A Travellerspoint blog

Last Day at the Kinder….EVER!

The morning was fun because I had lollies and pass the parcel for the older classes and musical chairs which they all loved. I didn’t even get time to do the big class which was great so I just walked in and chatted to them for a while and gave them all an Australian pencil. (Made in China of course) I got a group photo with all the classes and every teacher wanted a photo with just me and them which I thought was funny but the photo’s look strange because I am a giant and they all only come up to my shoulders! I realise why I’ve had a bad back and been so uncomfortable for the last 5 months looking at these photos with me sitting on a tiny tiny chair I look like Godzilla in a miniature city!!IMG_1428.jpgIMG_1433.jpgIMG_1561.jpg
Woke up this morning and walked Doris to school she was very quiet and teared up when I said goodbye but she’ll be fine in a day or two. It’s probably the hottest day yet and I’m dreading putting my pack on seeing the enormous size of it sitting on my bed! Wade’s given me plastic bag chockers of meat sticks, tofu stuff, milk poppers and all sorts of strange looking things for the trip!
Here's a group shot of all my classes plus some cute kids...
Big Class
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Middle Class
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Small Class 1 (Doris is the grumpy pants in the front...the only one not smiling not only because she knew it was my last day but becuase she's just plain stubborn!)
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Small Class 2 - all boys bar 3 girls and only about 3/4 of them are here really naughty but very funny kids.
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Baby Class 1 - My favourite class and teachers, the kids were amazing, so good, cute, and smart...
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Baby Class 2 - Two kids in this class ever really spoke, alot could match words to pictures if I said them but most of this class was only 2 and alot of the time I just sat in the room laughing at them.
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Baby Class 3 - worst class, you can tell by the fact that only two pairs of eyes are actually looking at the camera (one of which are mine...)! so naughty and no discipline from the chinese teachers, so glad to be finished with them!
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Baby Class 4 - Cute pretty laid back class because it was my last and by 4pm I was so over singing and dancing like a fool.
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Baby Class 5 - Only taught this class for about a month and a half if you could call it teaching seeing they hardly spoke Chinese they were so young...
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Posted by Lhillhouse 23:49 Comments (0)

Dinner With Pip's Family and More Train Dilemmas

Wednesday I left straight after Kinder and met the girls and Pip’s parents at Jiangoumen Station (after they’d told me the wring exit and I waited there for 25 minutes I walked to the right one…) not having a phone can be very frustrating…from there we walked to Ritan Park which is beautiful and found the Stone Boat Café where we had some dumplings and noodles for dinner. IMG_6387.jpgIMG_6389.jpgAt 7pm the next train tickets from Kunming to Guilin that we needed opened up for sale so we had given Cindy money and she was going to the local one near Vik’s house to buy them for us. We got a call through dinner that the ticket place hadn’t sold her any saying they didn’t have tickets and that we’d have to go to the main Beijing station…again. Peta had to go there too to get tickets with her mum so we jumped in taxi’s and met up again there. We stood in line and saw a funny as fight between an agro lady and a guy in the line who luckily wasn’t hitting her back but she was trying to get his throat and strangle him haha there are always a lot of tightly strung people in this huge hall like we were when we finally got to the front and were told there were no tickets… IMG_6390.jpgwe tried another booth and watched them search and got the same result. There is only one train from Kunming to Guilin but it couldn’t have sold out in one hour and all the ticket people said to buy them from Kunming station. Rosie has a flight from Guilin so we have to get there but we weren’t getting anything else from the ticket sellers so we walked out again thinking about our options. We saw an international youth hostel so walked over to it and sat down at the information desk. We got told they can only help us with tickets to and from Beijing and said we should be able to buy them in Kunming but not wanting to risk it we asked them to give us the number of the international youth hostel in Kunming and see if we can get them to book it for us. I left the girls because I remembered a bus number that took me to my door but after walking about a kilometer without finding the bus number I ended up back at the train station and got a subway home anyway which just topped off a not great night!!
Here’s my cross stitch so far…and what it should look like one day.
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Posted by Lhillhouse 23:45 Comments (0)

Final Dinner with Pip and More Train Dilemmas.

Wednesday I left straight after Kinder and met the girls and Pip’s parents at Jiangoumen Station (after they’d told me the wring exit and I waited there for 25 minutes I walked to the right one…) not having a phone can be very frustrating…from there we walked to Ritan Park which is beautiful and found the Stone Boat Café where we had some dumplings and noodles for dinner. IMG_6387.jpgIMG_6389.jpgAt 7pm the next train tickets from Kunming to Guilin that we needed opened up for sale so we had given Cindy money and she was going to the local one near Vik’s house to buy them for us. We got a call through dinner that the ticket place hadn’t sold her any saying they didn’t have tickets and that we’d have to go to the main Beijing station…again. Peta had to go there too to get tickets with her mum so we jumped in taxi’s and met up again there. We stood in line and saw a funny as fight between an agro lady and a guy in the line who luckily wasn’t hitting her back but she was trying to get his throat and strangle him haha there are always a lot of tightly strung people in this huge hall like we were when we finally got to the front and were told there were no tickets… IMG_6390.jpgwe tried another booth and watched them search and got the same result. There is only one train from Kunming to Guilin but it couldn’t have sold out in one hour and all the ticket people said to buy them from Kunming station. Rosie has a flight from Guilin so we have to get there but we weren’t getting anything else from the ticket sellers so we walked out again thinking about our options. We saw an international youth hostel so walked over to it and sat down at the information desk. We got told they can only help us with tickets to and from Beijing and said we should be able to buy them in Kunming but not wanting to risk it we asked them to give us the number of the international youth hostel in Kunming and see if we can get them to book it for us. I left the girls because I remembered a bus number that took me to my door but after walking about a kilometer without finding the bus number I ended up back at the train station and got a subway home anyway which just topped off a not great night!!
Here’s my cross stitch so far…and what it should look like one day.
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Posted by Lhillhouse 23:37 Comments (0)

Dinner with a Dentist, a Man with a Pig, and Gary the Aussie

A few months ago I met a man walking home form the kinder riding his bike. Franz is from Holland he has a Chinese wife, old and he doesn’t work. I’d seen him before walking his pet pig…he owns a huge pot bellied pig that he keeps on the balcony of his apartment and walks it around the neighbourhood. I personally think after getting to know him he’s a bit of an attention seeker because honestly…who wants a pig. Anyway while I was chatting to him a Chinese guy came up which he introduced as Joseph who turned out to be the local dentist that I walk past everyday and he’d seen me stacks before. We got talking and they said I should play pool with them sometime. I basically brushed it off and didn’t see them again. But on Monday he’d obviously come to the school over the weekend because I got his number off two different teachers and another 2 told me he’d asked for me! I haven’t had a phone for a few weeks after loosing it so when I got home I called him thinking it won’t happen because I leave on Friday. But he said he’d call me back after he’d rung Joseph and another aussie guy that he’d met a few weeks back and let me know, and about 10 minutes later he rang back saying to meet him at 8 at the dentists and we’d all go and have dinner then play a few games of pool. Franz and I walked down to the markets where there was a little street food place and we sat down and I ordered some meat sticks and beer because he didn’t know any Chinese even though he was married to one and lived here for a few years claiming to be too stubborn and didn’t like the language…I don’t really know what we chatted about, mainly complaining about China then Gary this other old guy turned up who lived in Sydney but he lost a lot of money is business there so had been coming to China for a few years and now lived here importing stuff to Australia and seemed to be doing a lot better. With the two men and a beer each conversation went from Tibet to Kuwait, to missiles, to being a tiny speck of dust on something much bigger, eventually to Michael Jackson’s death and then they got stuck on conspiracies such as weather Jimmy Hendrix was murdered and something called HAARP in the US that sent energy up that caused the Tsunami but it was all being covered up and called a natural disaster haha this is what happens when old men don’t work and spend every spare minute google-ing on the web! By this time Joseph had arrived from drilling someone’s teeth and he and I were laughing at the stupid theories the other two were coming up with. IMG_6379.jpgIMG_6380.jpgAfter dinner he had to go back to another patient who was waiting for him (at 10pm!!! they work so much!) so Gary, Franz and I went next door to the pool hall which was pretty big and pretty full of people even on a week night. This next part no one will want to hear but I have to write it down so I can laugh about it in 20 years. I was absolutely busting to go to the toilet and was pointed right up the back of the pool hall where I could see a tiny light. It was a sink with a girls and boys door either side. I tried the girls and it was locked. I walked into the boys which was just one room but all it had was a single urinal and no toilet paper. I waited for a while about to wet my pants and knocked loudly on the girls. After a while I realised it was locked with no one in there and the lights were off when I looked under a tiny crack in the door. With so other option whatsoever I grabbed some paper towel from the sink and went into the boys room which I had to move a dirty mop and bucket to even be able to close the door, and was very thankful when I found it locked. The rest doesn’t need too much detail but luckily 6 months of having to use squat toilets had given me enough practice to be able to use a (very high) urinal backwards! Haha something I hope never to have to do again.
After that ordeal I met the guys who had booked a table and I played a game with the aussie first…IMG_6382.jpgI actually wasn’t that bad but apparently had no ‘technique’ and did give him a lot of free balls by not even hitting mine! Then the two guys played and they actually were pretty good but not as good as I expected seeing they play almost every week supposedly. Then I played a game with Franz and we both got down to just the black ball!! But he sunk it first. Seeing I lost my phone I haven’t had an alarm to wake me up so I was a bit worried about sleeping in for kinder the next day. I said goodbye after that game and they kept playing for who knows how long but I walked home and flopped into bed about 11:30 (and woke up 10 minutes before I’m usually out the door so got ready in record pace!)

Posted by Lhillhouse 00:47 Comments (0)

Crab Island…And More Train Tickets.

Sunday Morning we cross stitched until about 10:30 because Vik’s little girl Sunny had classes in the morning. Then we piled in the car and drove to Crab Island which is a fake beach near their house. Out the front was a camel with floppy humps, a donkey, and a huge spotty dog all harnessed up to take people for rides in carriages haha I though the first two were funny but I’ve never seen a dog with a carriage! IMG_6376.jpgIt’s really just a huge wave pool with not very good waves surrounded by a half circle of wet dirty sand, but it was a boiling day so awesome to be able to finally swim. Vik saw a little girl from one of her baby classes there so we played with her for a little while then Sunny Rosie and Vik went to get lunch and I floated on the tube for about half an hour which resulted in a very sunburned back but it was so nice at the time…Sunny had more classes at 2pm so we left soon after lunch. After doing a bit of planning for our trip we needed to buy the next train ticket that night for Chengdu to Kunming. Thinking we were going to have to go all the way to the main station again we were relieved when Cindy the Chinese 24 year old living with Vik went to the local office and said we can go there at 7 when they open to get the tickets, so after a yummy Jowzi dinner from Grandma we made our way down there and got them no problems!
When I got home that night Doris was very relieved to see me as now whenever I’m not there she keeps asking Jessica if I have left already because she’s seen me with my backpack around the house! I have a funny story but I can’t remember if I’ve already written it earlier…The maid and I share a bathroom and I leave my makeup bag open on the bench. I walked in one day to find her cleaning her ears out with one of my bobby pins for my hair in front of the mirror….I just went about my business ignoring it thinking she would be embarrassed to have been caught but after she’d had a good old dig she rinsed it under the tap and placed it neatly back in with all the other bobby pins!!! Haha Probably a month or so after that I walked home for my lunch break at the kinder and she was sitting in the lounge room holding a huge gross chunk of hot meat which turned out to be pork and it still had a huge thick skin on it which she was holding over the bin plucking the hairs out with tweezers!!!! I laughed at her and thought it was disgusting making a mental note to avoid the pork in that night’s dinner and walked upstairs only to discover that my tweezers from the bathroom were missing!!!!! Ewwww Hahaha luckily I brought 2 pairs…and the latest thing that’s happened is I was on the computer one night and saw a red razor on the desk that looked like mine…stupidly I didn’t take it but sure enough when I had a shower that night it was missing…that’s more gross then funny but still what could I do. Anyway it happened to be a hot night and Jessica was wearing only a singlet top at dinner, she happened to lift her arms up and……no hair!!! So I guess I know what happened to it. Again brushing it off as a very strange and impolite culture I didn’t say anything and took it as a compliment that someone in this country has finally realised the joys of smooth armpits! But after a few days my leg hairs were getting a bit out of control so with no other option as gross as it was I went looking for my razor because it was taken and just not returned. I couldn’t find it in the office but at the time Jessica had just left for Shanghai so frustrated and ready to get out of this country I went and bought myself a nice new one that gets kept safely in my room and I haven’t seen it again to this day!

Posted by Lhillhouse 00:41 Comments (0)

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