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The New Terms Happenings...So Far, Not Much!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Where am I and where have I been? I’ve been here lurking in the cold damp corners.

On a Monday I’ve been dressing for the Arctic…with rain. On a Tuesday I’ve been dressing for another day…with rain. On a Wednesday I’ve been dressing for a cold day and night of non-stop rain. On a Thursday I’ve been dressing for another day of non-stop rain back in the Arctic.

Friday usually finds me dressing for another chilly, completely overcast day that is preparing itself for yet another weekend full of arctic coldness along with you guess it, non-stop rain which explains the reason why I haven’t sat to clickity clack a blog into life for the last month and a half as nothing much has been happening.

My new camera has been sitting silently staring at me with a sorrowful gaze that says; I am like a dog (or any pet for that matter) and I am not just for Christmas. I need fresh air, to be walked and shown some love and affection. I would also like to see some beautiful Chinese village girls. But you spend all of your time with the DVD Remote. Honestly, what does it have that I don’t? I have pushable buttons too!

The Two New Foreign Teachers

As both of the Leeds Lads scampered to other parts of China to sample new Beers & Noodles at the end of last term, with the new term came two new Foreign Teachers, both of which are not Lads. Serbian born Monika is from Canada and was teaching in Shandong Province last term and Lisa (another from England, but we won’t hold that against her) prior to her recent arrival in China was teaching in South Korea for two and a half years.

They were welcomed by several big dinners put on by the school along with some splendid fireworks for Shaowu’s late celebration of the Lantern Festival.

I spent the first month introducing them to the city, its walks, small cobble stone lane ways, temples and some of my favourite eateries and whilst doing so got to know a bit about the both of them. Monika is very health conscious, doesn’t drink and sadly under no circumstances will eat street food. Lisa on the other hand is about as health conscious as I am and we share most of our meals together making our way from small eatery to street stall in search of Shaowu’s best bowl of noodles.

My Second Lantern Festival Celebrations

Falling on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year, the Lantern Festival takes place under a full moon, and marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities. The festival dates back to shrouded legends of the Han Dynasty over two thousand years ago.

Around mid February due to rain the local government decided to postpone our celebration and thankfully rescheduled it on a date in early March. After a delicious big dinner a large handful of us were soon found in a warm room on the sixteenth floor of the city’s tallest hotel that not only overlooks the river but also the bridge from which the fireworks were set free into the night sky above. I celebrated the real festival (mid February) as I was nearing the end of my 2011 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventures in the coastal city of Fuzhou. I spent several nights with Yan and a small handful of Shaowuarians at different seafood restaurants with a selection of fine wine, cold beers and seafood.

It really is a great feeling to have the opportunity to celebrate the same festival twice.

In fact it’s like celebrating New Years Eve on the east coast of Australia. Queensland doesn’t 'DO’ Daylight Saving Time so locals simply celebrate it in one state and in an hour get to scream the countdown once again which is a pretty good deal for those too drunk to begin their New Year Resolutions!

Big Dinners with Yan & Crew

The ‘Two Organisers’ (Yan & Joy) as they are known have both accepted transfers to Fuzhou city for the next six months or more so big dinners with Yan & Crew have pretty much been put on hold for now. I’ve dropped into Yu Jin’s Restaurant several times while out walking and had dinner with Yu Wen Jin, Yu Jin and her parents but that’s about as close as it will get for now. Thankfully though, as I found out at the end of the Winter Break, there are a small handful of Yan’s Crowd that moved to Fuzhou during the two years I was away and as Fuzhou is only five hours by bus I’m sure there will be several weekends spent on the coast eating seafood and drinking cold beer with Yan and Friends.

Happy and Sunny Bike Rides

With only a very small handful of dry and sunny days granted to us here in Shaowu over the past month and a half the bike has sadly remained silently locked away beneath the stairs for most of it. I’ve caught up with Joyce (LiPing) a few times and we’ve headed out into the villages on the two occasions that the sun was out and it wasn’t raining. At the beginning of term there was a week of sunshine during which (a few days after meeting her) I’m sure I nearly killed Monika. Due to her age and appearance of being rather fit, I thought an extra long bike ride was the appropriate thing to help us get to know each other.

Six hours later and long before sunset, a deathly pale and shaking Monika fell asleep several minutes after returning home and stayed that way until the following morning. There went dinner and a few games of pool, thankfully though she still spoke to me when we met the following Monday in the school grounds and happily accepted my apology.

Ting Tings Bar, KTV, Drunken Nights & Sickly Mornings

Believe it or not I haven’t stepped foot into Ting Tings Bar once this term and upon waking each Saturday and Sunday morning I have remembered the happenings of each night prior. Due to the south of China’s ‘No Heating’ mentality I think that after four months of being cold almost twenty four hours a day that everyone’s very much over being ‘sick of being cold’ and now that the rain has made Shaowu its home for the past month we are all very much over being cold and now wet.

For the past month and a half most people have been feeling about as grey as the day. We all know that spring has sprung at that it will end sometime soon. I guess we have all been raising our heads yearning for the sun.

As for future Beers & Noodles, as stated above Monika doesn’t drink anything but water nor does she eat any type of street food and obviously loves to cook, so no chance there but thankfully Lisa loves street food and has partied pretty hard over the past many years in South Korea and college so I’m sure that once the weather warms up there will be many street side Beer & BBQ nights happening. There are a few people I could ring to get the bar scene up and rolling again but after last term I think I’ll let sleeping dogs lie and the caps screwed tightly on the few too many that lay chilled and dormant at the back of the fridge in Ting Tings Bar.

MMMMmmmm…..for now at least! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by City & Colour The album was the graceful ‘Sometimes’ ____________________________________________________________

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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