A Travellerspoint blog

MOTHERS DAY forgotten in Nanning. Sorry Mum!

Hey Hey and G'day to everyone,

Before I begin,

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YA MAR KETTLE

I HOPE YOUR DAY WAS AS SPECIAL AS YOU ARE

Sorry I didn't ring, I actually FORGOT it was Mothers Day.

SORRY! SORRY! SORRY!

For the reader, I did remember later that evening and sent a text message from the Market Place. Oh the wonders of the modern world. How a simple text message can keep one in the good books and also in the family!

I had such a great weekend in Nanning. I wasn't going to go as I'm actually getting a tad bored with Nanning. The reason I did go was Jacque from Guigang had organised a weekend to meet Judy and I. She was in need of some 'Foreign Company'. It seems that 99% of all the foreign teachers have left Guigang and have not been replaced. Pity for the Nirvana Bar owners. I hear now that the foreigners have left no one really goes there anymore. Now that's a real bugger for them! It's such a great little bar too. Many Chinese were to be found there, mainly friends of foreigners and those who want to practice their English. Many of them beautiful girls too! Bugger! Now that there are no foreigners OR KTV there is nothing to keep the Chinese amused.

Anyhow back to it. Friday was an awesome day. My Grade 3's were fantastic. I was revising 'emotions' and they were happy, they were sad, they were confused and they were mad. I made up a song using the different noises we make when we express emotions, so I obviously called it the 'Emotions Song'. On the board I had a huge amount of faces expressing different emotions and after teaching each noise I turn into a conductor and as I point, the students go through the noises. They have such a great time especially when I point to sick and VERY ANGRY!

Strangely my Grade 3 day always ends much too quickly and soon I was on a roadside bus to Tiandong to meet Judy. We then caught an express bus to Nanning. We arrived around 10:00pm. After booking into the trusty Ying Bin Hotel across from the train station we headed out onto the Nanning streets. Being a hot night we slowly made our way towards BBQ Street where we found a sidewalk table and sat for an awesome meal and cold beer.

Saturday morning found us on a quest. It was a quest to find ANOTHER new pair of Sturdy Steeds for me! My new sandals purchased in Jinghong (Xishuangbanna) had been fixed so many times that they weren't worth fixing anymore. There was nothing left to fix. The actual sole had begun to rip apart. NOT GOOD, in fact unbelievable! After visiting many shops full of Sturdy Steeds I purchased what I've been told are a 'China Top Brand' or a very good brand called 361 Degrees. I'll keep you posted! Time will tell.

As Judy will be heading back to Aus soon we then headed off to find the CITS (China International Travel Service) so she could book her plane ticket home. Yes, another Aussie is leaving China for the comforts of the homeland. Here they all find jars full of vegemite, actual pizzas in the shops with a pizza painted on the window and a good clean cold Boags Beer all year round. Boags Beer, it's the best beer in the world mate!

Judy'll be leaving near the end of August. Prior we will be travelling through Yunnan up into Sichuan. From there she has some sort of plan. I can't remember what it is but from looking at the map it has to be something like from Sichuan we'll go up into Gansu, Ningxia, maybe to Xi'an in Shaanxi, through Shanxi and into Hebei and then Beijing. What ever and where ever we go it should be a good journey. I stayed with a friend's family six years ago in Xi'an so if our journey takes us there I will be looking forward to meeting up with them again. I haven't been to Beijing for six years and if we don't make it there I won't be crying. Much too big! It's just too damn BIG!

Whilst waiting for the English speaking guy to return from lunch we took a stroll through the Peoples Park. Lovely park and so nice and quiet. I had visited there with Kylie and Gary many months before. On that visit we hired a little motor boat and Gary continually rammed into other boats. Crazy man! Must be the Chinese in him! Gary, your a crazy bugger! The park itself is beautiful in places but I wouldn't trust the roller coasters and other theme park wiz bang fun things!

After booking the ticket we headed to the train station to met American Jacque. She replaced Aussie Karen. Aussie Kev found himself a girl and headed to Shenzhen and has never been replaced. It rained off and on through out the day. We found the Foreign Bookshop and spent a good hour or more in there. I finally found what I had been looking for a LOOOONG time. It's a 16 cd and 5 book set that teaches you Chinese from the VERY Beginning. From the first sounds to poems later on. It's a full on multi media 'thingamabob' so you use your mouse to do different things and also use your microphone to make sure you get the sounds correct.

Lately I've felt the beginnings of frustration at not being able to learn Chinese in my town. Up until now it's been a lot of fun but hey, I'm in China and I want to learn how to speak Chinese and decipher all the babble that goes on around me each night and day. I know I won't be able to practice it much in my town as they only want to hear me speak English. I think if I want to stay here in China for as many years as possible then it is time!

I've met other foreign teachers whom have been here for 6 months and are a million times better than Judy and I. The main difference is they are in cities and are around many other foreign teachers whom all practice together. The package I purchased was developed by 20 Mandarin professors over several years. Over many months it's been recommended highly by many people. In fact, Chinese teachers use it in class to teach Chinese, so it must be pretty good. We shall see!

After leaving the Foreign Book shop we headed to the Wando Mall to the cinema to see if there was an English speaking movie on. The Sentinel was, so after purchasing our tickets we headed in. Strangely it was actually a very quiet audience. Usually there are people talking on their mobiles, a million mobiles ringing and couples and friends having actual conversations. Not much one can do about it really. It's a Chinese movie theatre and we are foreigners, why should they change their ways for us! The movie wasn't a bad film, a bit predictable but fun. The Da Vinci Code starts next weekend so maybe I'll head back for that.

I love going to the movies so much. Back in Australia I used to see between two and four movies a week. Usually three. Friday nights was my multi billion dollar shoot em up night. I'd go see my first film and whilst leaving the cinema afterwards if there was a movie beginning I'd sneak into watch that one too. I'd plan the times prior to make sure I could do this. Tuesday was always my night for 'independent' or 'foreign' films. A kind of thinking night.

Saturday night we headed towards BBQ Street again and found a great little place to eat. It was kind of like a club but for eating. Maybe later each night it becomes a disco. Who knows. The owner had been lucky enough to have lived 'abroad' as they say here in China. English speakers seldom use the world 'abroad' just as we seldom use the word seldom. They are common speech for the Chinese just as Bugger is for us Australians. Anyhow, he knew some English and French. When he talked to us he kept mixing English and French. Lucky for us Jacque knew French and filled in the blanks for us. Around 12 we headed back towards our hotel and sat for a few more beers in the little eatery below the hotel. Here we met a rather cute Dutch girl who joined us. She had been in Hong Kong studying for 6 months and was on her first trip around the main land. Like many before her, she was stunned at the difference between China and Hong Kong. Around 2am we said good bye to the cute Dutch girl and decided it was time to sleep.

Sunday we headed out for a late breakfast and a walk around the little back streets. Around mid day we caught a bus to one of the four huge bus stations and caught the next bus home. Bad choice of movies for the journey home. 'Anaconda', one of the worst movies ever made. Thankfully it was in Chinese as usual so I could concentrate on the scenery as we raced down the highway dodging and swerving our way home. When I got home I headed out for a two hour ride and then washed my bike before heading to the market place for noodles and beer.

That's about it really. Classes were great today. I went for a market pace supply run. I'd ran out of coffee and other things like being at the very end of the toothpaste tube. Argh, no coffee. That's a real Bugger Mate! Not a good thing to happen!

That's it from me.

I hope all the mothers in the world (especially mine!) had a beautiful Mothers Day

The soundtrack to tonights entry is none other than: The Butthole Surfers 'Independent Worm Saloon'. Race to your local CD shop mate, you really do need this one!

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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