Just got back from the class trip we had today. It was to a place called a ‘national forest’, well at least buy the broken English on the signs. It basically comprised of some temples, a “zoo”, a small amusement park, some shops and a tobogan track.
For the morning, we split into our classes and went on the amusement park rides. There were about 7 in all, most not particularly scary and all designed for Chinese children, meaning that I had to leave my legs hanging outside the capsule whilst being hurled around near bare machinary. The children bought many toy guns and animals and so on from the shops. As the animals (mostly budgeries and hamsters) are not allowed to love in their dorms and we were not about to look after them, we forced them to take them back to the shops.
The zoo was rather small and depressing as most small, foreign zoos tend to be. Most of the animals seemed to be trying to kill themselves, some appearing to have succeeded but for their twitching on the uncleaned floors of their small cages. One noteable difference however was that they had what I would consider to be common animals there as well. Several dogs and cats which roam the streets here in abundence, and also pigeons which upon reflection I don’t recall having seen yet in China, certainly not with the abundence with which they pollute Cambridge. Indeed, I asked one of the Chinese teachers that we were with and he said that although there were some pigeons in China they were not generally found in this area… Interesting…
But the highlight of the day had to be the tobogan ride – it was about 1km of track down the side of a hill and was covered blisteringly fast – several people approaching the 1 minute mark. Andrew managed to take his camera down in video mode so we have several videos of the track. It’s really fun going so fast with your bottom about 2 inches from the ground around banked corners where you have to lean to stop yourself from going over the edge.. unless you want to use the brake.
Tonight, I think we are plonking the kids in front of a film whilst we have some time to recuperate, and I will have to plan my lessons for tomorrow. Subject matter is no problem, it is more how to present it in such a way that they might have a chance of learning something and also making it interesting enough that I do not have to resort to sweet bribary.
Have just looked at my arm while tryping – about half way through the day I was told my neck was getting a little burnt, so I put some sumcream on my neck and face and just rubbed the residue off on my arm. I can now quite clearly see where upon my arm I rubbed as it is noticably whiter than the area surrounding it. Maybe I should spend more time in the sun; which I doubtless will with the swimming activity tomorrow afternoon (as with all other afternoons. This place does have times of good fun even with ll of the hard work.. Speaking of good fun; it’s about dinner time so we’ll have our thrice-daily feast served to us!