Last time I checked in, we were on our way to Nanshan to see a Kraut-rock band. We left our apartment, got some delicious pizza in Futian, then headed to the concert in Nanshan. It took us about two hours to get there, but it was totally worth it. OCT East is absolutely beautiful. It’s wonderfully quirky and full of thought-provoking art pieces that I really enjoyed. I’m planning on going back there during the daytime just to take pictures and shop in all the little artsy boutiques and bookstores around the area. Just lovely.
The kraut-rock band was pretty good but another band in a completely different venue stole the night. After the concert, we walked into another bar that had a large music venue attached to it. On the schedule for that night…Mongolian throat singing. OMG.
If you have never heard Mongolian throat singing, it’s kind of like the noise of a really deep kazoo coming out of some Mongolian dude’s throat. It’s wild. Please YouTube it when you get a chance. I figured this was also the perfect time to try out the video option on my camera, so you can see our Mongolian throat singers here. If for some reason that link doesn’t work, you can also check it out on my Facebook. Even though it was a trek to get out there, OCT East/ OCT Loft (where the throat singing occurred) has been one of my absolute favorite spots in Shenzhen so far and I cannot wait to go back.
A few nights after this one, me, Spenser, and the two other English teachers at our school (Kane and Sahal) decided to go out in our little downtown portion of Yantian for dinner one night. We found a place that looked like Hot Pot (which we all like) and we went inside. We just pointed at some tasty looking things on the menu and ended up getting 3 pounds of fish for the 4 of us and it was amazing. Below are some pictures of the food as well as some general pictures from our neighborhood:
And, finally, the school year has begun!
Spenser and I are officially English teachers. Our first week was long but very rewarding. Our initial schedules had each of us teaching ten classes but that’s no longer the case. “Nowism” is alive and well in China and they changed around our entire schedules at the end of last week. Now I only teach nine classes, but I’m the only English teacher who has to work on Fridays. Spenser still has ten classes and is pretty pleased with always having a three-day weekend, but he has to teach five classes on Thursdays. Eh, you win some, you lose some.
We’re both teaching senior twos (they’re equivalent to high school juniors) and about one or two classes each of senior ones (high school freshman-sophomores). For the most part, our students speak English very well, so we can talk at a reasonable pace in class and ask really hard questions. Mostly they need help with their intonation and pronunciation. Their writing and penmanship is surprisingly good, but you can still tell English is their second language.
This past week, I had them write abut what they want to learn or talk about in English class. Here are some of my favorite responses:
- “I want to learn about American blue music.” (Plurals are hard.)
- “I like all kinds of yummy food for I am a little fat. So I wonder the United States food?” (I wonder the United States food too. In fact, that’s one of the things I think about the most at the moment. I miss you Company Burger.)
- “I want to learn about something fun between you and your boyfriend.” HA! No, sorry kiddo, not gonna happen. (FYI: Chinese students aren’t allowed to date until they’re out of high school because their parents and teachers fear that it’ll interfere with their studies, so they’re fascinated by dating and relationships but they’re basically clueless about what that means, except for what they see on TV.)
- “I want to learn about the scientists such as Newton. The different culture between China and America. The TV shows like the Good Voice of China. What life and death mean to us, recycle or ending? We live for ourselves or our society? Country or people is more important? Should America declare war on Syria?” ———–> Heads up, this little philosopher might rule the world one day.
- “Sherlock season 3 is going to be on at the end of October. I really like that and I hope we can appreciate it together.”Since most of the girls in my classes are obsessed with The Vampire Diaries, Two Broke Girls, and Gilmore Girls, yes, I would much rather watch Sherlock season 3 with you.
- “Politics. Your experience about politics. I want a detailed experience.” Sorry, but I’m probably not gonna touch too much on politics in class.
- A girl named June wants to know “how to draw picture as Adriana.” She spelled my name wrong, but that’s still super cute.
Oh, their “American” names are pretty awesome too. Current favorites are Kemp, Circle, Boss, Kink, Bing, Wang, Rainbow, Yolanda, Yellow, Frodo, Sandman, Joker, Tiger, Mango, Maple, Dodo, Shellemoon, Hans, Exploder, and Chester Razorback.
Actually, most of the English things on campus make me smile. Apparently, the word “Fire” is very hard to spell:
He he he.
So that’s what’s new. Spenser has promised to write soon, so he’ll be writing the next post. Until then, zai jian!