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To Teach or Not To Teach

...6:30am...alarm time...

Do we really need to go see more caves?

I mean do we really?

...9:00am time to rise and shine. We did find the west bus station the day prior. In fact, strangely, the 'west' bus station is no where near as west as the bus station we arrived in. Very strange indeed! Today was the day I put my mind at rest. It was the day to answer the question...What is Baiyan really like?

In my mind I pictured dust, rolling dirt hills full of nothingness. I pictured sweet bugger all trees, noodles and not much more really. Belive me, Clint Eastwood had walked down the main street several times in mind. I pictured a blanket of white in winter and below 20 degrees, not a good time nor a good picture to have of a place one had not visited and been invited to.

What I was to find was as different as rice and noodles!

After a breakfast of, you guessed it, noodles, at the corner Muslim noodle bar we headed down to the main road. The Good Book (LP) says you can catch Bus No: 1 west to east ending at the train station. To Judy's surprise I boarded without question. Bus no: 1 does take you all the way from West to East and does end at the train station all for 1 Yuan! We then had to grab Bus No: 6 which took us to the East Bus Station where we lined up for our tickets to Baiyin.

Not long after lining up a European couple joined us in line. We all said our 'hellos' and soon after he asked us where we were going. He looked so surprised when I answered 'Baiyin'. His answer was as mine would have been if I was lining up at the Nanning Bus Station and a foreigner told me they were going to Tianyang.

He said 'What the hell for!'

Because I might be teaching there I said. What? was his response. He had been in Baiyan for nearing two years and was one of the Education People Thingamarbobs. He believed there was a mistake as only his schools had been granted authorisation to have a foreign teacher.

Oh No I thought, all this way! Oh well, its been fun!

I decided not to worry too much about it and continue to Baiyin. The bus trip took about 45 minutes and soon we were saying out good byes to the Dutch man and the new Dutch English Teacher he had collected in Beijing. Not a couple at all. I rang Owen Buckland who gave me Mr Wongs phone number and soon we were waiting for Mr Wong to collect us to then have a look at the school.

We more than looked at the school. We were taken all over Baiyin and shown the markets, the new and old city square and where my apartment was located. Anywhere we wanted to go we were taken and like usual, places we didn't want to go we were taken to as well.

Now ask me what I think of Baiyin...go on, I dare you to!

I loved it. I loved the fact that the city centre is very beautiful and modern. I love the fact that only one block back it completely changes and becomes like Tianyang. I love the fact that Baiyin actually has REAL BARS! It does, truly it does! You can buy European and American Beers. I love the fact that Baiyins market places are still Chinese market places. I love the fact that there are trees throughout the city and that it is actually a green amongst rolling green hills of arid dryness. I love the fact that my apartment is not at the school and is actually right at the centre square and park. Five floors below is another actual 'real bar'.

Go Baby Go!

Most of all I love the fact that the people I met from my school were all so friendly and so happy to have Judy and I come all the way to Baiyin just to see the school. I didn't expect to meet anyone from my school, just to grab a cab and stop for five minutes and have a look. In the end we ended up having dinner with not only some of the Chinese English teachers, but the Secretary and the Headmaster. The headmaster was young and very warm. Bucklands have since told me that he is the reason they signed a school so far away. He is genuine and wants what is best for the school and the children whom attend it.

After dinner and a heap of good byes and assuring them we were safe and wouldn't get lost we headed into Baiyais streets at night. They were busy with many people at the market places. We dropped into a bar for a beer. It was so nice to be in an actual 'real bar' in a town I would be living in.

I had already made my mind up.

I would live and teach in Baiyin!

Baiyin Journey To

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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