part94, F*CK SCHOOL!


Thursday, 29th, April, 2010.
Went to the gym, Saw a woman in the weights class with a t shirt. On the back
it said no homework, no homework and on the from it said FUCK SCHOOL!. With a
large red communist looking star for the U in FUCK, had a Chinese class, ticked
all the boxes and then went back to bed.

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part92, a bad dream


Wednesday, 28th, April. I had a proper
nightmare last night. Not just a bad dream but a real nightmare, reminiscent of
childhood ones. I dreamt that Sarah and I were captured by a group of marauding
soldiers (from Cuba I think). They beat me up and raped me. Out of the corner
of my eye I saw in the other room they were doing the same to Sarah. Afterwards
I stood alone in the dark room, Blood dripping down my legs trembling in fear,
waiting for the soldiers to return. One came back and I stole his knife and
killed him in a gruesome manner rage exploding in my heart as I stabbed the man
again and again until it was nothing but a bloody mass of nondescript meat beneath
me, I prowled around the camp dispatching other soldiers, By gouging out their
eye balls, biting their hands off and ripping open stomachs with my knife. I
ran off into the jungle and spent what seemed like an eternity in utter terror
being perused by the devil soldiers. I woke up with a start and immediately
though how I had not rescued Sarah. It was such an intense dream, I felt like I
had actually experienced it all and in the dream I was slowly turning insane.

 

I taught my kindergarten children in the
afternoon, The hour went quickly but it was very humid and I sweated profusely,
It was very windy as well. I sweated and then the cool wind blew on the back of
my neck chilling me to the bone. It’s a strange sensation being cold but at the
same time you’re sweating like a pig. I went to the new window school to print
some work sheets for the lesson at the Carrefour supermarket that evening. To
my dismay I found the office was closed and no one was there. I had a mild panic
at the prospect of having no lesson plan, a new class with very different levels
of English and two hours to teach. I calmed myself and took a taxi to the
supermarket and went to their offices and asked if I could use their computer
to print the work sheets. A very pretty girl with good English helped me by
showing me to the right computer. Firstly my usb memory stick didn’t work, then
I called Sarah to ask her to send the lesson plan to me by email, but then
Sarah told me that she could not log onto her email.

 

Thankfully a computer whiz shuffled into
the office and with a few deft clicks accessed my files on the usb and we were
ready to print. We got to print a few pages but then the ink ran out and they
had to go and get some more, when it was refilled we started again and got to
print a few more pages but then one of the office girls shut off her computer
because she was going home and it was connected to the printer so it stopped
and we had to wait for another 15 minutes for the computer to be turned on
again. I really felt like having a tantrum. I had an excruciating urge to jump
up and down wildly waving my arms around and screaming myself blue in the face.
Using all my Jedi mind tricks I refrained from doing this and instead focused
on breathing slowly.

 

Eventually after an hour and a half I
managed to print all the pages out. The lesson in comparison to the arduous
preparation was much easier. I just handed out loads of work sheets and tactfully
did as little talking as possible. After the class I thanked the girl who had
helped me and then got back home as soon as I possibly could, before anything
else could challenge me. My taxi driver tried to get a tip out of me. Of course
I didn’t give him one; instead I gave him a withering look and slammed the car
door as I got out. I said good morning to the guards as I entered our building
and finally made it home. Ahhhhhhhhhhh five days off in a row!!!

part91


Tuesday, 27th, April. A fairly
none descript day today, My primary grades 1, 2 and 3 were unusually naughty and
it seemed that other classes where as well, the teachers offices where full of
kids standing near the wall reciting text books. Others where holding their
hands out and a teacher walked up the rows of kids and gave them a sharp rap on
the palm of their hands. My classroom assistant looked like she was about to
die today. She was pale and held her head in her hand for most of the lessons,
leaving the class one time when the grade 1 was singing an extra enthusiastic
rendition of “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. While I was
having a rest in the office a group of seniors where watching we threw the
window giggling away, I ignored them but then one of them started singing at me
saying something about foreigners, I suddenly got an attack of the death rage
and shot up from my seat and started opening the door to go and do something to
them, they all ran away as I exited the office after them. My god I hate
Chinese people sometimes, rude loud fuckers.

Later I went to the gym and then had a
Chinese class with Sarah and read a book in bed before I fell asleep. As I was
drifting off I thought about how hard it will be when Sarah and I leave here.
We have a massive flat, we eat out almost every day, I take taxis to work and
go to the gym and go windsurfing. I thought about how much money you would need
to do all this back in England. Even if Sarah and I were both working back in
the UK we would not have enough money to sustain this kind of life.

part90


Monday, April 26, 2010, after leaving
behind my alter ego Sir quaffs lot to mop up the sorry excuse of a weekend I
just had I got back to terrorizing my students. One class was getting out of
hand today so I picked out the meanest look kid in the class who was sneering
at me and talking in class, I whooshed up the isle like a looming broad chested
specter and brought my hand crashing down on his desk (It bloody hurt my hand)
and gave him the sort of personal look which excluded everyone else from our
private moment. I told him to shut up and stop being disrespectful. His silly
sneer disappeared and he adopted the meek and mild lamb look.

 

On my way back home after getting out of
the taxi, I crossed the wide road and alighted on the other side. A middle aged
man who was walking past stopped in his tracks and ogled me with the sort of expression
one  might associate with when someone
has just guffed directly up your nostrils. I found this too much and I turned
around and mimicked him by eyeballing him up and down with a spiteful sneer on
my face. I looked at his sleazy, shiny, pointy black shoes, his shapeless black
trousers and a crisply ironed white shirts and of course that amphibious face
which God cursed him with. We both glared at each other poo pooing the other
with our looks, I turned and left and heard him mutter something to himself.

 

I had a new lesson today at the French supermarket
Carriefour, I went to the wrong Carriefour supermarket (I was not told which
one to go to, and I thought there was only one in Haikuo), when I eventually
arrived to the correct Carriefour I found about 15 staff eagerly waiting for a
lesson, half of them had excellent English and the other half didn’t even know
how to say, “red, yellow”. It was a shockingly bad class. I lost my inspiration
and wished that the lesson would end. It did eventually and I got a taxi back
home at 10 in the evening. The guards of our building saw me coming and shouted
out “Good morning cheekier” (problem meaning to say teacher), It sounded like
they were saying cheese cake so I replied “good morning, have some cheese cake”
and marched off to the sound of their laughter.

part88-9, A right good bender


Saturday and Sunday 24-5 of April. Another
gloriously unproductive weekend. All my grand plans of wind surfing, strolls on
the beach, going to the gym and learning Chinese where dashed against the
jagged rocks of reality. Basically I spent most of the weekend swigging beer in
a dim stuffy bar, staggering around private community compounds with Kyle
trying to get past the security guards with our Chinese(not half as hard as I
thought it would be). We spent the wee hours of Sunday morning getting to a 24
hour KFC where we had a gargantuan feast……..

 

(Etymology :After Gargantua, a voracious
giant, the father of Pantagruel, in a series of novels by François Rabelais (c.
1490-1553)

 

   ……..of chicken burgers, fries, wraps and
nuggets, before soldering on back home.On the long march home Kyle tried to
stop my throwing my empty beer bottle like a German grenade, he persuaded me
not to. We pointed at rats scurrying over the empty streets and generally talked
utter shit.

 

The whole of Sunday was spent in bed festering
and trying (unsuccessfully) to ignore my own existence, getting out of bed
every so obtain to empty my bladder and down a glass of water to try and get
rid of my demonic head ache. That evening Kyle and I went to the arcade again
and played a few games but it was very apparent that we where both less than
social so we said good bye and went back to our respective homes. As I was
having a lengthy contemplative shower, head bowed, and lent against the old tiled
wall shower wall, like a man with the weight of the world on his sorry
shoulders. I thought about all the plans I had for the weekend. I had the ever
so boring and predictable conversation with myself about how drinking is bad
and I should give it up. Then I got out of the shower and had a beer before
bed. Hair of the dog as they say.

part87, concerntration


Friday, 23rd, April, 2010. I
used my marvelous tennis game today with primary 4 and junior 1 and 2. Surprisingly
junior 2 where the worst at the game. Although they where the oldest and their English
was the best. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that next week they
have their term exams. They were all a bit nerves today and I had to tell them
at least a dozen times to put their exam books away. I remembered when I was
doing my gcse,s, I heard that Chinese students used to commit suicide by
sticking a pen up their nose and slamming the pen on the desk. I highly doubt
this method but lots of people do commit suicide before exams here. One of my
primary grade 4 students corrected my spelling today. This even for me was a
bit embarrassing, I had spelt “horse” as “hoarse”. A timid student stuck up her
hand and pointed and said “no”. I decided to take initiative and told them that
in England we spelt it hoarse while in America they spelt it horse.

 

 My
loving Mum sent me a large parcel from England. I rushed to the security guards
house and picket up my present and when I got home I was happy to find that my
Mum had sent me a mass of books to read. Something I had been missing terribly
recently. Also some of Sarah’s favorite toothpaste. Sarah literally cried in surprise
when she saw the white tubes of Sensodine. “ oh there are so many!”, she exclaimed.
Also there were a few tins of sweeties. I was very thankful and I felt that it
was really my birthday finally. Reading books have become my latest obsession.
Because I have learnt that if you want to become a good writer you must be well
read. It makes sense really.

 

I have been learning Mandarin from Sarah
recently. I have been having endless trouble. Today’s trouble was mixing up the
Chinese word for yoga( Yue jia), with the Chinese word of fish and prawn( yue
xia). There were many more misunderstandings but amidst the turmoil I think I
am doggedly making progress. I have found that concentration helps. It may
sound obvious but I am surprised sometimes at how little I actually concentrate
and am also surprised at how little I learn on these occasions. I remember when
I was learning Tai Ji I bent my whole mind to learning it and I learn it so
fast it impressed my teacher, me and everyone around. It’s the same with mandarin.
If I actually genuinely focus on something it actually pays off.

part86 tennis


Thursday, 22nd, April, 2010. I
played an excellent game with my primary grade 1s and 3s today. It’s called
tennis. You pick a category. Like color, animals or something like that and you
get two students to stand up at the front of the class and they have to folly
back and forth different words from the category. They loved it. I didn’t teach
a thing the whole morning. I just monitored the game. I think I might change to
being a sports teacher, it sounds easier. I stole 5 cartons of yogurt for Sarah
today; every lesson the class has a large box full of yogurt, so I just take a
few from each class. I stole a green, brown, white and golden one. Also I didn’t
have to teach in the afternoon because the Jin pan school was having exams. Oh
yeah! The perks of being a teacher are becoming apparent to me.

 

I had another session at the gym today; I
have become mellower in my approach to training now. I am going for the long haul.
I will do a little each week and any extra is good but I am not going to give myself
a hard time for not training every day.