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Thanks For The Beers N Noodles Hanzhong City

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

You know what I hate? You know what I hate? No, what do you hate Rodney?

Well I hate it when after spending two day’s sweeping, mopping, scrubbing and cleaning that I am told that I shouldn’t worry too much about cleaning my apartment prior to leaving as the building will be demolished soon after to make way for new classrooms….Yep, I reckon I hate that!

So that’s it my friends, the Hanzhong Beers N Noodles Adventure is now over. Another page has been written in the book of 'eddakath’ and another soon to begin.

The Hanzhong Goodbye Beers began to flow at the end of last month when we all headed to The Tropical Rain Forest Restaurant for NZ NickO Mc Dude & English Sarah’s goodbye dinner. They worked for a private school so they completed their term a month early (lucky buggers) and soon after Sarah took off for Yunnan Province and at the moment she’s probably happily lost somewhere between Laos and Thailand.

The Hanzhong Goodbye Beers ceased flowing last night.

Brad and I took the English Office Beauties out for a wonderful hotpot dinner to say both goodbye and thanks for all the fish, their time and their effort over the past four months. There is always one teacher who goes well above what she needs to do so this terms award easily goes to Ms Sally Brown who has helped with train tickets, new glasses and all other questions us silly foreigners seem to come up with and expect answers to.

In the group photo Sally is the one with the white bag and green frilly top. Her English is by far the best out of all the English Teachers.

My Classroom Assistant award easily goes to Jennifer (Ms Wei) who was my Grade 3 assistant. She never once missed a class and was always there when I needed help. In the group photo she is the one in the white V-neck tee-shirt and being tiny, delicate and wonderful she also reminds me of the lovely Luo Wei. Without her being there, both she and I know that my Grade 3, Class 7 would have reached the top of my un-teachable list beating all of my Grade 4’s put together.

Thankfully with just her presence I was able to put their energy to good use!

My award for best class easily goes to my Grade 3, Class 6 students who were identical to all my classes for the previous five years in all my other schools. They were quiet, respectful, loved to learn and never once got a mention in my ‘little book of wasted class time’. We could play games together without things getting out of control and within seconds they were more than happy to learn a new topic or song.

That’s what I have been searching for and missing this entire term! That’s what it is all about, finishing the day knowing you have taught and been heard!

<u>What’s been happening between then and now?</u>

<u>Bike Riding</u>:

A hell of a lot of riding has been happening between the days of down pours those that have kept us house bound. Mostly I have been riding my &#8216;Rural Ancient Plank Road’ ride as it has a little bit of everything thrown in to keep me amused be it frustratingly happy or otherwise. There are a lot of sleepy rural villages, a few busy roads where I dodge the odd huge truck or ten hoping to reach the rice fields alive and also happily for me there are many thin bumpy tracks that seem to loosen almost all of the screws that hold my bike together and on more than several occasions I have been left carrying my peddle arm many kilometers along with having to push my bike the same distance due to the back wheel slipping forward leaving the chain useless.

Somehow though, I have (as always) gotten by without suffering a puncture.

<u>Classes & Teaching:</u>

Even though it has made my final classes a triumph along with being a beautiful ending to my stay here in Hanzhong, my horrid Grade 4 classes (half of my timetable and all without classroom assistants) seem to have settled down over the past two weeks and there seemed to be a new spark and interest in English and actually having fun whilst doing so. My belief is they slowly got bored with all the yelling and talking between themselves and after several successful classes I believe they suddenly woke up to the fact that it really could have been that way they entire term.

This I confirmed in all of our last classes together.

Many of the more &#8216;loud’ students in each class told me that they didn’t want me to leave and after asking why (because class was much more fun now) I explained to them that what they have allowed themselves to experience over the past two weeks is actually how I always teach if enabled. I then had to explain that they allowed too little for too long so it was now too late and I would not be their Grade 5 teacher for the next school year. That sadly brought a tear to the eyes of many of the good students who had had their ability to learn and have fun taken away by those who woke up too late which also went for my good Grade 5 class.

But anyhow, I have written enough about this in past blogs.

Needless to say, this honestly is the saddest and most frustrating goodbye I have said to my students as after five and a half years experience I know exactly what I can teach them, I know exactly how much fun we can have together and I know exactly how much they can learn and benefit from my being their teacher yet I now have to leave Hanzhong with the knowledge that I leave behind the following figures;

I taught somewhere around two hundred and fifty lessons in four months, Sadly very close to three quarters of them I taught absolutely nothing to my students.

<u>What have I learnt over the past four months?</u>

For those who have been reading my blog I am sure that you are sure that I have come to the conclusion that I absolutely hate this place and everything around it. Yes for the first three months you would have been right but as time went by I simply gave in but never did I accept defeat. I simply and slowly allowed myself to give in to the one thing that all long term travellers come to accept;

To stop worrying and allow life to catch up and show me the way.

<u>Now to my belongings</u>

Once again I’ve sorted and thrown!

At the end of last term I had a full teaching case, a nearly full winter travelling backpack (25 liter) and a completely full 45 liter backpack that housed my computer, a pair of shoes, all of my clothes, dvd’s, books and other misc &#8216;stuff’. This time I have rid myself of several shopping bags full of clothes, dvd’s, books, cords and other miscellaneous &#8216;things’ to make my life less complicated and easier to carry around. Now my teaching case also houses not only my teaching cards and books etc but it also my 28 liter travel pack along with a cooling pad and keyboard. My 45 liter somehow houses my computer, a thick winter jacket, two sets of winter clothes, my summer clothes and teaching shirts along with my daypack and somehow also a pair of sturdy winter runners…..and there is still a little room to spare.

Talk about living an uncluttered life! Soon I’ll have nothing left to get rid of!

<u>SO WHAT NOW HUH?</u>

This will most likely be my last blog from both Hanzhong city and Shaanxi Province where I have been living for the past two years of my life, unless for some reason I can’t get a train ticket that leaves in the next few days.

I just found out that I have to go to Xian to catch the train down south to Yangshuo which is a real bugger as I was hoping that I didn’t have to lug my case and big pack very far. One saving grace is that I can actually purchase the ticket here in Hanzhong which will hopefully then allow me to work in the bus ride to Xian to arrive several hours before the train departs.

That though is if it is an afternoon or evening departure. It won’t be though will it as it couldn’t be that easy. I’m almost positive it will leave around 5am. It will won’t it..........we all know it will. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: In the photos the little girl with the pig tails is one of the sweetest kids you could ever meet. She was my High Five Chic as she would run across the entire school yard yelling Hello Hello Hello so we could both high five and jump around in small circles.

PSS: Sadly I will also have to say goodbye to my beautiful hair dresser when I leave (shut up Crusty Simon!). She is the one in the green top with black buttons and needless to say I dropped in for a hair cut more often than was actually needed.

PSSS: The photo with the Grandpa, the baby and the happy young girl in the white shirt along with the girl in the pink clothes (one of my Grade 5 students)…they are the family that live outside the school gate and they are always outside playing and when Brad and I come or go they happily race around yelling Lao-Shir Nun-Gwar, Lao-Shir Nun-Gwar (Chinese for Teacher Pumpkin) for me to then reply with See-Gwar, See-Gwar (Chinese for watermelon) or Hami-Gwar, Hami Gwar (Chinese for Rock Melon).

PSSSS: Why Teacher Pumpkin?

Well, each school I change my Chinese name and unlike most foreign teachers who want a manly or serious name such as Golden Dragon etc I choose silly foods. In Guangxi and Fujian I was Teacher Egg (Lao-Shir Jee-Dun) and in Gansu I was Teacher Carrot (Lao-Shir Hoo-Lwor-Bor) and in Shangzhou I was Teacher Egg Plant because in Chinese (Mandarin) the word for eggplant (Qie-Zi &#8211; or Chedzir) sounds almost the same as the word for a big toothy smile. So, when we have our photo taken in the west we say CHEEEEESE but here in China they say CHEEEEDZIR!

PSSSSS: So next term when I am back in Fujian; I will go back to being a simply TEACHER EGG…Yeah!

PSSSSSS: Here is a Big G'Day to Crusty Simon who never leaves one of my blogs unread.

He is the best friend that I have never met as many years ago my best buddy Tote Hotel Richie told me of his friend and Tote Hotel Barman Simon who was having a bad time teaching in a real shitty school in China. Soon after we got in touch and soon after he was a Buckland's teacher teaching on the tropical island of Hainan Island.

He then went back to Australia and went back to school and has spent several years to learn Mandarin (Western Chinese which helps a lot in northern China but not so much in southern China, especially in the hill areas).

Several days ago he landed in Beijing and ever since has been checking out the Chinese Rock scene and waking up well hung over due to deadly Chinese shots and pints of beer and wotnot and hopefully sometime in the next two months we will finally meet somewhere in Hunan Province and meet well over way too many Beers N Noodles.

PSSSSSSS: a huge thanks also goes to The Tote Hotel Richie Ramone who is right now busily preparing a huge amount of music to send to me once I land safely in Fujian Province. I also send a huge thanks to both Crusty and Richie Ramone for all of their emails that have kept me sanely informed of my past over the past several years.

RICHIE RAMONE you were always there with a cold beer after many years of fifteen hour days with the AAT & AFL Tribunal and here you still stand. You are a gawdsent amongst the minority and my heart will always be open to you no matter what hardships you are going through. My friend you have always stayed completely in touch with me; So all of my last Shaanxi Cold Beers are you buddy! PSSSSSSSS: <u>SO THAT IS IT FROM ME FROM THE NORTH OF CHINA!</u>

Soon I will have to head to Xian to say my sad good byes to both the hotel staff of the Jing Yang Hotel (which is across the road from the) Xiangzimen Hostel where both Luo Wei and I spent countless hours together over several years enjoying many cold beers and Jim Beam and Colas over endless card games. Luo Wei and I are no longer together so my time here in the north has come to an end as I actually don't find the north of China that appealing.

What I do find appealing is the huge amount of music that Richie Ramone is getting ready for me and being a Rockin Roll and Live Music Scene Fan type of person this is THE thing that will my dumplings, boil my noodles and fire my BB more than anything!

PSSSSSSSSS: Also I would like to wish the best for Mi Freaky Mate Anthea in the Commonwealth Administrative Tribunal back in Australia. You my friend are one in a million and I wish you more than well in your next position in life. I don't have a red wine available but do I have more than enough cold beers to not only say thanks to you for being an outstanding Deputy Registrar but also for being a wonderful friend. In the photos you will see that my future grows on noodle trees but you have enabled your future to grow on money trees.

Thanks for keeping in touch, it means more than you can imagine!

PSSSSSSSSSS: My last HUGE HUGE HUGE THANKS goes to AUSSIE BRAD who is not only one of the most knowledgeable and informative dudes that I have met but with just his presence he also managed to draw several hours of conversation from me. Those that know me also know that I am a man of very few words and that no matter what is said around me I will always take the silent approach rather than the more vocal approach.

Somehow he always managed to bring forth a statement or two from me which is more than most have ever been able to to do.

So yes my last award goes to Aussie Brad who I began communicating with several years ago when he was looking into teaching in China and finally we met five months ago here in Hanzhong City. Ever since we have never looked back and we have shared most of our lunches, dinners, bike rides and walks together and I will never ever forget our time together.

Dude you are more than one in a million and thanks for making me actually talk! GOOD BYE FROM NORTHERN SHAANXI PROVINCE! ______________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Black Crows The album was &#8216;By Your Side’. ______________________________________________

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Goodbyes &#38;amp; The Last Month in Hanzhong

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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