been to this place before but the waitress seemed happy to serve me.

Mr. Lee had told me as we left the restaurant that if he had time tomorrow he will take me to the Supermarket. At the time I didn't mind if I went or not because I was just annoyed with Mrs. D. I went back to my room and then found myself watching some silly Zombie movie because it was in English and had Chinese subtitles. The movie was one of the ones in the series "Night of the Living Dead" but even so this didn't make the movie any better haha.

Sunday came and in the afternoon Mr. Lee phoned me and asked if I had lunch yet, I simply said no. He then told me he will take me out for lunch (just so you know he takes me but I have to pay for myself lol), we went to the same noodle place as the other night. As we walked there this little boy maybe 4 or 5 yelled "heigui" which if you don't know means "Black Devil" this time it didn't bother me. However later the boy and his grandma came into the restaurant to chat to the people there while looking at me at the same time. I explained to Mr. Lee that they shouldn't call people Heigui because its derogatory/offensive, supposedly its the equivalent of calling someone a nigger. He tried to explain to them but I don't think they really understood or cared to be honest and even Mr. Lee himself seemed a little unsure as to why it was wrong. But I will just put it down to lack of education because I'm sure they wouldn't like it if I pointed and called them "Yellow Devil" but ahh well hopefully they will understand with time.

After the restaurant Mr. Lee, his son (sorry I forgot to mention him. he is about 7 I think) and I got on a bus towards the Supermarket. When we went into the Supermarket I got the usual stares but I tend not to pay as much attention to them anymore. While I was walking around this woman came up to Mr. Lee and asked him (in Chinese) why is he always with me, I guess she has seen him with me before. Hopefully he told her its because I cant speak or understand Mandarin.

I carried on walking through the Supermarket, I was mainly there to buy stuff for my lessons like I said before and also some sweets to give students who come to the front to demonstrate their English skills. Their pic 'n mix section here works differently from in the UK, certain sweets cost more even though they are all in the pic 'n mix section, weird eh. When I was about to leave this floor of the Supermarket the female employees started to because curious with me. One of them had already spoke English to me so others wanted to speak to me too. It was mainly one woman who was interested in me, she would asked Mr. Lee questions then he would translate. Then more employees started to gather round. They all started to ask me funny questions, the main one didn't believe I was from England because I was black haha. I explained to her (well Mr. Lee to explained to her) that there are all different types of people in England and especially in London.

The conversation with the women continued they asked me if I would take a Chinese woman home with me and I said no since I already know so many Chinese girls anyways lol. She also asked (at this point there was a man and his wife standing with us) if I stayed in China long enough will I become white? If someone said that to be in England I would think they're stupid but here (in China) I feel they lack education about certain things. I told her "no" that is impossible. They (the women) then asked me if I could be White, Yellow or Black what colour would I choose? I said I like being Black so I choose Black. This was when the Man said "everyman likes his own skin". The man then began to ask why I was here in China, we told him it was to teach oral English. He then said I would do a good job because I have good pronunciation (yea right) lol.

After the man had left two boys came up to the group and said "hello, how are you" I simply replied "fine and you?". The boys seemed happy to be speaking (practising) their English with me. They also asked if they could take a picture with me (I'm more than happy to take a picture if they ask me first) but unfortunately for the boy his phone was dead so no picture that day. During this time they women (mainly that one) was asking questions she wanted to know if I had a baby with a Chinese women what will the baby look like. I just said he/she would have brown skin probably lighter than mine and have eyes like their Chinese mum. They seemed to be intrigued with the idea of this lol. I'm surprised they don't know what mixed race people look like, I'm sure they have seen them on TV. But I guess they didn't know they were mixed race when they saw them on TV.

After like 30mins of chatting to this giggling women Mr. Lee and I decided to continue walking around the Supermarket. The women said as we left, come back anytime *wink* ^_< *wink* haha I was like sure. Since I already had the sweets I went downstairs to pick up some stationary for the class. Mr. Lee's son had been in the book section reading as Mr. Lee and I walked around the shop. But as it was time to pay his son had dissapeared. In England this would be a big ordeal but Mr. Lee looked for his son but did not seem too worried. The first thing I thought was that his son was kidnapped because I heard a lot of Children get kidnapped off the street in China. But in this area it seems like everyone knowns everyone so no wonder Mr. Lee was not that worried. Mr. Lee chucked me on a bus and told the bus driver when to stop for me. Mr. Lee thought it would be best if he looked for his son by himelf. But it turned out his son must have gotten bored while he was with us and made his own way home on the bus haha.

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