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Relaxing N Window Shopping N Eating Snails

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Hey Hey and G'Day to you all

Hope alls well in your life N lands. Everything sure is great here. I had such a fantastic weekend. I walked and talked, ate snails and window shopped. Nothing too exciting but none the less it was very relaxing!

Friday night I met Lisa for dinner at the Market Place. We then walked and played pool for several hours before I walked her to her door. My friend Mike called and I met him and a friend at the big BBQ area. His friend can speak English and rather well. He has been in Tianyang for six months and sells farming products. For most of these months he was wanted to meet me so he could share beer and converse in the English Language. He loves English and was sad his was slowly being forgotten.

Luckily Mike had met him in the Tax Office the day before and invited him to BBQ. Mr Xia knew something was strange when Mike actually introduced himself in English and he responded in English without thinking. They then began text mailing in English. Why had Mike introduced himself in English? For some reason Mike thought he was a foreigner and that he 'just didn't look like a normal Chinese person'. Mr Xia is from Hainan Duo (or Island) which is located off the southern cost. Me, I'm still baffled as he looks Chinese to me. A strange occurrence but I now have another new friend. We had a great evening that made for much laughter from the people around us. All conversation was in strict English. Even when one of them couldn't quiet understand what the other was trying to say, they would explain and figure it out in English. This made for much laughter from me!

It's strange that it has taken well over a year since I have been in Tianyang and that it has taken this amount of time for the male English teachers to gather the courage to talk to me. Even the female teachers from the tiny little village schools have the courage to talk to me. Though their English is limited to that they teach they still try. I guess the males are bound by their pride as are males everywhere in the world. In China, a mans pride seems to be larger than a lot of other countries I have visited. To make a mistake is to loose face. This I have found is a rather large barrier in China.

I have met several other male English teachers since the new bbq area opened. They have actually came over to introduce themselves, taken my phone number and have actually called and we have met for bbq and beer. It does pay to stay in the same place for more than one or two terms. My plan here in Tianyang was always to stay two or three years. Maybe this plan will be fulfilled before I head to my next town. I was thinking Beihai. The ocean calls!

Saturday I rose late and headed to the market place for fruit, eggs and other supplies. I played my usual game of Charades and we all had a great time. I spent about an hour walking around buying fruit and playing with some of my students. I had a lazy afternoon on the computer and then headed back to the market place for won ton noodles as dinner approached. My usual dinner time has become somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30pm as I always eat noodles or bbq with some students after school or prior to English Corner (around 4:30 or 5:30pm). After my bike ride I throw thoughts, pens and textas around for the following day's lessons and by around 10:00pm or so I am hungry again.

Around 8:30 I met Lisa at her place. She had a friend over and we all cooked River Snails and noodles for dinner. If you ask the Chinese, these are NOT snails. I always call then 'Wornyo' which means snails and we all end up in a big argument. I say hey, they have a shell, they move slowly, they are a TYPE of bloody snail. Whether you like it or not, you are eating SNAILS! It's so funny, they eat dogs, pig's eyes and all sorts of innery type things but won't admit to eating snails. After a beautiful evening of eating river SNAILS and noodles I said good night and headed to the Market Place for a beer. It was such a beautiful evening. The air was warm and the breeze cool, life was beautiful.

Sunday morning headed out for breakfast with Lisa and we then to caught a road side bus to Baise. We spent the day talking and walking around whilst window shopping. We met up with Sarah the Canadian English Teacher for lunch. We found a little place and ordered sweet and sour pork, green leafy vegetables and several other yummy dishes. As Sarah and I talked Lisa concentrated on us talking. She surprised herself that she could actually understand most of it as we liaised at our own leisurely pace. That of our normal FAST! Her English is getting much better already. She had the basics and from there it's just been matter of time and actually using it. Already I find that I don't have to slow down as much. Once I explain something once she remembers and surprises me my using it soon after.

As Sarah had plans for the afternoon we said good bye after lunch and we continued our aimless walk around Baise and little back streets. We caught the bus home around 6:30pm and headed to our favourite place for dinner. Its amazing the appetite you can work up from a day doing sweet bugger all. After walking Lisa home I spent the rest of the evening reading the South East Asian Lonely Planet.

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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