A Travellerspoint blog

December 2013

My Students Beautiful New Years Performance

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

I mean look at them. Could you ever leave them!

Once again my students put on an amazing Christmas/New Years dance performance and this year’s even beat last years. I’ve now been here for a year and a half and will be staying on for one more term and yes, I did say that at the end of last term. Too be honest most of the time it actually still feels like this is my first term here which is a wonderful feeling to have as a foreign teacher.

For those wondering;

Yes I teach every one of the students you see in the photos along with hundreds more, including cute little 'Headbutt’, named due to her extreme fascination of head butting me. When she sees me she puts her fingers up as horns and the students clear the hall and off she runs down the hall full of giggles until SLAM.

Most times I am ready, others not so!

Dressed in the golden headdress, Catherine my most favourite student ever is going great as usual and if she was a mermaid I’d say she’s coming along swimmingly. Still always the top of all her classes and her enjoyment with the English language is just as it was when I first arrived. As for this year’s dance performance she danced in all Grade 5 dances, one Grade 4 along with one Grade 6.

A right can of beans that one! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Jamiroquai The album was ‘Travelling Without Moving’ ____________________________________________________________

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

The Past Few Weeks Have Been Totally Noodlesome

A Warm sleeping bags and mulled wine of your choice would now be the norm every night. Now don't complain and I know you are not, you choose to be there. You want to be in the mountains because this is where the real china is. You can dress against cold weather and hang out with warm people, but you can't change cold people into warm locations.. ...My Buddy Claudia Fiedler 2013...

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Not a bad few weeks if I say so myself.

A few delicious dinners followed by rather beery nights at KTV with the Gang of Sisters and this week the 'Rice Queens' took their 'Is it racist to call a back board black’ tour on the road beginning with Grade 5, Class 2 and after a long and gruelling week snorting chalk dust behind the scenes they ended their tour today (Thursday) entertaining Grade 4, Class 1. Honestly how much fun can you have using two umbrellas as musical instruments? I even had the classes humming Smoke on the Water while the students on stage (up front) were playing along to it banging their heads and then breaking into a lead break doing the Iron Maiden stance with a foot up on the desk.

You should have seen them go crazy when we did the Crazy Wokup (cook...ING).

We wokked up delicious dishes such as monkey ears with bok choy, pigs eyes with Chinese cabbage and fried noodles, chicken feet with fries and flies and chilli with chilli along with more chilli. In fact now that I think about it, I do believe I've eaten all of those dishes sometime over the past nearing nine years. I’m DancING began with a wiggle followed by a twist and ended with the Saturday Night Fever stance. I’m drivING started as a nice Sunday outing until we hit a red light and road rage erupted between the teams. I won’t even bother getting into I’m eatING or I’m drinkING etc, it was all a little messy.

And some continue to question why I stay here in China doing such a job when I could be back in Australia filing documents, dealing with solicitors, paying bills and cooking for myself!

Only twenty one more days left of this term and then it’s a month off and as to where I’ll be found, I am still yet to come up with any real plan but if Ting Ting can get time off work then we’ll probably head across to Yunnan Province. She’s always wanted to go to Yunnan, I haven’t been back since the end of 2006 and as it continues to get colder by the day here and is now dropping well below zero each night I am thinking the Xishuangbanna Region (found just above Laos) sounds like a great idea.

I spent 2000 and 2006 Spring Festivals there and I just love the place.

On Christmas Eve I will be found clicking my chopsticks and beer bottles with Wang Juxiang and The Gang of Sisters over a huge dinner they will have spent many hours preparing and depending on what sized 'Tony Abbott Wrecking Ball’ they feel like wielding throughout dinner, later in the evening I should be catching up with the XDS and Merida bike clubs who will be at gawd only knows what stage of their evening.

Depending on Christmas Eve’s shenanigans, Christmas Day will be spent either sleeping off a hangover or watching movies with the students throughout the day. Christmas evening will be spent moving from classroom to classroom sharing far too much candy and cola with the students as they enjoy their Classroom Christmas Parties.

<u>THE PHOTO’S FOR THIS ENTRY</u>

Tucked away, or more like hidden away over the other side of town is a little part of town that I have never found before. It extremely poor and things don’t seem to be holding up very well for all concerned. The rest are of the journeys to and from the poor area along with visits to the riverside market place and of course the school shots are ... yudda yudda yudda ... they are school shots or should I say photo’s because I feel bad using the words school and shots in the same sentence now days.

<u>NOW FOR A RUN DOWN ON THE DELICIOUS NOODLE! </u>

I found this blog half written about a week ago, yet I could have sworn I finished it a long time ago and had used in a past blog between then and now. Yet after searching my blog the only &#8216;noodle blogs’ I found were the Xinjiang Food blog and the History of Instant Noodles blog. So as noodles are my favourite dish, I figured why not finish it and throw in some photos from over the past few weeks just to let everyone know I’m still alive.

Lamian: La (Chinese) = Pulling and stretching & Mian (chinese) = Noodles. Most people if questioned would tell you that the noodle is an Italian discovery.

For many years, the origin of noodles has been a topic of much debate, some argue that noodles were first created in the Mediterranean region yet others claim that the first technology for creating noodles was developed in the Middle East. However, the oldest written records referring to noodles date back to the East Han Dynasty around AD 25 to AD 200...BUT...archaeologists recently unearthed the world’s oldest noodle in China which was about four thousand years old.

Noodles have been a staple food in many parts of the world for at least two thousand years and come from a variety of origins and wherever they have found a home, noodles have maintained their popularity over centuries due to their nature of being relatively cheap to produce, nutritious and filling, quick to prepare either hot or cold and their ability to be easily transported and stored for up to years at a time. Noodles are more commonly made from wheat flour but can also be created from rice flour or mung bean starch. The dough for wheat flour based noodles is typically wheat flour, salt, water, with the addition of eggs or lye depending on the desired texture and taste of the noodles.

<u>The Meaning of Noodles </u>

In Chinese culture the noodle is a symbol of long life and for that reason noodles are traditionally served on birthdays and on the Chinese New Year as an emblem of longevity and until recently the Chinese version of birthday cake was birthday noodles. In Japan, noodles were incorporated into the Japanese tea ceremony and noodle making was considered its own art form. Noodles became even more important in Japan after WWII, when food shortages were rampant and dried foods like noodles were often the only available food item. In just about every Asian culture that uses them, noodles are associated with well being and long life and can be considered an Asian comfort food.

<u>What Is the World’s Most Popular Noodle Dish?</u>

Chicken noodle soup is considered the most popular noodle soup in the world.

Many countries, from Southeastern Europe to Asia to Latin America have their own versions of a chicken broth based soup mixed with wheat or rice based noodles. In all cultures folk wisdom says the soup has a curative property that helps with flu’s and colds and folk wisdom is actually correct as Chicken noodle soup has anti-inflammatory properties and helps with stuffy noses.

<u>Types of Asian Noodles </u>

Whether thin or thick, flat or round, wheat or rice or mung bean, every single noodle in Asia has its own history and its own culinary use.

La Mian Noodles: The oldest noodle ever discovered resembles the la mian noodle of modern China. La mian literally means &#8216;pulled noodle’. It is a handmade wheat noodle, made of dough that is twisted and stretched until a long thin piece is produced. It is used in soups and stir fries and it is similar to the Cantonese lo mein noodle, but is much thinner than most lo mein noodles served in America.

Ramen Noodles or &#8216;Chuka Men’ : Many claim that ramen noodles were developed from the Chinese la mian noodle and that the word "ramen" is a Japanese derivative of the word "lamian." There is good linguistic evidence for this connection and the noodle commonly used in ramen is also called “chuka men,” meaning “Chinese noodle” in Japanese.

Chuka men is an ultra-thin, round wheat noodle that is also used for other Japanese dishes, such as champon &#8211; fried pork with seafood, vegetables and broth, which is also popular in Korea &#8211; and yakisoba &#8211; fried noodles, a dish similar to the Chinese chow mein

Udon Noodles: Thick Japanese wheat noodles are known as “udon” noodles and are usually served in a hot broth-based soup, usually topped with scallions. The noodle likely derived from a similar Chinese noodle known as “cu mian.” It is said that Japanese Buddhist monks in the 800s brought the udon noodle back from China and it also highlights the importance of noodles in Japanese Zen or Buddhist culture.

Soba Noodles: Thin buckwheat noodles used to make soups and occasionally eaten cold with a dipping sauce. Soba has been eaten for centuries but became a main staple of the Tokyo region during the Edo period when the wealthy of this region began to prefer white rice (low in thiamine) over the thiamine-rich brown rice and they also became a necessary source for nutrients.

Mee Pok: Mee pok are flat, yellow wheat noodles hailing from China that are tossed in sauce or served in a soup with mushrooms and minced meat on top. The dish, called “bak chor mee,” is served in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia as well and traditionally the noodles are blanched, drained and mixed with the sauce or broth.

He Fen and Pho Noodles: A broad, flat, slippery rice noodle, he fen, also known as “hor fun” and “shahe fen”, has its origins in China, where they are stir fried with beef to make “chao fen” or served in soups. However, the noodle has also traveled to other countries. In Thailand, a similar noodle is used to create a variety of Chinese-inspired stir fries and in Vietnam this same rice noodle is used to create pho.

Cellophane Noodles: Also known as glass noodles, mung bean noodles, bean thread noodles and Chinese vermicelli, cellophane noodles are ultra-thin, translucent noodles traditionally made from mung bean starch. Nowadays, cellophane noodles can be made of yam, potato, cassava or canna starch as well. These noodles are eaten all over China in stir fries, soups and hot pots. They have also spread to Japan, Korea, Vietnam and several South Asian countries where they are used in stir fries, spring rolls and even desserts.

Rice Vermicelli: Rice vermicelli are very thin noodles similar to cellophane noodles but made of rice flour instead of mung bean or potato starch. They are eaten throughout Asia but are especially popular in Singapore where they are used to create peanut satay noodles (satay been hoon) or seafood fried noodles (hokkien mee). They are also used in the Phillipinese where they are known as “pancit” and are stir-fried and eaten on birthdays just as they have been in China for centuries.

Dotori Guksu: Dotori guksu are unique Korean noodles made from acorns and given the long history of acorns in Korea and noodles around the area, it is likely that these noodles have been eaten for several millennia in Korea. The thick acorn flour noodles are similar to soba noodles and are eaten in stir fries or chilled and served with dipping sauce.

<u>Now For a More Entertaining History on Noodle!</u>

Noodle is the official lead guitarist for the band Gorillaz.

She was born in Osaka, Japan on October 31, 1990 and due to the events of the El Ma&ntilde;ana Incident, she disappeared for many years. However, she was seen on the cruise liner M. Harriet, which was subsequently attacked by pirate jets and sunk. Noodle was seen fleeing in a yellow dingy, where she was last seen with a gigantic Russell.

During her absence, her position as the band's guitarist was substituted by Cyborg Noodle, supposedly made by Murdoc from Noodle's DNA to replace her in the Gorillaz.

Noodle spent a portion of her childhood in Japan as a subject of a classified Japanese super soldier project under the management of the Japanese scientist, Mr. Kyuzo. Noodle, along with the twenty two other children were trained with the sole purpose of fighting as soldiers of the Japanese military. After the children were deemed too dangerous and unstable for combat the project was scrapped. Mr. Kyuzo was then ordered to dispose of all possible traces of the failed experiment along with its participants but after killing the other twenty two childrenKyuzo was reluctant to kill Noodle and instead put her into a state of amnesia.

After temporarily clearing her memory of the project, Kyuzo smuggled Noodle to the United Kingdom in a FedEx crate and falsely reported her death to his superiors. Noodle arrived at the doorstep of Kong Studios in 2000. Once the crate was taken inside Noodle sprung out of the box and performed a guitar solo to which 2D described as being 'two hundred demons screaming in Arabic and also as Brilliant!, she ended her solo with a twenty foot high karate kick before bowing and saying the word 'Noodle'.

This resulted with her earning the name 'Noodle' which is her only currently known name and replacing Prwaula Cracker as the band's lead guitarist.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Gorillaz The album was both &#8216;The Gorillaz & Demon Days' ____________________________________________________________

The Other Side Of The City Adventures

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