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China in a nut shell My dealings with China

Nice to meet you.....to meet you nice!

CHINA | Friday, 14 October 2011 | Views [658] | Comments [4]

Welcome to the new AND updated blog. The KEY between C and B doesn’t work on this keyboard so any word with it will mean it is missing but there aren’t that many words with it in it anyway…except improved, have, very… this is going to be tough to read SORRY!

p.s. I moved the file to a new computer searched all the _ and changed them to v so I hope it is easier to read but I am not changing the story now!

So I flew from Aberdeen to Paris at 6 am and only made the flight by 8 minutes, which for me is not a lot of time, because a family of 5 were at the counter for 45 minutes and everyone (IT TYPED the letter but won’t again!!! CRY.) had to wait. Anyway a cheeky croissant later I was Charles de Gaulle (thinks that right). There were free PS3’s you could watch clips or play demos on and of course I obliged. HOWEVER so did a maybe 5 year old American boy. WELL I have never been so worried of criminal charges as that. Let me explain. I was playing a game and the small comes over and tries to climb onto this chair too high for him, after seeing me he says “My mummy told me not to talk to strangers” WELL what do you say? NOTHING. I ignored him, and rightly so I think!!! SO he then asked me “Guess what my name is?” OH SHIT I thought. I must of had the biggest oh my god face ever. Here I was, a little boy striking up a conversation with a me, single adult man in an airport AFTER telling me he shouldn’t. I was almost sure SWAT or some special task force was just waiting behind a wall somewhere hoping for the worst with the child actor BUT it seems he was just bored. I talked to him eventually after him asking me lots of questions. He kept asking for help with his game and talking to me about games. I wasn’t sure if running away was a good idea or not so I stayed for maybe 2 minutes and then as I was about to leave his mother comes over and checks me out. I explain exactly what happened and who I was in the first breath and she thought it was hilarious. This kid was insane and I was crying with laughter after some of the things he said to his mum about how excellent he was at games and every where he had been “I have been to China twice” and his mum is like “Oh really? When was that? I haven’t been to China.” Boy “You don’t remember those two times? Well I have been” so sure of his lie. He said a lot of other stupid stuff like that, maybe it was his accent or my nerves but it was ery funny. He talked to me about travel, games, pets. No matter how I look at it or try and explain it I always look like a villainous paedophile. I AM NOT. I did run away as his mum decided to leave him next to me to play more games because I couldn’t take….it… the guilt, the true fear? I don’t know the word describe such a horrible feeling. But I got my flight to HK all right. Next two gassy European men who needed a few too many toilet breaks for my liking (I had the aisle seat). I watched 4 movies and got a little sleep. Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson was excellent! I wish I knew more about writers and their history after that film but I still haven’t gotten internet to do the research. Landed and made my way to my friend Grahams. After getting lost a few times I found his street but couldn’t find his number. It was 122 and I walked past a 122 however this door looked so old and was so small with such steep stairs I guaranteed he couldn’t live there. Alas turned out he did, on the 9th floor, with no lift, and a 20Kg bag…thanks mum. 2 1/2 heart attacks later a resolved not to let others choose my suitcases contents or go to his house again. That night we got boozed up. We watched the scheme and I translated for him and he couldn’t believe it was the same language. I couldn’t believe I understood it either though. They are pretty broad. We then watched what Graham told me was the worst film ever made ‘Troll 2’ and we decided to drink when we laughed. I woke up late for meeting Crystal with just a tad of  a hangover. I zoomed to the train station and made it 5 minutes before Crystal. Downed some water and put on a smile. It was really fantastic to see her again but it was weird. I feel so stupid for drinking so much but tried to shrug it off. We walked and talked as I strategically took her to the peak entrance and asked her what she wanted to do. At the top of the peak we ate our first meals of the day and took a few photos. It was a nice day and she was amazed at all the foreigners. We then went to ‘Temple street’ for some shopping, arrived to early to find them setting up. Decided on another attraction far away recommended to us and it wasn’t where was billed. After all this walking I had the John Wayne down and I got more stares that in mainland China. So what did we do? Go for a shop and a walk on the ‘Ladies Market’ which is a massive street of stalls that sell everything you don’t need. We bought some rubbish (e.g. a banana USB which is rubbish but also AWESOME) and then had some dinner. Back to Grahams for some much needed sitting. Had some chat with Graham as Crystal hadn’t seen him yet and then bed. ZZZZZZZZZZZ 8 30 it is and off we are to see the giant Buddha. He is not a small chap. Snap Snap Snap goes the camera and a merry time was had. There seemed to be a bubble theme so there were lots of machines pumping out thousands of bubbles a minutes which did look pretty god damn cool too. After that home to pack and head to China. We were supposed to be there by 7 o clock for dinner with the boss. On route a text explaining it was all off but our hotel was booked. A bit of a F U because we had hurried but I guess a free evening. However the flat we had chosen and paid to book was then rent to another, so fucking stupid!!! WHY DID WE PAY A DEPOSIT AND TELL THEM WE ARE MOVING IN TOMORROW AND THEY STILL RENT IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!!! I went a little mental….We arrived in Guangzhou at around 9 and immediately went to view 2 flats. The next day we viewed 3 and the day after that another 4, ultimately choosing the last one we saw. This was a real experience. We saw all but the last one with the same women form the same company. We even chose the second flat we saw at 2500 RMB a month. We went on the 2nd night to sign the papers and there was magically a 100 RMB a month added on for no reason except the girl got the price wrong. Some shouting by Crystal later we went for a walk saw another house in the same building 1 floor above the one we liked and took it. So all the other companies hard work was for nothing. GOOD. It was a bit bad of us though because apparently it was the girls second week on the job, we were her first customer to ask to buy a flat with her and then she messes up and we shout. Crystal and her got on really well so Crystal was a little sad (tear) after shouting at the girl and her boss and we later found out the new girl cried a lot about it after we left. So some guy who was there as well asked Crystal to call her and tell her some good things because she was new. My first reaction was %^&&*%& OFF but I did feel bad for her. Wouldn’t you? She was a nice girl but it just seemed like we had been tricked and neither of us trusted them after that. We now live in a flat on the 10th floor. It is a colourful building a bit old but close to everything we need. Only 10 minutes to my school and 40 to Crystals (she chose this location!!!! And it saves her 20 more minutes which she travelled from her sisters.)It has 2 floors but is one big room. Take a look. It is nice I think with just a few small problem which we can sort out. We moved in the day after seeing it (seen at 9pm, signed the lease at 10pm the owner came out at that time to do it too) got the keys at 8pm the next day (because of school but we will get there). Moved in the day after and everything was unpacked in 2 hours, Crystal was a machine whilst I, as you guessed, played with everything I saw: coat racks, string, lucky money cats and a Christmas tree were just some of the things. However I did some work like cleaning and unpacked a few boxes which Crystal swiftly re organised. This didn’t please me but I wasn’t doing it right apparently so continued to be annoying. Not like me I know. We now jus need a screw for the water machine and the internet. OH sweet internet how I miss you so, 4 days and counting!!!

       Now we get onto work, the penultimate part of this essay. It is in maybe the best location ever. Directly across form the front door is a piano training centre so I get to her some really nice music sometimes and I want to learn the piano from a pro so maybe I will get a kid to teach me one day. Next to the (all on the second floor of the same building) is a ping pong centre. O            M                   G            .SAWEEEEEEEEEET. I saw maybe 4 year old boy playing well enough to beat me tonight so I will challenge him. AND the floor above is a massive empty gym. BIG weights room with no one there, big machines room with no one there, a swimming pool on the roof (shallow but still on the freaking ROOF). I can’t afford it now but when I can I will buy a membership. So I think I will be a buff, ping pong, piano master by the end of the year...watch this space ladies! I started on Sunday to my own disbelief. Saturday I went through the mill getting all sorts of insanely organised and quick tests. I love being tested it seems because I didn’t want it to end. Blood, eye, ultrasound, x ray, more blood, weight (crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry), height, some weird cramp on thingies, pee. All in around 10 minutes. I wanted to go again but only 1 test for me. Onto some serious sitting about a police office and then back to the school I was originally going to be working in to sit…that's right they had nothing for me to do but sit. They said Crystal and I could go early for flat hunting and we did. The next day was my first day at MY school, Sunday. There were no classes until the Tuesday because of some Chinese national holidays and the person responsible for training me was busy so I sat on an arse breaking chair in a room alone for almost 9 hours. I got to look at the computer software they used and later was told to write down the mistakes I found. The program was and still is riddles with amazingly obvious and stupid errors. Spelling, grammar, even the native English speaker was a spaz. She said Choir, as in a group of people who sing as “Chore” as in to do housework. Well I fill the paper given with every mistake, incorrect timing or anything I didn’t like. Not such a happy Chinese teacher got the list for just 3 of the sections and pretty much just shrugged it off. Oh sweet hatred, do not ask me to hit girls. Anyway Sunday at work was horrible. Monday was a day off and Tuesday was not much better. I got there at 2 and sat alone until 5 09 when a foreign teacher showed up to teach his 5 10 class. He hadn’t been there in a while and I could tell. Not knocking other teachers skills but….wow. He seems to like kids and got on well with them but seemed fed up and didn’t know half of their names it seemed. So I assumed he hadn’t taught them before his response “yes a lot”…cough. He is Columbian has been here 6 years and has taught for 3. I watched 2 of his classes which was plenty enough for me anyway. That takes us too today!! My first class. Started at 2, meeting at 3 class at 6 30. Met the other foreign teacher, Craig who on first impressions seems to hate everything except for golf, so of course he is a cool guy. Only been in China for 7 weeks so a little green to think everything is shit but I guess China isn’t for everyone. Unfortunately we are now a team got cornered by the boss and are now organising the entire Halloween evening that is planned, balls balls balls. 3rd day on the job! What are the chances ah? Not an organised school in the slightest, no time table until today I wasn’t even given training in their software or told that I was allowed take 30 minutes to go get dinner when I was free so I went hungry the second day at work.      ANWAY, the school is nice and the teachers are nice but just not organised or professional at all. Not that I am…toot toot goes my ‘im awesome’ horn. I was supposed to have the baby class (2 years old) at 4 30 but it seems it is off until next week (PHEW). I planned my own lesson which apparently I don’t need to do. The boss said she was going to watch so I was pretty nervous and the assistant showed up 10 minutes before class with her own plan. I sorted her right out and started the class. 2 massively spoilt brats and a champ called ‘Bostar’. It was 1 hour 30 minutes of madness. Got what I wanted done and the assistant thought I was good so maybe I can keep the lie up a little longer. The big boss did not come in and watch the class. After that home to write this, what has turned out to be, monster blog. Good luck making it to the end. Tomorrow same class different students and another teachers class who is can’t make it. Ever teacher couldn’t believe how much I sweat but it is worth it if the kids like me moving about I think.

       So I have met Crystals 1st sister. I was a little scared and from lots of over thinking and what Crystal had and hadn’t said I surmised that she was a serious, controlling monster. I was wrong, of course, she was friendly and even nice. These nice things I say are a guess as I don’t understand anything she says because Crystals family speak all speak Hakka which is nothing like Mandarin. I actually met her again on Crystals 2nd sisters birthday. I met her oldest, younger brother too! He was alright, again full of the Hakka. Click click, sup sup, pop pip, throat sound like a failed sneeze cough. So for Crystals 2nd sisters birthday we went to a Italianish place and had some chow. Crystal and I showed up 40 minutes late after getting extremely lost. Our bus stopped 5 minutes form the place we were meeting but we ended up miles away. No idea how, I blame Crystal. Anyway so at this shindig all of Crystals family were speaking Hakka. The 2nd sister had a boy there who was maybe a friend but neither of us seemed to understand anything they said. I asked them to change to Mandarin for both our benefits and they did, well, they kept speaking to me in Mandarin and I still couldn’t understand anything her family so I was sorry I asked. Must study harder.

And that is all she wrote. Today we are off to find a water company to sell us big bottles of water on demand and see a man about an internet dog. Will keep you posted.

Keep on trucking?

Love Sam xxx

Tags: airport, china, flats, girlfriend, guangzhou, kids, life, school, sister, travel

Comments

1

good blog Sam !!!!

  Dad Oct 18, 2011 1:18 AM

2

Sounds like an eventful few days Sam - hope you getting settled in now! Take care and keep smiling :)

   Beth Oct 18, 2011 6:02 AM

3

Hey Sam, glad to read your doing well, will definitely keep reading this. Email me sometime when you have internet.

  ZuB Oct 18, 2011 7:13 AM

4

hiii im glad you're doing well :) i enjoy that you had to write it without V key :P so you're pretty much the greatest teacher in the world by now? Has the children at school put you off children or not :P huuuugs

  cat Oct 26, 2011 10:56 PM

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