This week has been so much fun! Last weekend, I met up with a few of the others in Chengdu city and after we checked into the hostel, we went shopping at Chunxzi Market. This is a well-known market with 4+ floors of tiny stalls all crammed together selling anything and everything! I’d only bought boots and trainers with me so desperately needed some summer shoes, and managed to haggle a pair of flat shoes down from 180RMB to 50 🙂 Once we couldn’t take any more of the heat inside (it was a boiling hot Saturday), we visited a building which has a giant panda crawling up the side of it. I’d been there before and once you reach the top floor, the building turns into a rooftop garden, where the giant panda is crawling into and is much cooler and quieter compared to the busy streets 🙂
Later that evening, around 12 of us went to the Sichuan Opera which we’d booked through the hostel. We didn’t really know what to expect but there were a variety of performances, ranging from comedy sketches, to instrument playing, to hand silhouette figures. They ended the evening with the famous Sichuan Face-Changing Masks, where basically they somehow change their mask from a smiling green face for example to a red frowning one just by turning around or holding their cloak up for a couple of seconds. We tried to figure out how they did it so quickly, I think they must just press a button or something as it was so instant! They also had a room set up next to the stage where you could dress up as a Sichuan Opera performer. We didn’t get involved with this but we did take a few photos, they all looked sooo pretty. The show lasted just over an hour so we were back at the hostel for 10ish. We met some of the others and started drinking as we were heading out to Shamrocks again 🙂 Once again we had a good night there and they set the bar on fire too at one point for some reason. By the time we got to McDonalds, we saw that they were serving breakfast, and didn’t get back to the hostel until 6am-ish so a pretty good night 🙂
This week was my last week at the primary school 😦 The pupils went a bit crazy with autographs, knocking each other over and getting me to sign their arms and hands, and I received some really nice gifts from them too. I got a photo frame, some lucky bottles, a cup, notebook, a pen, and some Chinese roses 🙂 Once again the pupils have been really enthuiastic and giving their all in the lessons which makes everything run so much smoother and FUN! I also taught them London Bridge which they loved, but for whatever reason It’s Raining It’s Pouring wasn’t so popular 😦 They’re also the first school not to laugh at ‘mouth’ sounding like ‘mouse’ when I taught them Head Shoulders Knees and Toes too 😀
Yesterday, we finished teaching at 3.30pm. Our teaching assistant, Rain, took us on a walk as the school backs out onto a massive farming field area. There were tons of fields for cabbages, wheat, beans etc., and was probably the most quiet and peaceful part of China I’ve experienced so far! There were little rivers flowing next to the pathways, butterflies everywhere, and everything seemed really authentic. So nice 🙂 We walked back to the school and then we went to a hotpot restaurant with about 12 of the other teachers. The evening started off relatively laid-back as we sat around eating, chatting, etc. however then they wanted to know how much beer we could drink! Even though I insisted no more than san (three) bottles, they felt the need to challenge this and the gambei’s started! Everyone was pouring glasses of beer for everyone and we all stood to shout ‘gambei’- this means bottoms up aka finish your drink! As soon as we put the glass down, it was filled again, and a few minutes later another round of gambei would take place! Our two drivers were also with us and because they didn’t have to drive that evening, we made sure they drank lots too as they hadn’t been able to drink with us at lunch before 😉 The dinner then just turned into everyone challenging each other to drink more and more, and took great delight in telling us we’d each drank wu (5) bottles! All in all our group of 15 got through 40 bottles of beer. When I got back later that evening I had to lie down on the bed as everything was spinning so much! Luckily I was feeling fine today ready for my final lesson.
So that’s another primary school down and another week that I’ve loved every minute of. I hate looking at the calendar now to see how little time I have left- just a few months to go now ! 😦