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Happy Christmas To You All N Cake With Chopsticks

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Christmas huh! Can't believe its Christmas time. It came and then it was gone just as quick. How quick does life fly on by now that I'm juuuust past twenty-one. I remember juuuust a few years ago when I was a boy, the lead up to Christmas was huge. Now it's like, WHAT THE! But it was July last month! Wasn't it? Seriously..........Mate..........it can't be Christmas! We've had a wonderful few weeks here in Shaowu. It was Canadian Jo's Birthday last week and we all headed out for a huge dinner with the school where of course we ate Birthday Cake with chopsticks. Well, most of us any how. Cute Jackie decided to just shove the entire thing in her mouth at once and not worry about fork or chopsticks. Last Sunday Joyce, Candy, Jackie and I headed to Canadian Jo and Rob's for a delicious Christmas dinner. They both cooked up a feast after which we watched the latest Mr Bean movie. Seriously, could anyone honestly say they don't like Mr Bean? This week school has been pretty much simple and fun revision games with a Christmas twist to them. I let some of the better students choose their favourite games and I simply added some little bells and whistles (so to speak). Rob, Jo and I headed out for a huge dinner with the Minister for Education and the School Leaders on Christmas Eve. Mate, the food was so delicious and there was sooooo much of it! The only problem was the beer was warm...China Huh! You can go to the most expensive place in town and the fridge is still turned off! New Years Eve next huh? Oh what to do? Oh what to do? At this stage I really have no bloody idea. I know there will be lots of food and beer so I guess the only question is where to sit and gorge oneself. We are working Saturday so we then have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off. I'd say it will be pretty much the same as Christmas Eve...a big dinner and lots of beer. That reminds me, we best ask when it will be as there is really no point going for a huge dinner with lots of beer on New Years Night when one has to work the following day. Eve, always celebrate on the Eve. Sometimes it takes a little bit of explaining here in China. Eve, always celebrate on the Eve! Oh, and I might ask them to turn on the damn fridge too! The weather has been warmish here the last couple of days which has made my poor feet happy. If I wear shoes/boots for too long my feet begin to fall apart. This has been happening since my Asian Adventure seven years ago. You can read about my poor feet in my other blog. Nara-ken, Japan, a beautiful Swedish girl named Anna and a few tubes of Arti-Skin. Get your mind out of the gutter! Now too much walking/riding in boots/shoes and I'm in trouble! So this week I'm back in sandals to help my feet mend. That's about it really, not much more happening in the life of Shane at the moment. I have just eaten about eight Freddo Frogs (sent from Australia...Thanks Judy) and now I have a huge chocolate headache (Once again, thanks Judy...hahahaha). I know I shouldn't eat chocolate but THEY WERE Freddo Frogs.....and.....ok you got me....and three Caramello Koalas! I think I need water and a walk and I'm sure if I turned Mr Bungle down that might help too! Have you gone insane...turn down Mr Bungle! Yeah Right! How is Amigo doing? I'm glad you asked, I was just thinking about her. Luo Wei was so lucky to have been found by an Independent Tour Company. They track and monitor wild animals (yes, such as Pandas) in the north of China and also take foreign tourists on small tours to show them their wild habitats. As her English is so awesome she's a guide, a tracker/monitor, an interpreter and a student. The company will put her back into school for several months a year to learn about her job, the animals, their lives and their habitat. They will also groom her to manage their new station when it opens next year sometime. The pay is low of course as they are funded by donations and the tours BUT the knowledge and work will be hugely rewarding for her. It will be very hard work and like some of the treks I've done the conditions won't be much to speak of. Most times no electricity, living in tents/shacks, harsh cold/hot conditions etc. They are in the wild after all and the aim is to leave it that way! . Living in China I have bugger all compared to at home but I honestly doubt I would last in such a job! Me....I doubt I would last a month! <u>BUT....all that could sadly change in the very near future</u></b>. [/i] The greedy and selfish family members who put her in a Temple to be raised (to save 'someones' money for their own children in the future) have their selfish hands at work again and sadly it seems there isn't much she or anyone can do about it. The near future may find her as the head 'Oral English Teacher' at her old Uni where she received the Uni's highest marks. So impressed was the school leader that he (who can speak several languages) tested her himself. He then offered her the choice of several jobs. Since then he has been trying to win her back. Sadly...happily...which ever, that may happen all too soon. Conditions and money will be much much higher BUT the dream will have been lost! HHHHHhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Enough said, anger is beginning to rise! GGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! So, life in general here? It's getting much colder and of course it is once again MUCH colder inside than outside. I'm back to putting on the gloves and beanie to go inside and then taking them off to go back outside. I'm serious! It's all concrete and tiles in here and its COLD. Nothing stays warm and nothing can be warmed. My three bar heater warms about a meter in front of it and that's about it. It seriously is like sitting outside back home in Australia during a winter bbq. What about Spring Festival? (You ask) Mate I wish you'd stop changing the subject so fast! Ok, Spring Festival is about happen once again. (Chinese New Year - Next Jan/Feb). (Yippee, Winter Break!) China is so wonderful to be in at that time of year. Everyone is so happy and everything is so colourful. There is so much going on all around. But it is so freakin noisy. The kids and adults are busy letting off fire crackers like crazy. ALL DAY AND MOST OF THE NIGHT! I can't put it into words how loud and how long this goes on for. Seriously, you have no idea unless you've been here at that time. There are stores FILLED with all types of fireworks. It's all cheap and it's all legal for anyone at any age. The noise continues until the stores are empty. WEEKS! LOUD! ARGH! This will be my 5th Spring Festival in China. The first was way back in 2000 in the Xishuangbanna Region (bottom of Yunnan Province). I have now spent two in that area and if next years Winter Break plans go astray maybe I'll head down there for a third. It is warm there after all! Probably my favourite place in the world! So, that brings me to this Winter Break. I'm hoping to spend some of it on Hainan Island (a Tropical Island across from Vietnam and the Philippines) with my boss Owen. We are hoping to catch up on some happy snorkeling. I can't believe it has been well over a year since we last caught up in Yangshuo. The other few weeks I'm hoping to head north into the big freeze and spend it with Luo Wei and her mother. That depends on her work commitments and my VISA which of course expires right in the middle of Winter Break. Good news is a new one can be obtained on Hainan Island. But the question is, how long are the government offices closed for. Amigo is hoping to come to Shaowu at the beginning of January for a week or two, but that depends on the outcome of 'the situation above'. Why the lack of Travelpod Posts lately? Not much been happening. Its cold cold cold at night and as explained above the thought of travelling and staying in a hotel with NO HEATING doesn't really appeal to me unless it is holiday time. Weekends have pretty much been spent riding like usual as the days are still blue and warm (sometimes 'ish'). Happy smiles to you all and for those who will be away or out of touch, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and make sure you have a great New Year. Stay safe ok, I've been reading how badly the road toll has been rising over the last few days and it hasn't been good news! Life's wonderful mate, keep it that way! Beers N Noodles to you all....shane PS: Besides the Christmas photos all the photos for this entry are simply of 'things that move' here in Shaowu. Mostly bikes with two to four wheels, with or without a motor etc. There are also a few of the river men who slowly float on by each day. Where they come from and where they go I have no idea. [/i] [/i] Why the ducks? [/i] [/i] Well, back home you would usually find a dog or two tied to a tree or a parking meter on the street. Here you have ducks. Each day I walk around the city I walk past several ducks tied to posts outside stores. It makes me laugh so hard each time. [/i] [/i] Oh the things I will never get used to here in China! [/i]____________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was the one and only Mr Bungle. The albums (on random): California, Disco Volante and Mr Bungle

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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