Last weekend, 5 of us visited QingChenShan, just outside of Chengdu. We were going to climb Mt QinChen, which is where Taoism was founded. Although we got off at the wrong bus stop (well we didn’t know which one it was to begin with), we luckily had the mountain to our left so we just navigated our way towards that! It was busy around the entrance so once we had the chance we took the ‘quieter’ path and began the ascent to the top. There were lots of families and tour groups walking around, and an ultra-serious hiker who was fully kitted out and kept punching the rocky walls before running up the steps for some reason! There were temples dotted around various points with shrines to the gods and founders etc., surrounded by dedications and massive incense candles too. Even though it was slightly cloudy when we reached the top it was still a great sense of achievement and definitely appreciated the light rain 🙂
This week my classes have moved on from learning about school rules to zoo animals which I found more interesting to teach. We played charades, got them to draw different body parts of an animal whilst blindfolded, and played the old favourite Slap The Board to form sentences bout what animals they like and why. I’ve had 3 lessons with the same classes everyday, but one of my classes I won’t miss so much! They are just soo hyperactive and noisy, yet there are a group of students at the front who are really trying learn, but today they were all randomly really quiet so I haven’t had a sore throat for once today! I was given a couple of really nice drawings by one of my pupils today- a calligraphy painting of bamboo plants, and a colourful lotus flower.
We’ve been treated to lunch at a nearby restaurant everyday, and I think I’ve gotten accustomed to ‘Sichuan spice’ now as I can eat the chillis and peppercorns (that are in every dish) without my mouth setting on fire! I mentioned to the teacher that we like to eat spare ribs back home so everyday he’s made sure they’re on the menu and piled my bowl high with them. They’re really good but I’m expected to eat them with chopsticks which is near-impossible 😛 We also drink beer with our lunch, and when I had one of my afternoon classes on Monday I was definitely tipsy, hopefully it just passed off as me being ultra-enthuiastic though.
This weekend is QingMing Festival, otherwise known as the Tombsweeping Festival. It’s where everyone travels back to their hometowns to worship their ancestors. They will visit their tombs, clean them, lay offerings, and burn paper money, phones, and furniture as a mark of respect to their past family members in the afterlife. It’s recognised as a public holiday so we get Monday off. I’ve just got my timetable for next week, and I have one class on a Tuesday until 11.50am. Sweeeeeet 🙂