the last few days

Not really much to note in the last two days; just teaching more English and having troubles with my rowdy class – I have the 5 main trouble-makers all in my class and so it’s really quite hard to keep control. Yesterday I did badminton and party games rather than the art afternoon activity, and it was good to get some more practice at badminton. I used to like it a lot as a child and I was quite good, I managed to beat everybody yesterday and remembered a lot that I had last practiced when I was 14. Unfortunately, at the end as I was playing my last match I lost my balence slightly and slid along the floor. In most gyms this would not be a problem, however in this gym there are random metal bars covering some of the joins in the floor, some of which have slightly jagged metal bits coming out of them. I was playing bare-foot as sports shoes are far too hot when playing in weather which is already 35ish, and sandles don’t work well, so I skinned quite a large area of my right foot. Fortunately there was no blood drawn but it was very very painful and is still painful to walk on today. Oh well!

Today we had a Meeting, this being a special day and invited many people, perhaps 15 coming with only one teacher. They seemed to really like the western style of meeting and I gave a short presentation about John’s way, truth and life. Many people are very inteterested and keep asking us many questions, the teacher said that it was a time of peace in the midst of the chaos that is the school day here and begged that we have this meeting each day.

Just a quick note

Have stayed in bed all day today with flu whilst the others have gone to a “cultural diversity theme park” which apparently means lots of stands documenting the 500+ different Chinese people-groups. Uploaded some more recent photos to the gallery, so check them out if you want!

Chinese driving

In many nations, the style of driving quite accurately reflects the stereotypical temprement of the people. For example, in Italy the general style is probably best described as ‘hot-headed’, in Germany it is done with precision and speed. However, there really is no experiance quite like going for a drive in China.

The roads themselves are quite nice – few pot holes and other nasties, but part of the problem seems to be that anywhere that is paved is permissable for driving – it is generally safer to walk in the middle of the road than on the pavement as there are less cars there. Cars are only a small problem though when compared with the uncountable number of scooters and motorbikes around, however these are less dangerous as they can swerve quite easily. The worst has to be the busses and trucks which drive round everywhere and will stop for nothing.

The expreience of crossing a road is one which is to be avoided wherever possible, as one team-member remarked the other day as we were stranded in between 6 lanes of heavy, fast-moving traffic “the only safe way to cross a Chinese road is to take a plane”. Not only do you have to look to the direction you expect the cars to be coming from (ie the left and the right) but you also have to check in front for scooters or cars coming at you, and behind for scooters and other traffic which is trying to cross the road as well. It is quite ok for a bus to do a screaching U-turn which blocks off 5 lanes of traffic as long as there are a few inches of space for the rest of the traffic to keep moving by.

In addition to this, unlike in England where the presence of police seems to calm the traffic and make people watch the speed limit, the police themselves are catalysts in the general chaos that is the Chinese road. It seems to be the Chinese policy of actively encouraging dangerous driving – perhaps as an alternative means of population control.

Anyway, I’m off to go shopping now which entails crossing a mere 4-5 lanes of traffic (the lanes themselves are fluid – it’s simply as many cars as you can fit abreast), so if there are no more updates here you know what’s happened!

Teaching again

Ah back to teaching again today but these kids are much better behaved and much more eager to learn than the previous school’s children, which is a very good thing. Ruth’s class, which I also teach are better at english but much more apathetic. I was drafted to the arts and crafts group this afternoon to help with the origami, which suited me much more than playing football outside.

Last night we all went out to a Pizza Hut – the first time we’ve had proper american style food over here (MacDonalds didn’t really count as it didn’t really have any food at all). We had a wonderful time and we also had a waitress come up and entertain us with magic tricks; so much better than the UK branches. After that we went to a massage parlour which was very good fun again. Anyway, am really tired at the moment, so I ought to go to bed now.