Recently, things have been going quite well. We’ve FINALLY established a weekly routine that helps keep us sane and able to digest all that is China. Our school’s schedule continues to be out of wack (for instance, we only worked Monday and Tuesday this week since our students were taking their mid-terms starting Wednesday), but things are starting to make a bit more sense. Our lessons continue to get stronger, and we’re better able to communicate with our students every day. It’s nice to be in a routine again. After the craziness that was August and the uncertainties of September, October felt like a breath of fresh air. I feel better about moving here each day and the typical anxieties are dwindling. Ahhh. So nice. But, there are still some surprises:
I was finally out of the apartment early enough one morning to witness our students doing their morning exercises. They do this every day, but this was the first time I saw it. They just stand there, flailing to weird 80’s montage music. Seriously, it sounds like the theme music from the A-Team. I giggled and took pictures, but I digress. Recently, life has been pretty awesome. We’ve been hanging out with more of our CTLC friends and they’re delightful. A few weeks ago, we went out to a teppanyaki restaurant to celebrate our friend Ariel’s birthday. It was super delicious and fun.
Chinese class is going well (hen2 hao3! Sorry, I’m not Spenser so I have no idea how to write in characters on my computer. Oops!). 25 people were originally in my class and now we’re down to 12. Oh well. But the best part about Chinese class is getting to see all of our other friends on a fairly regular basis…well, at least twice a week. We get to discuss our teaching problems, how we try to deal with “that one” student, and if they’ve eaten anywhere good over the last few days. That’s how we’ve discovered some more new and already much beloved spots. Take, for instance, Yantian Seafood Street:
This place is about a 15 minute bus ride away from us and we had almost no idea what was there (except for seafood, that was a given). Our friend Kane set up a night for us Yantian folk go head out there and enjoy some of the best seafood China has to offer. We ate a ton of shrimp, clams, and other assorted fish. It was wonderfully delicious, albeit a little pricey. We’ve slowly been discovering more and more tasty food places around us and I hope to write more about them soon.
Apart from eating very well this past month, Spenser and I also took part in one of our favorite holidays, Halloween! We both had awesome Halloween-related lesson plans for our students that week; in fact, I successfully managed to scare the crap out of my kids with a video featuring Michael Jackson’s ghost. It was wonderful and easily one of my favorite teaching moments so far. On Halloween night, we attended a great CTLC Halloween party where almost everyone went above and beyond on their costumes…including us.
So, I might have gone a little overboard. Spenser and I are big fans of the TV show Adventure Time, so we went as two of the main characters, Finn and Fionna. This means that we had to trek through the horrid land known as Dongmen to find the parts for our costumes. Everyday in Dongmen is like Black Friday. It’s awful. People are yelling, music is blaring, everyone is clapping and trying to get you to come into their stores. It’s a stimulation overload. It was so overwhelming, I forgot to take pictures, but trust me, Spenser and I were not happy after spending just a few hours there. Nevertheless, we eventually got our Finn and Fionna clothes, and I then spent the next few days hand-sewing our hats. Once they were all put together, all the hard work was worth it. This was my favorite Halloween couple costume for us since our first Halloween together: we were The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend from The Venture Brothers all the way back in 2009.
Anyway, the party was a lot of fun. Please enjoy some of the amazing costumes these crazy English teachers put together:
Yes, China is getting better and better every day.