Wednesday, 7th, April, 2010. I completely
forgot to fill in my teaching book, like getting students to sign it every
lesson. I went around all my classes in Shuang dao and watched impatiently as
people wrote their names painfully slowly. The grade ones where the worst, One
very sweet girl came up and wrote her name down so slowly, concentrating on
ever action, with a comical tongue sticking out of her mouth. Finally I got
most of them. I was surprised at how much attention the book got from all the
age groups, even with the teenage students when I asked one student to sign,
almost the whole class would come and have a look and fight over who would be
next to sign. I even had the pen snatched mid sign and a fight almost broke
out. Without a completed teachers book you don’t get paid. I want to get paid.
I only have one lesson in the morning now
as opposed to 6 lessons which I have been having this last month, thankfully a
new teacher has taken some of the load. I got up and worked form 8:00 until
8:40 then I was free till 2:30. So I went back home and waved my escrima sticks
about in my underpants on the flat roof. The flat roof is amazing, it’s very
large and it’s perfect for doing martial arts on. The breeze is strong but it’s
also hot so I was sweating a lot. I wondered what the people in the surrounding
buildings must think when they seen a glaring white man in his underpants
hitting the air with two short sticks. Later I fell asleep and then went to the
kindergarten to do my rounds. Some of the really young students are just a
waste of time; they can just about walk so how is 10 minutes of English a week
going to do any good. They are still crying when I come in as well. It just
goes on and on and on. Screaming at the top of their lungs and I and supposed
to teach them “the wheels on the bus goo round and round”, it’s ridiculous.
Anyway I taught away and sweated away as well. It was unforgiving hot today and
beads where rolling down my face. I had a shower just before I came out but I
was still a bit whiff, I think I put on a old sock by mistake and it was
humming at the top of its voice, “I AM A SMELLY SOCK, SMELL MY CHEESE!”, You
cannot get away with being smelly in hot countries.
Later Sarah and I went to the gym together.
We both did another grueling weights class but this time I didn’t shake or feel
too tired. I did leave an embarrassingly large pool of sweat where I was
standing. Chinese people hardly sweat at all, why? I felt like an alien. I
remember being in the yoga class last week. The yoga room has mirrors on all
the walls and I could always see a sea of black heads all below my shoulders.
The room was filled with petit southern Chinese women and me. I would catch myself
in the mirrors. The massive red elephant in the room. A swan vista match bobbing in a tar pit.