A Travellerspoint blog

September 2007

Happy Birthday China N Another Week Off to Ride

<u> Below the photos of the temple can be found an explanation of National Day and how it came to be.[/i] </u></b> Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, So National Week is here and almost over. (National Day was on 1st October) (This was written on 5th October) Where am I? Where have I been? Am I still there? Where is my pack? Did I go to Xi'an to see Luo Wei? Sadly for us both the answer is no. My pack is still packed away and I'm still in Shaowu. Why? Money, money, money along with flight schedules from Wuyi Shan to Xian. I couldn't leave until Tuesday evening and I had to return Saturday evening. Yes that is four days but the amount it was going to cost was mort than I can afford right now. If it was next month of course I could have but due to my computer and the summers 'Beers Noodles & Temples' adventure I'm still pretty much skimpt! Maybe skimpt but still happy! The weather has been absolutely perfect for bike riding! So, National Week so far, I really haven't been up to much. Ting Ting came for a visit on Monday and we headed across to her old bar to meet some friends and so she could chat to her old boss. He wants her to come back to work. I'm unsure of the outcome but time will tell. I hope she comes back. The place certainly hasn't been the same since she went away. Each time she returns the bar lights up and things just seem happier. The night ended up being a huge one as Tings friend will soon be moving to Singapore. He is the local Tattooist and he'll be joining his wife and son whom have already moved. The night turned into a Good Bye party and 4am found us still together at a sea food eatery munching on salty delights over cold beer. Wednesday the school put on an outing for us and a few other Chinese English Teachers from different schools in the area. It really did turn into a fantastic day. There were the Canadians (Jo & Rob) and of course myself. In the group photos below you may have a hard time figuring out who they are. Rob and Jo are the ones who don't look Chinese! Ha Ha Ha! Just playing! There was also my beautiful friend Grace who teachers at Robs school (in the white skirt). She is so much fun and has the energy of a teenager. Her love of and eagerness to learn more and more English is unrivalled by any one else I know. There was also Sally whom I hadn't met before that day. She teaches at the cities No: 1 Middle School. She was a heap of fun to be around and has the sexiest smile! She's dressed in the white pants. The younger girl is Jessie. Her father is very high up in the government and she's a very smart person! There were other teachers from my school but I can never remember their names as I only really see them at some of the dinners. The tall guy in the white shirt is the famous Mr Doo. This guy is very famous in Shaowu City. He's been around for along time and knows just about every one there is to know to make sure life is sweet for my school. Let's not even go into how much beer the man can consume at a huge dinner! He's a bloody champion! The temple was about an hour and a half away out in the mountains. Though it was small it is the largest working temple in the Shaowu area. There is a very VERY famous monk who lives there and people supposedly come from all over Asia to talk to him. At the cost of 100 Yuan just to sit and talk to him we decided to simply wave and smile. There is a track at the temples rear that takes you to several pagodas that have been donated by wealthy business men from different countries. They supposedly came into a lot of 'very good luck' after simply talking to the monk. At the end of the track there are several large trees that are over one thousand years old. Imagine the stories they could tell! On the way home we dropped into a very small town for a local feast. It was delicious and along with the many 'normal' dishes came mud eel which lives in the mud beneath the rice fields. Very tasty indeed but most wouldn't even touch it. Last night I introduced Rob and Jo to 'Soup on a stick' which is a roadside eatery where I eat several times a week. One of the cities main intersections turns into a bbq/soup area after dark and here can be found very delicious treats. My favourite is the 'Soup on a stick'. Sounds silly and your right, it is a silly name! ha ha! I think it was Alexa who named it so you can blame her! What it is is a place where you choose what you want in your soup. Everything comes on a stick, you choose what ever and how many sticks you want and then choose your noodles and wallah, and soon you have a tasty soup before you. What comes on the sticks? Things like four small eggs on one stick, different types of tofu, different meats, and different veggies along with assorted mushrooms, fungus and seaweeds. After dinner we then headed back to my place for a few beers so Jo could update their Travelpod on my computer. While she worked Rob and I drank beer and watched 'Biffs, Bumps & Brawlers' which is a double DVD of all the rough and tough stuff from the last few decades of Australian Football. I couldn't stop laughing when he told me how he would explain the game to friends: Hey, I just went to watch a huge brawl where they sometimes played some footy! Not 'always' that bad that but sometimes even worse!

This evening I went to meet a group of friends for what I thought was dinner and then a disco....BUT....it ended up being a disco and then dinner. So the disco was at 9pm and I was out the door by around 9:30pm. Most people really can't comprehend what it's like to live in a place like China and how people stare at you from the time you leave your front door to the time you return. Going to the supermarket is sometimes too much and on more than one occassion I've simple put my full basket down and gone home due to the amount of people staring and following me around the isles.

Many Foreign Teachers end up leaving China and going home because of this very thing.

I won't even try to explain what it's like. And some beautiful girls complain about the fact that a few guys stare at them. Seriously, they have no freakin idea about what it's like to be stared at. I have people running from the back of a store to the pavement just to stare.

Monkey Boy!

So try going to a Chinese Disco at 9pm, completely sober with only about twenty people on the dance floor. Sadly, my friends cousins parents own the disco and the building it's in (that sounds like a line from Ferris Bullers Day Off). A huge table full of food and beer provided for free but dancing was the priority.

I was out the door in a flash mate! So that pretty much tells you what I have done for National Week this year. Millions and millions of people all travelling together on the same holiday all fighting for accommodation, bus and train tickets and space to walk in between. I chose the rice fields as it is autumn and autumn means only one thing; It's harvest time! I'll post a separate entry along with photos of the beautiful farmers and their fields next! <u> Below the photos of the temple can be found an explanation of National Day and how it came to be.[/i] </u></b> Beers N Noodles toya......shane ___________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was 'Caf&eacute; Del Mar' The album was 'Volumen Seis' Beautiful!

<u>Commemorates the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. </u></b> OK, let's go back before 1949, the Long March had finished, the Japanese had invaded and by this time Mao Zedong was established as the leader of the Chinese Communist movement. Yes people, the man who would become Chairman Mao one day said, 'HHHmmm, I wouldn't mind being Chairman for awhile!' So the big feller stood up on the 1st of October 1949 and said 'Hey Man, I've got an idea, let's become the People's Republic of China and I'll be Chairman!' So began the huge Communist Movement at the beginnings of the Peoples Republic of China. When the big change occurred all the other big guys fled the country with all its wealth leaving Mao Zedong to become Chairman Mao. A massive change soon swept the country. They began land reform by giving back the land to the peasants (how sweet), women were recognized, inflation was grabbed by the butt and the big 'Five Year Plan' was introduced. All seemed pretty good for most during those first five or so years. People were put into their Work Units, the country was divided into twenty one provinces, five Autonomous Regions and two municipalities being Beijing and Shanghai, there was food, everyone was in a big warm happy snuggle. Once the Great Leap Forward kicked in China was not heard of for a long time. Within its walls strange things were happening. Big people became little, famous people disappeared, special universities were opened, society was changed, people were sent to agricultural communes, blast furnaces were created, people were too busy melting spoons and woks and no one was tending to the crops, famine hit, many people died and Mao said good by to his job as the head of state. Of course he was still Chairman of the Communist Party though! Then came the writings of Chairman Mao, bounded together in the 'Little Red Book' in kicked The Cultural Revolution. Thoughts were thrown around and implemented, posters put up, families were split, romance really sucked, the Red Guards began their destruction, smart people disappeared, special things and places such as art and temples were torched and destroyed. Basically anything 'old' was not allowed eg: old customs, thinking and culture and due to clothing codes and in came the famous Chairman Mao suit! After the big guy died in 76 Deng Xiaoping returned and soon thoughts of modernisation were thrown around. They were tossed here and there and finally the 'Four Modernisations' program was released. The new big guy had thought of things like agriculture, industry, science and defence and said 'hey, we are nearing five thousand years old as a people but where are we globally? The one child policy was enforced to slow down the population growth, farmers were given permission to sell surpluses on the market, political reform grew, religions were tolerated and Hong Kong was given back to China. Soon Shane entered China, left China, went home for a spell and thought to himself, 'Hey Man, I think it's time to get me one of those Chairman Mao suites, I'm heading back to China for awhile. In his wake schools have flourished and new brewery's opened

Temple N Village Lunch

Temple N Village Lunch


Temple N Village Lunch 1

Temple N Village Lunch 1


Temple N Village Lunch 2

Temple N Village Lunch 2


Temple N Village Lunch 3

Temple N Village Lunch 3


Temple N Village Lunch 4

Temple N Village Lunch 4


Temple N Village Lunch 5

Temple N Village Lunch 5


Temple N Village Lunch 6

Temple N Village Lunch 6


Temple N Village Lunch 7

Temple N Village Lunch 7


Temple N Village Lunch 8

Temple N Village Lunch 8


Temple N Village Lunch 9

Temple N Village Lunch 9


Temple N Village Lunch 10

Temple N Village Lunch 10


Temple N Village Lunch 11

Temple N Village Lunch 11


Temple N Village Lunch 12

Temple N Village Lunch 12


Temple N Village Lunch 13

Temple N Village Lunch 13


Temple N Village Lunch 14

Temple N Village Lunch 14


Temple N Village Lunch 15

Temple N Village Lunch 15


Temple N Village Lunch 16

Temple N Village Lunch 16


Temple N Village Lunch 17

Temple N Village Lunch 17


Temple N Village Lunch 18

Temple N Village Lunch 18


Temple N Village Lunch 19

Temple N Village Lunch 19


Temple N Village Lunch 20

Temple N Village Lunch 20


Temple N Village Lunch 21

Temple N Village Lunch 21


Temple N Village Lunch 22

Temple N Village Lunch 22


Temple N Village Lunch 23

Temple N Village Lunch 23

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Happy TEACHERS DAY to all in China

Below this entry is a short run down I found on the history of Teachers Day. Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Here I sit in my third school, living in my third province on my third Teachers Day in China. How awesome is life! Since returning from my summer 'Beers Noodles N Temples' adventure I've been taking life pretty easy. I killed another bike last week. I was, as usual, along way away from home when my cranks went and once again I had to walk my bike most of the way home. Everything on it was 'dead, striped or broken' and needed replaced so I decided to replace the bike instead of paying pretty much the same on repairs. So now I have a much stronger bike with a body shocker, disk breaks and all the bells and whistles. As Richie Ramone would say, 'she's a rokkin duzie mate!' School started last Monday and its been a real blast. The kids and I have been having so much fun and I'm yet to have a bad class. I really do have the greatest job in the world. Today we started 'Rooms In Your New House' and its strange how many toilets can fit into one house. One student even had a toilet next to his bed so he didn't have to walk far at night. Their imagination is out of control sometimes..... ......or maybe 'all the time' is a better way of putting it. The two new teachers (Rob and Jo from Canada) are really cool. I took Rob for his first ride on Saturday and his seat pole broke within the first hour. Pretty much says that anything 'good' made in China is sent overseas. Kind of like Australia sending its 'top grade' meat overseas to countries like Japan etc to get a better price. Robs teaching in the Middle School and has pretty much settled in. Jo is here in my Primary School teaching Grades 1, 2 & 3 and I think it came as a bit of a shock to her. Being a teacher in Canada for twenty or so years and then coming here would be a bit much for anyone to take. Just think about it for a minute. Look at 'our' schools back home. Everything is provided, videos, DVD players, over heads, store rooms etc. Here, well we have a black board and free chalk. Oh and we have up to seventy students per class (in this school anyhow). In Tianyang I had nearly ninety in one of my classes and the rest had eighty. So I now believe it would actually be much harder for an existing teacher to come to China to teach than someone who has never taught before. Imagine the 'self expectations and levels' one would arrive with having taught English speaking students for many years. She is now happy and settled and life is good all around! I've taken them to a few of 'The Favourite' eateries and they have been happy with the food at each. I think 'Yellow' may be the top favourite so far. I still have a few more up my sleeve for them to try out but it's good to take time with these things. The weather went from very humid and sweaty to cool pretty much over night. It's unbelievable how it does that here.

I'm still in shorts and short sleeves but I think I'm pretty much the only one. Hey, it's not going to make anyone look at me anymore than they already do now is it! Happily for me Joyce decided to return for another term and we head out for dinner and walk and talk. She's doing some 'Advanced English' exam next month and is busy reciting the strangest English 'Stuff' I've ever heard. She asks me what it all means and my only reply can be 'when you find out, please tell me!' I honestly have no idea what most of it means, neither does Rob and even Jo being a teacher finds most of it 'rather strange'. Linguistics! Why does she need to learn such a crazy topic? I would like to say I'm busy getting my summer adventure onto Travelpod, but I'm not. Now that I'm teaching again I'm back at the computer so I'm slowly getting there. Amigo (Luo Wei) is trying to hurry me along so she can see pictures of her beautiful city 'Kaifeng' so I'm trying to at least get Kaifeng on this week to make her cute smile even cuter! I'm still hoping to spend a week with her in October in both Xi'an and Hua Shan. We are still talking all day every day and getting to know each other and that my friends, is a beautiful beautiful thing! So that's about it really. Life in a Chinese bucket so to say. (Don't fill it too much or the handle will surely break...ha ha ha!) That brings us to today which is Teachers Day.

The school took all its present and many past teachers out for a huge dinner last Friday night. The food was delicious and everyone had such a wonderful time. My school opened up a new school at the other end of town to accommodate the future families that will soon move into the many new apartment complexes there. It's like they built half a city down there. A few bus loads of us went to have a look before the huge dinner and I was pretty impressed with everything except the bloody tiles. Its now 2007 and they are still covering everything in those horrid bloody Chinese tiles! Today my students gave me so many presents. I had flowers hanging out of books and behind my ears. It was such a sweet day and right now I wouldn't change my life for anything. I'm pretty much where I want to be and have wanted to be for a long time. Remember to read the Teachers Day part below! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane The soundtrack to this entry was none other than KISS The album 'ALIVE III' Beers N Noodles all nite and Teach N Party everyday! ############################################################ ############# <u>Respect for Teachers and Learning</u> In the history of Chinese education, Confucius is a paragon of all teachers, symbolizing the philosophy of "Educate all without discrimination, and teach according to the abilities of ones students." Using the six arts of rites, music, archery, chariot driving, learning (including reading and writing), and mathematics, Confucius had more than three thousand disciples during his lifetime. In practice of his credo, the Sage never refused a student because of his class or character, requiring only that his pupils possess a sincere desire to learn. During the crisis of the 'Spring and Autumn Period', Confucius sought to end the chaos of the times. Believing this disorder to be a reflection of declining morals in society, he exhaustively toured the various warring Chinese states to advise rulers and officials on the merits of ethical rule. In his later years, Confucius reorganized the ancient texts, thus laying a solid foundation for China's enduring civilization. In 1939 the Ministry of Education pronounced that Confucius' birthday would be celebrated on August 28, and designated it as Teachers' Day as well as a national holiday to remember Confucius' enormous contribution to Chinese culture and society. The date was changed to September 28 in 1952 in accordance with chronologists' new findings. Today, Teachers' Day not only commemorates China's foremost teacher in history but also honours all teachers for their hard work during the year. The first Teachers' Day was in 1931, the date was June 6, organized by a group of famous teachers without being officially approved by the Kuomintang Government. In 1939, the Kuomintang Government decided to set the Teachers Day on August 28 (Confucius's birthday), due to the turmoil, it was never carried out throughout the whole country. In 1951, the New China government decided to set the Teachers' Day on May 1, the same day with Labour Day, this wasn't ever popular. Finally, teachers found a day to celebrate their glorious career in 1985, since then, on September 10 every year, teachers all over the country get special attention and gifts for their services to this country. Every year during Teachers' Day, the Confucius Memorial Service is solemnly held at the Confucius Temple to show respect and honour for the Sage. At the "Teachers Day Celebration" held by the Ministry of Education and the various local governments, teachers with the highest seniority and best qualities are recognized for their contribution to society. Being a teacher in China is not simply a job, it is one of the most respected careers. ############################################################

Teachers Day N a Catchup

Teachers Day N a Catchup


Teachers Day N a Catchup (1)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (1)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (10)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (10)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (11)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (11)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (2)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (2)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (3)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (3)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (4)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (4)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (5)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (5)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (6)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (6)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (7)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (7)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (8)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (8)


Teachers Day N a Catchup (9)

Teachers Day N a Catchup (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)