A Travellerspoint blog

December 2005

Lets Welcome in 2006 in Guigang China

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you

I finally made it back to Tianyang after a fantastic weekend in Guigang to welcome in the New Year. I caught the 4:20pm train last night that left Guigang well after 5pm and made it into Baise around 11:30pm or so. Here I sat on the side of the road trying to flag down buses for well over two hours until a man on a motor bike stopped. I gave him 30 Yuan to take me to Tianyang. I finally made it back well after 1:30am or so and sat and had a couple of beers and some food with my friends before heading home.

The weekend was FAN BLODY TASTIC MATE! The trip over was good. Got a bus from Tianyang to Nanning and then another bus to Guigang. All up around 8 hours. I met up with Leeanne (Pingguo) and Karen (Guigang Aussie) and the Guigang crew for a weekend of beer, food and fun. They now have a western bar called the Nirvana bar. Cool music, good beer and good chat. Many many beautiful girls too. All can speak English to a certain degree. Must say, a big difference from my side of the hill.

As for New Years Eve, well there were bugger all fireworks really. New Years Night the shopping centre put on a heap, strangely from in the middle of the shopping centre. I thought at first there was a gas explosion or something. I don't why they let them off 'in' the shopping centre when they had the entire city square out front to use! I mean this square is huge. Only the Chinese are this safety conscious!

The Nirvana Bar has the most awesome balcony out back. At the moment they have the entire rear of the building. You could play a game of football out there. New Years Night was very warm so we all sat outside in our shorts and tee-shirts and chatted. Just like being home. I got offered a job and a lot more money so I'm thinking maybe I could head there after this year is up. That's if I can manage to leave my kids.

Karen and I headed out on bikes each afternoon and rode around Guigang. I like it more each time I visit. I know Kevin (Aussie) is staying for another year but Canadian Chris and Cathy are heading off pretty soon. I met a heap of people and had a great time so all up; I had a grand welcome into 2006. Bring it on baby, bring it on!

Anyhow, tis time to have a smoke and a coffee before English Corner. I'm back in shorts and sandals today...oh baby, bring on summer!!!!!

Guigang New Years

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

Childrens Hobby Afternoon at School

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

Santa also visits Kunming

Friday, 23rd December 2005

After a happy day with my Grade 3's I caught a road side bus to Baise to meet the girls. We then caught the 9:30 over night train to Kunming

Saturday, 24th December 2005 - Xmas Eve

The train arrived as usual, right in 7:30am. We checked into the hotel Kylies Lawyer friend had booked for us. We met Gary the Chinese English teacher from England whom used to teach in Baise. We headed out and gorged ourselves on Mc Muffins. Oh yeah, it had been too long. Gary and I headed off on a city walk and left the girls to amuse themselves. We went from DVD shop to DVD shop. What an amazing selection. China has nearly every single movie you can think of all for a buck a piece! Unbelievable but true. The full Bond collection cost me under twenty Aussies dollars. We walked around the uni area an area I've never really been to in Kunming. I was surprised, it felt like walking around Melbourne city there were that many western faces and shops. We spent a few hours sitting in the French Café talking, drinking beer and checking emails.

The evening's dinner had been taken care of. Kylies 'friend' Andy whom is very well known lawyer in Kunming as an English speaking off-sider. His name is Cal. He took us all out for dinner and it was a fantastic time had by all. We laughed and filled our stomaches on beautiful Chinese food. After dinner we headed out into the streets. I was totally amazing at how crazy the city was going. There were latterly thousands of people all acting like sixteen year olds. Every one had a bottle of beer in one hand and a spray can in other. They were mobbing each other as they walk past. Everyone was covered in foam. Glow sticks were also attached to every available limb.

We headed towards 'The Hump' area. The Hump is the latest offering in Hostel type Accommodation and Bars that is popular with us Westerners. We entered a bar and that's where we stayed for the rest of the evening. No one wanted to head out. Even going to the toilet just out the door and around the corner was an adventure worth writing about in itself. Being a westerner you would end up covered by foam and surrounded by a million teenagers like people. So we sat, some danced and we had ourselves a pretty entertaining evening. I don't think we would have stayed there if we had a choice Or if we hadn't paid such a huge amount of money for a booth, but hey, it was Christmas Time and we were targets in the outdoor world. Sometime during the early hours we ended up at a BBQ Street eating BBQ and drinking more beer.

Sunday, 25th December 2005 - Christmas Day

We all woke early and headed to Kylie and Judy's room. Here we had already put up a Christmas Tree and put the presents underneath. Yes, we all bought presents for each other and carted them all the way to Kunming especially for Christmas morning. It was supposed to be a small thing 'as we all knew we did have a house in China and would have to pack it one day along with getting it back to our towns from Kunming'. HHHMMMmmm, I think Gary and I were the only ones whom listened to the girl's advice! They themselves went crazy on the presents. I ended up with a huge basket ball right complete with back. Well, not huge but much too big for a backpacks journey home. For the next hour or more we amused ourselves and each other whilst unwrapping our goodies.

The afternoon was spent walking around the city and the central lake area. Christmas Dinner was organised by Andy the lawyer. He took us out for a special hotpot and through Gary he gave us the entire history of the hotpot. The food was fantastic and we all had a great time. Andy then took us to a new KTV Bar for KTV. Everyone sang up a storm and even I took to the mic a few times. It was a great way to spend our first Christmas in China. Well, it was to be my first and the girls one and only.

Monday, 26th December 2005 - Boxing Day

Leeanne and I caught the 9:30am train home. Kylie and Judy had the next week or so off and headed up to Dali. The trip home was relaxing and I slept and read, slept and read and slept and read whilst reading Lord of the Flies. I had not read it since early High School and once I began I couldn't put it down. We arrived in Baise around 10:00pm; I said seeya to Leeanne whom was continuing on to Pingguo.

From Baise it took me two hours to get home to Tianyang. First of all the Tuk Tuk driver said 10 Yuan to the little bus station from the train station. She then stopped at the end of the train station road and demanded 10. I laughed and took the keys out of the ignition and made her pay 7 to have them back. It was all a bit of fun and we were both laughing. She tried her best.

Then the taxi driver continually pushed the dash board sign down that made the meter work. I'd push back up and he'd push it back down and cross his fingers and say 10 over and over again. I'd had enough by now and held the sign up and put my hand on the hand brake. In the end I threw the 5 Yuan at him that was displayed on the meter. Once in Tianyang I had dinner at the market place and headed home to bed.

Kunming Xmas Weekend

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

Christmas Blackboard Day with the kids

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to ya It was a fantastic afternoon spent with a heap of my students with coloured chalk. We all had such a good time. The safety factor was a little worrisome. Not only the students but the teachers put chairs onto of rickety tables. There are no such things as ladders here in Tianyang I guess. If there is I've never seen one being used.

I helped with some of the English from my students but the classes that I didn't teach just went about their ways and afterwards I tried to comprehend some of what was written and gave up. The main thing was they were so happy and proud they had successfully filled a blackboard with English. I knew no one was being marked or would come to read the text. After trying to correct some of it and then not understanding I stopped worrying about what was right or wrong and stood back proud of them also. We played games, coloured in and had a great and relaxing time together.

Christmas Blackboard Day

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

Baise Christmas Party

Friday, 16th December 2005

After another perfect Friday teaching my Grade 3's I caught a road side bus to Baise. We were supposed to go out for dinner and head back to the High School were Kylie lives and teachers. Instead after a beautiful dinner our buddy Brad whom is a Drug Squad Policeman in Baise took us all out for beers. No one left early which was suprising and we all stumbled home to wake the schools gate guard at some unknown hour of the morning.

Saturday, 17th December 2005

We spent the morning or what was left of it (by the time we all rose and showered) in Biase walking around after breakfast. We then shopped for party food and beer and headed back to Kylies. I spent the day burning cd's for those whom wanted copies made for them of Christmas songs etc. The girls cooked, prepared and kept me out of the kitchen and away from anything that was for the party.

The party was a much bigger hit than I expected. The girls had cooked for different Chinese friends over a period of time. Their friends had asked them to cook western dishes for them and upon eating them, only finished a small amount before leaving and being spotted in a local resterant eating dinner again. This evening ALL the food was finished. They loved the food and I think even got some recepies and instructions on how to cook it. The biggest hit was the curried eggs. This was a real bugger for me as I only got one and I love them. There was also was tuna pasta, satay noodles, bread sticks, fruit salad etc. About 30 or so people turned up and most of them went back for seconds. We all sat talking as a lot of them knew some English. There were many photos taken and songs sung. By the end of the evening we were pretty happy when the last person left. We were all so tired from the previous evening. It was a great Christmas Party. The girls cooked up a feast and everyone left surprisingly full and happy.

Sunday, 18th December 2005

The day was spent in Baise at the DVD Shop and the girls collect and had themselves measured for more. I caught an early afternoon bus home and slept for a few hours before heading across to the market place for dinner.

Baise Christmas Party (2)

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