Not an awful lot to report really. We’ve obviously been here long
enough to get ‘acclimatised’ as things that shocked us, disgusted us,
made us feel sick, horrified us and generally couldn’t believe what we
were seeing . . . we now take for granted as a regular daily
Blimey, we’re going to have a hell of a culture shock when we get
back to Oz! It’s going to take us a while to get used to you
Westerners’ strange ways again. In fact, we went out to a ‘western’
style restaurant recently where we had a choice of chopsticks or knife
and fork; we both instinctively reached for the chopsticks!
We went to another wedding on Saturday evening; been to more
weddings here in six months than the last six years in Oz.
One of our local eateries has closed and been boarded up with some
signs in Chinese characters plastered on the doors. We can’t read what
they say but it’s probably been closed because of some hygiene
malpractice/SARS/chicken flu or, more likely, the owner didn’t pay
enough bribes to the officials.
But the good news is that just a short distance further up the
street we found another ‘hole in the wall’ masquerading as an eatery
which we tried and, low and behold, we can get steak (?) and eggs
there. In addition to this delightful delicacy, they also do a
‘version’ of chips! Wonderful! All for the grand sum of 10 yuan which
equals $2. . . oh the expense!
There is a huge market here in pirated DVD’s and we have gone mad
buying stacks of movies at about $1.80 each. Trouble is, we now have to
buy a DVD player when we get home!
Our contracts here end in July so it is ‘hiring time’ for all the
colleges and universities throughout China. The Uni here where we are
working has asked us to renew our contract at an increased salary but
we’ve also received heaps of offers from elsewhere in China and ‘other
parts of the world’ offering great deals if we sign up with them.
From the far, far North-West of China bordering with Kazakhstan and
Mongolia we’ve had a great offer . . . now that would be interesting!
But . . . the most interesting of all is a job on offer from the
American Arab University in Jenin on the West Bank in Palestine.
Now if we really wanted to live dangerously we could consider that
one; there would indeed be other things to worry about besides the
boring old SARS and chicken flu! Seriously though folks we haven’t
decided what we’ll do for our next adventurous sojourn.
Mike has had two days off work and is now recovering from a heavy cold
which he has now passed on to Angela who is cheesed off with all these
18 - 25 year old nubile wenches (his students) continuously phoning to
see how he is and bringing medicine, fruit etc and giving Angela advice
on how to look after him!
She fears he will never leave this country! The Dean of Foreign Language Dept and his secretary visited him today bearing apples and grapes and reassuring him, he was missed by all and that he is considered a great teacher. Probably the true reason for the Dean’s visit was to make sure Mike was still alive as it is ‘bad form’ to have a foreign teacher die on the premises! Look after yourselves and have fun 'cause we are! Cheers.