Monday, January 08, 2007

Count Down

Less than three months to go... Lately, I've been completely pre-occupied with thoughts of finishing up here in Tangshan in March and getting my ass on the road. Wanderlust, I guess. I still haven't decided where I'll head first - Zhengzhou or Xi'an - but I have a good idea of what I want to see. I just hope 5 weeks is enough time. I'd like 3 or 4 days in each area, and the hope is to minimize accommodation expenses and maximize wandering around time by covering long distances via overnight train. That reminds me... I'm going to have to ship by sea a lot of things before I go a-wanderin'. I'll leave my laptop and small suitcase with Michelle or Duncan that I will pick up in early May before I fly out of Beijing, as I want to travel light and not lug around more than a backpack for those 5 weeks. ... now I just need to find a good backpack...

However, I'm not sure how I feel about going back to Canada. In a way, I'm looking forward to it, but in another I worry about it. I didn't have much culture shock coming over here, but I know I'll experience reverse culture shock when I return. I also have no clue what I'm going to do in terms of a job. I suppose I'll have to wait and see. I'm hoping that the Sojourn in April will help me find a bit of closure in terms of feeling as though this experience has been worthwhile. With the weather having been inclement since November, I haven't really been out and about. I haven't been to tai ji quan in a long while, either - not for 2 months. Again, due to the weather. Aw well. If I feel weird when I go back to Canada, I'll just consider it temporary and work on getting back here, albeit to someplace more... authentic and away from the commercial zones. Tangshan is not what I thought of when I pictured "China".

Oh, the Christmas package I sent and ranted about arrived without issue on the 27th or something, so I'm happy about that. I also have xmas packages arriving here in the near future to look forward to and enjoy. New Years was a quiet affair - I just stayed at home and watched movies and did some reading. It didn't feel like anything special, which was fine by me. It's odd to think that it's 2007, though. The Transformers TV show was set in 2005 and I remember as a kid thinking 2005 was aeons away, almost untouchable. The Transformers movie, coming out this summer, looks like it'll be fit only for compost, though. They changed Bumblebee from a VW Bug to a stinking Camaro because, and I quote, "A Camaro is cool," smiles the dumb-ass producer. "Herbie the Love Bug isn't cool." Morons. Megatron has also been changed from a gun to some secret airplane (what... there weren't enough jets amongst the Decepticons?), and the movie will be focusing on the "human element". What fucking human element? Spike, the twerpy kid? I don't have much confidence that the movie will be worth the $12 it'll cost to see it.

On another note, I'm still having internet problems over here due to the earthquake(s) that hit Taiwan a week or two back. (It's taken 8 minutes just to load 10% of one of my pictures on Flickr.) Everything's so fickle at the moment. Some sites load quickly, others I have to enter a few times to get it moving. However, when that all gets fixed the new trans-Pacific cables are supposed to be 60% more efficient than the old ones. It's also scheduled to be fully installed in the next week, but I'm not holding my breath.

I had my first show class yesterday, and it went off without many hitches (class photo at the top). No parent complaints and the kids did quite well. I had very little involvement - they ran the 50-minute show, which I wanted. The idea was not to demonstrate concrete grammar or vocabulary, but to show a developing conversive ability using language learned over the course. I didn't have a single parent who raised an issue, and I didn't have any "may I make a suggestion?" crap. I'm quite relieved it's over with now. Oh, it was also filmed. The local news station is doing a segment on our school. It'll be 15 minutes taken from 6 hours of footage captured on Saturday and Sunday. I'm asking to get a DVD of both the segment and all my footage. It will have about 35 minutes of my Early Learner 2 class, my HF-Starter class and the TB 2B show class.

Anyhoo... that's about it for now. Gunna go grab something to eat.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Heya Patrick.

Just letting you know what's going on in my life, besides the same old same old (which is always, by definition).

Last night's sparring class was the first one where we actually did sparring instead of drills. It was freaking FUN! I'm going to start going on Tuesdays at lunch too, apparently they do it more often at that time. I got clocked once or twice, but didn't end up noticing it until later.

Besides that, we finally have snow on the ground. I hear it'll go away on the weekend when they're calling for rain. Wahoo.

See ya bud.

Andy