The Warmth of the Chinese

I am currently teaching Grade 7 at Zhu You Middle School. Their English level is much higher than I’d expected, despite the other teachers saying they weren’t very good. Luckily I have a standard ‘first lesson’ plan so despite only receiving my timetable on the Sunday where all I knew was what grade I was teaching, I’m able to think on the spot a lot better and more confidently now! I was also able to have a proper Q&A session, something I haven’t been able to do at the other schools yet. They wanted to know my age (22), if I could play piano (yes), if I like China (of course), and if I had a husband! Naturally they asked for my QQ number again so to save being mobbed again I just wrote it up on the board.

We go for lunch everyday at a nearby restaurant with the other teachers and we were quite surprised when they pulled out a bottle of bijoui (a really strong rice-wine) for us to drink straight with our lunch, even though we had afternoon classes! Yesterday they ‘just’ got us a beer instead as I think they could see we weren’t really day-time drinkers! I have herbal tea poured for me every morning when I get into the office and a selection of fruits to choose from as well. I have read in many books that the Chinese will always treat their visitors well and ensure they are looked after, and so far I’ve found this is certainly the case. Last Friday I went into a shop I’d been in before and they remembered me, but instead of browsing they asked me to sit with them and gave me a drink. They got down to my eye-level to look at my big eyes, which they found fascinating compared to their tiny eyes (their words, not mine)! One of the shop assistants asked if I’d like to go shopping with her next weekend so let’s see if that all goes ahead.

I’d planned to have a quiet weekend last week but in the end one of the other foreign teacher’s friends was celebrating their birthday nearby in Xindu so we went out to celebrate with him. He teaches at a University so we went to a club with some of his students. They were all really friendly as they linked arms with me, guided me around puddles and told me a little Chinese history! We made good use of the dancefloor, especially when YMCA came on, and didn’t get back until 4amish.

Weekend plans just seem to naturally fall into place here without much thought, as there is always someone to see, or something to do, whether it’s going for a coffee, visiting a park, or going to a rugby match! This in turn makes time fly so I can’t believe that I’ve almost been here for 2 months now! Anyway I have a lesson in half an hour so I’m going to look back over my lesson plan to make sure it all makes sense, wish me luck 🙂


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