24 October 2008

QQ and I

I saw Hong's comment and thought I would write this. Well I have managed to get myself QQ but I cant use it anywhere because I dont have it on any computers haha. Also all the QQs are Chinese here (as you would have expected) so I do not understand. But like I said I cant use QQ because I have no computer to use it on haha.

But my QQ number is: 858559232

So add me and maybe when I next go to the Internet Cafe I can use it there. =)

23 October 2008

O_o Aiyaaa what did you say!!!! & .....Xiu Pin Park at Night =)

Why do they have to give me more responsibility haha. Right now at the school the Headmaster wants me to set up English Corner and also an Oral English Contest. This is a lot of responsibility for me since the headmaster said if the students perform badly we have failed our jobs lol.

I have decided to have the English Corner on Tuesday from 5:00pm onwards since that is the day I do not have many lessons. I felt that on this day I could use my time to prepare what we (the students) will practice in English Corner. However the rules/information about whats happening is still a little sketchy at the moment, they don't really tell you much here.

It has also come to light that the other foreign teachers from VSO will help with English Corner. This will be a big help to me since I can focus my time on on the students that will perform in the competition. Mrs D also told me that they want me to perform something at the Oral English Contest. Right now I don't know what I will do but to be honest I'd rather not do anything at all but I don't think that is a possibility haha.

Yesterday Barbara, Nan and I went up the mountain to Xiu Pin Park at night. The park is quite different at night and quite nice because of the lights which turn on there. We also managed to fly the kite we bought in Xi An there. The wind was quite strong so we could fly the kite pretty well up there. Unfortunately the wind was a bit too strong and we lost 5 kites or so ='(.

When we finally got to the end of we saw all these old people dancing in the open area. They were dancing to Indian music and doing something that looked like Indian dancing but I'm not too sure haha. There must have been maybe 30 of them there all doing the same routine, it was funny but at the same time quite cool to see.

16 October 2008

The Cutie and Taekwondo

Well nothing much has been happening really. School has been getting quite easy and nothing out of the ordinary has been happening. I still hang out in the shop which sells all those random items. The people there are cool and the boss is crazy.

Often there is a girl there that helps out, supposedly she is the niece of the bosses wife. I was surprised to see her at the shop the other day because I was under the impression she was going away, well that's what she said anyways.

Her English is not that great but she can answer some simple questions. She is nice to hang out with. The other day she kept saying "...lets go shopping" but since I had nothing to do I said sure. We went to the supermarket for her to buy some random items like toothpaste, soap and shampoo. I guess these things were for her to stay the night with her auntie. Originally we took the bus to the supermarket but we ended up walking back, why I don't know @_@. We took a short cut through my school because she said she wanted to see her friend...I didn't mind. Once she had finished talking I told her I was going home and I'd see her later she said "...sure, see you later =)"

After I had finished eating my dinner at one of the local restaurants (I call this one Beijing because they had some Olympic stickers in the window). While in Beijing the crazy man from the shop came in and the lady who works in Beijing asked me if he was my friend because he was talking to her about me and I said "...yea, I guess so lol". After I had finished my meal this lady came in to the restaurant and all the women working in the restaurant asked (well gestured) that I should go dancing in the club upstairs with the women who just came in. If the girls who I live with had been with me at the time maybe I would have gone but they weren't so I politely declined haha.

Once I left Beijing I went back to the shop to hang out. The girl was there and she asked me if I wanted to go somewhere...then she started to pretend kick and punch me. I didn't know what she was talking about at the time. Later another one of her friends from my school came to the shop. Her English was a bit better and she explained what she meant. First she wanted to visit her friend and I was like ok, I'm not doing anything else.

We took a taxi into the center near the supermarket to meet her friend. While in the taxi the girls friend asked me if I recognised her and I said "...no, why are you in my class?" and she said "...yes" I was like ahh ok then, cool. The friend she wanted to meet was some hairdresser and he had some funky looking hair haha. Anyways after they finished talking they asked me if I wanna see some something then they started to kick and punch the air again. I said sure why not.

We then walked down the street and went into a building with no lights on. The boy then used his phone as a light as we walked down the several flights of stairs. At the bottom he opened the door to a room filled with mats and punching bags. From the back room emerged 5 or so boys, they seemed surprised at first to see me. After the group I was with explained who I was they started to demonstrate some Taekwondo for me. They wanted to take pictures with me but kept joking about how tall I was.

I asked them If I could take pictures also and they were like sure. I asked them to perform so I could take pictures of them and they did. It was quite funny watching them pose and fight, some of the shots I got are quite funny.

After about 15mins we left and went back to the shop. I told the girl I was tired and I would see her later so I went back to my room. So that day was quite fun and interesting.

13 October 2008

My Weekend

Finally....I get a weekend off from school (not including the holiday I had not too long ago haha). Well on Thursday the girls I live with told me they were going to Xi An to pick up some winter clothes from their University. I asked them if I could go with them and they said "...sure, why not ^_<". I really just wanted to leave Zhen'an for a little bit but I also knew that if the four girls weren't around I would be pretty board.

Not sure if had said before but the girls names are Yomi, Barbara, Smile and Nan. Often we keep calling each other names from the Television Show, Journey to the West. Its a little ironic that we do this because this blog is based on that concept but in reverse. Most of the time they call me Wukong because I always copy Wukong when he says "...sifu" haha. Smile is the horse because she is kinda white and Yomi is often the fish man and Barbara is the pig. However Nan often is referred to, as many characters from the show.

On friday we bought tickets at around 48 yuan for both tickets, to Xi An and back. We left Zhen'an at around 8pm and arrived in Xi An at maybe 10:30pm. We were not able to get seats on this train so we had to stand up. Although we were standing it was quite funny because we were playing silly games with each other. Another thing Barbara and Yomi kept telling me there was no juice in Xi An and I could only drink Beer or Water. I was thinking they must be lying so I asked some random woman sitting behind us. I said "...can I buy juice in Xi An?" and the woman replied "...yes". I said to Barbara "...shame, I can buy drink" but Barbara seemed to think the woman could not speak English and that is why she said yes. So I asked the woman "...is your name Mary?" and the woman replied "...no", but Barbara still thought she could not speak English so I just asked her "...do you understand English?" and the women said "...yes I understand English ^_<". I was laughing mainly due to the fact that Barbara was now very embarassed because she thought the women didnt understand what we were talking about haha.

While on the train Smile befriended some guy who happend to work in a computer shop. I thought to myself cool, maybe he can help me get a discount on a laptop. However we did not really talk about that but they did get his card. We ended up playing a game with this guy instead of talking about computers. Basically Smile would tell the guy something in English and then he would say it to me to see if I could understand. Then the same thing happend with Yomi and I but surprisingly he seemed to understand what I was saying haha. When we arrived in Xi An the girls took me to a hotel to stay. The room was 178 yuan but because of the time and some negotiation from the girls the room went down to 120 yuan. The room was quite good and I had my own bathroom with shower. I only stayed one night in this hotel and the girls (well just Barbara and Nan) came to pick me up in the morning.

That day we just walked around Xi An, we went to the Bell Tower (or rather walked around it) and went to the Drum Tower (haha I dont know what its called). We then went to the Islamic Street, if you didn't guess by the name this is where all the Chinese Muslims hang out. They have shops and restaurants all along this street. Near the Drum Tower we saw this man flying a kite. The kite must have been maybe 15cmx15cm but on the string there were 30 kites all flying at the same time. At the time I was thinking wow I want to do that. The man then gave Nan the string and she was flying it for a bit. We decided to buy one and try it for ourselves, but when we tried to fly them it did not appear as easy as it did when the man was doing it. After several atempts at trying to fly the kite we decided to call it a day.

Barbara and Nan took me to a place called Ginwa which is the place to find all the expensive designer items in Xi An. We went in and I was shocked at how expensive everything was, most of the items were comparable to the prices in London. I thought to myself this place is a rip-off. We left pretty quickly without buying anything as you'd might expect.

Later that day we decided to eat at KFC because there isn't one in Zhen'an and I kinda missed having junk food. While at KFC we basically stayed for hours to waste time. We had decided to go Karaoke but at 12am so this was the reason we were wasting time. We also had the idea to stay at Karaoke for hours until the morning to save money on me staying at a hotel.

At around 6:30pm we left KFC and went to the girls university. Their university was called "Xi An Normal University" don't ask me why its called normal because I dont know. Most of the students attending this unversity want to become teachers. I went to their canteen to have some dinner, I told Nan I wanted Chow Mein but I ended up getting Chow Fan for some reason. I didnt really mind that much because the rice was alright. By this time it was only maybe 8:00pm so we had to kill some time before we went Karaoke. The girls introduced me to some of their friends and we hung out with each other in the school grounds playing games.

At around 11:00pm we all gathered ready to go to karaoke. At this time however there were very few buses running and the walk to KTV took around 15 mins. The road was pretty dead, very few cars and no people what so ever. We finally managed to arrive at KTV at around 11:30. It cost just 80 yuan and all six of us could stay there until 6:30am. There were a a fair amount of people in KTV at this time and as per usual they were surprised to see a black foreigner in this place lol.

Once we were in the room I did not manage to sing that much mainly due to the fact that 95% of the songs were in Chinese and the English songs on there were kinda crap. It was a pitty I only knew Japanese songs otherwise I think I could have sung many songs that night. Shortly after getting in the room I began to feel tired as did the others. Everyone began to fall asleep but it was so uncomfortable trying to sleep on that big sofa. I kept falling in and out of sleep and my neck started to become stiff, but it was a funny experience sleeping in karaoke.

At around 6:30am the KTV staff came in and told us to leave. We all went back to the University but the girls left me and then pawned me off onto one of their friends. But I will let them off because they had things they needed to do in Xi An. Their friend was sweet and was happy at the chance to practice her English with me since she was an English major. Later that day she called up her other friends and we all played table-tennis and badminton for a bit. The Chinese are very keen on playing sports, at this time though I was feeling quite tired. I was practically half asleep.

One of the girls with us told me that she was a friend of Smile's and they are roomates. There was another girl with her that went by the name......shit I forgot her name and the other girl....im sorry TT__TT. But anyways she was told by Smile to look after me and take me where ever I want to go. I thought ok thats sounds cool. But because of the time constraints we could no go many places. In the end we went back to the Bell Tower but instead of KFC that day I had Mac Donalds instead hehe. Normally I don't eat that poison but that day it felt so good to have some junk food haha.

I told her that I wanted to buy a laptop so we went around looking for one. We ended up in the shop Gome looking for one but the majority of them were too expensive and comparable to prices in England but the only thing was that the models were old. So in the end I did not buy anything.

She then took me back to the train station in the afternoon to meet up with the other girls. I told her thanks for looking after me and she said "...no worries ^_^" which was nice. We all got on the train but luckily this time we had seats so we could have a good rest.

But overall my trip to Xi An was pretty cool and maybe I can go there again when I have time. But I would say the smog there is not very appealing and I was very happy to come back to Zhen'An with its blue sky, cleaner air and the mountains.

I have been bit lazy in updating this thing. But I will try to update it as much as I can.

9 October 2008

My New Friends......The 4 Meinu LOL

Well on the school side of things nothing much has been happening, except the fact the school dean doesn't know whats going on with the time-table. I was a little pissed off because I was told that the lesson had been changed because of the holiday but it turned out that they had not changed at all. I wasn't prepared to teach next weeks lesson this week, so I ended up playing games with my Monday and Tuesday class. Oh I had those classes on Saturday and Sunday because like I said the time-table had supposedly changed. So in fact I did not need to go to school on those days.

Well on Sunday evening my new housemates arrived. They were four girls who will be the translators / assistants for the other foreign teachers from VSO. They are all around my age and they are all pretty friendly which is good. Since then we have all just been hanging out with each other. They often come to my room at night to hang out and steal my food (damn them ¬_¬).

Lately we have been going out for dinner together also. Yesterday was funny because we went to some restaurant that I don't like and I told them this but they still wanted to go. Once we arrived at the restaurant we saw the other foreign teachers eating there. It was funny because all the foreigners in the town were all in one place haha. The reason I don't like this place is because its expensive and the portions of food are small.

The girls ordered some Hot Pot (they order that all the time) and I just had Mi Fan (rice) with some Pork. However the meat in the Hot Pot was chicken but the girls seemed to think that the meat had a strange smell. I thought it was quite funny because they were having an argument with the cook there.
My rice also did not taste very nice, it was dry. Well all I said to them was "I told you this place was bad...lol" and it seemed like they agreed with me. In The end they manage to get half off what they would have paid for the Hot Pot.

Later that evening we went to the center of town to by a DVD player. The VSO teachers found all these DVDs (pirate ones) in their office so I thought we should have something to watch them on. I also wanted to watch my j-drama Liar Game and Attention Please on it. We had gone to the same shop earlier but I did not bring my discs with me and I wanted to make sure they played in the DVD player ok before I (we) bought it. Well anyways we ended up buying it but we were supposed to get some karaoke Mic's with them (for free) but the guy we had spoken to the first time wasn't there and this new guy did not know what the hell we were talking about. So we ended up not getting the Mic's because we would have to pay an extra 30 yuan.

I set the player up in my room because Its near the kitchen I told them lol. The girls came later that evening but didn't know what they wanted to watch. One of them suggested Liar Game and I was like sure. We only watched one episode because the girls wanted to go to bed. They seemed to enjoy the show (I think). Oh it has Japanese audio but English subtitles, often they would ask me to explain an English word for them.

I would say the only annoying thing is that the player glows blue even when its not on so its very annoying when you try and go to sleep. The only way to get rid of it is to plug the thing out.

Right now I'm at school waiting for my lesson, I came here at 7:30 but my lesson doesn't start until 10:30. It is so pointless being here at this time with nothing to do, all I do is use the Internet. This doesn't not help me or the students.

Anyways that's it for now, sayonara lol

5 October 2008

Its Sunday But.....

Well its Sunday today but guess what I'm at School. But no its not because I'm Teaching or anything its because Mrs. D told me I was. But it turns out I don't start until Monday. This is annoying me now, I had to get up at 6.30 to get ready and it turns out I don't even have to teach anything. Well I guess its not that bad since I have to get back into the routine of getting up early (not like I don't do that already anyways.) and getting ready for School.

Nothing much has been happening recently, since You Lan left haven't been doing much. I went for a few walks with the other foreign teachers and went back up the mountain a couple of times. But nothing really exciting.

Yesterday I decided to go into one of the new shops near the School. By the way every time there is a new shop that opens they put a whole load of fire works outside the shop then just set them off on the street. The noise is so loud, the first time I heard it I almost had a heart attack. They sounded like gun shots going off.

Anyways I went into the shop and like most places people in there are quite friendly they often tell me to sit down and relax. Well this place was no different, I sat down this time since I had nothing to do. Also the little girl from the supermarket was in there too so I decided to hang out for a bit. In this shop were two boys and the boss works in the shop next door.

While I was there they let me use their laptop/internet. Most of the time I just fooled about on Youtube and showed them videos. They seemed to like the R&B videos I was showing them or rather they liked the dancing in the videos.

Later the boss came and spoke to me (or tried to) and then they began to teach me Chinese words/phrases. One of them was something like "Menu Go Lai" but I'm not too sure how you spell it. It means something like "pretty girl/young girl come here" it was quite funny when I was saying it to people. They told me to say it to some older ladies too, luckily though they they just thought it was funny lol.

I stayed in that shop for a few hours mostly chatting/playing with the girl. She was the only one who could understand some English. However there were times when the boys and the boss of the shops just wanted to take pictures with me. They probably want to tell their friends they have a black friend lol.

Well today there are supposed to be 4 Chinese girls coming to live with us. They will be translators for the foreign teachers. The house is going to be packed now, luckily we don't all have to share a shower. But its good now since I will have someone young to talk with. Looks like I can go to the club now lol.

Anyways that's its for today, will post later cya.

2 October 2008

Up In The Mountains

OK so I've had a few days off from school, not including today though because I'm back at school writing this. On Sunday I went to my normal restaurant for my dinner but this time the families eldest daughter was there. Here name was You Lan and she was also 22 like me. She told me that she is learning English at University and would like to become my friend to practice English with me. I didn't mind because this gave me someone else to talk with.

That same evening You Lan asked me many questions such as what do you like to eat, what music do I like and what do I like to do when I'm not at school for example. After she heard my answers she said that she would cook a meal for me at the restaurant and that I must come on Monday to have it. I was said "...are you sure?" she just said "...yes" so I thought ok then.

When I woke up on Monday I also thought to myself...."Its about time I got a haircut". I phoned Mrs. D and asked her for some help, she told me to meet her at this hair salon because she was already there getting her hair done. When I got there a lot of the people in the place were interested in seeing a black man but ah well they gonna just have to get used to it. When my time came to cut my hair, the guy didn't know what to do. I had showed them a picture from a book of what I would like but still they were a little confused. The guy tried to cut my hair as if it was straight hair. First he would comb it using a fine tooth come and then try and use the clippers. But I kept on telling them just to comb it then go over my whole head with the clippers. Eventually they got what I meant, the haircut isn't the best but for 8 yuan (which is like 80p) I cant really complain. They also washed my hair twice and it still only cost 8 yuan.

Anyways after the haircut the other foreign teachers and I went to the mountains with each of our assistants. After a climb of about 400 steps (maybe a slight exaggeration) we arrived at the top. At the top there were many things to see and it was a nice park/shrine. Once we had finished walking around our assistants took us for dinner. I told them I didn't want to eat because someone was cooking dinner for me. However I was tempted at times to just start eating all the food. But 90% of the time I was able to resist haha.

When I finally managed to get to You Lan's restaurant it was about 8pm. Her parents had prepared a lot of food for me. First I had cabbage in some soup, potato strips, rice, chicken and chips. Yea her family made chips for me, I didn't ask them too but they made them. The chips were thin like French Fries and not fat like how home made chips normally are. The mum also made some home made tomato ketchup for me too. It taste quite sweet ^-^. Overall I liked the food and it was even better that I didn't have to pay anything, thanks You Lan. =)

Earlier I had asked You Lan if she wanted to come to the mountains with the foreign teachers and I but she had said no because her uncle was visiting. We then agreed to go the next day which was Tuesday. She said I should get up early to go because that is the best time since the sun is not high and the weather is cooler. We decided upon 8am to meet up.

When Tuesday came You Lan, her sister and her cousin were waiting for me outside my place ready to go. We walked to the mountains hung out at the top for a bit took some pictures and fooled about. Later her little cousin said she was hungry so we went back pretty quickly, on the way back we passed a Mosque and outside where Chinese Muslims, they all seemed excited to see me. Maybe they thought I was Muslim too, who knows haha.

While we were going back we came across this dog yard, basically it was a yard filled with dogs and puppies too. The puppies were playing with each other and the other dogs were just walking around. There must have been maybe 6 or 7 dogs there and about 5 of them were puppies. I took some pictures and then left.

You Lan then took me to some place to have something called Bouzu (I don't know the spelling), it was like a dumpling. I preferred the meat one which was smaller to the bigger one filled with Tofu and Vegetables. You Lan told me that she had to go to the country to visit her grandparents for a few days but she told me to come look for her in the restaurant in a few days. I was like sure, will do.
In afternoon the other teachers and I went to the town and supermarket. I bought some incense and other fresh smelling things. I also bought a mop since there was no way to dry the one I had been using and it was getting a little annoying. I also bought a dart board for like 28 yuan which is nothing. I thought it would give us something to do in the dorm.

Later that evening we went to eat at some out door restaurant that just cooked food on a barbecue. You choose which food you would like and then would cook it for you. The food was pretty cool and not too expensive either. It worked out to be 88 yuan for 5 of use to eat there.

Not sure what I'm doing today but it appears that I do not have to go to school until the 5th hehe. So I can rest and do what ever I like for a little while longer. I think I might go and play some darts now, will post again soon.