Day 19 - Medallions and Microwaves

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Smog Level: 0.1 Mountains (almost invisible)

I walk up to the front gate, approaching the woman in the tiny office. “Lǐpǐn! lǐpǐn!” I repeat, which means “gift! gift!” as I pace the small parcel containing the small medallion cakes from the sweet shop next to my building. The woman at the counter, taken aback, said something that seemed to be “for me? oh, I can’t!” I put my hands up like “well it’s on the counter and I’m not picking it back up,” and walked over to the turnstile guy. "Xìe xìe!" (thank you) she called after me.

I did the same thing with the turnstile guard, though he was much less receptive. However, the girl at the counter leaned out and was like “He’s a teacher!” getting me right on in.

The Director met with me and walked me through classroom management and talked a bit about the history of the cultural revolution of China, and how the older generation appears to views things differently from the younger generations. He told me that the kids will often use crying as their number one weapon to get what they want. Music to my ears. I love to keep my skin soft and supple from the salty goodness of tear baths. Counter-intuitive, I know.

Around 10:30am, I was done for the day. Fridays are real early, it would seem, and lunch doesn’t start until 11:30, so… it’s time for..

Random Fighter Jet
Teacher's Lounge!

Oh man, I'm looking forward to spending plenty of time here. I’m going to will myself out of bed at the real early time of 6:50 every(?) morning so that I can get to school at the same time of day, teaching or otherwise. Maybe I’ll throw the gym in there. Seems like I can get the most work done, if I commit to this whole “being an adult” thing. Plus, they have good coffee, only ¥5 a cup. That’s like 1.10 CAD. Cheapest cuppa you’ll find.

After saying hi to a few people, I hike around campus to get the microwave that Sara told me had arrived. I like her, and wish I could speak more Mandarin so we could actually hold a longer conversation. On my way to the guard station, I realize that I don’t know the word for “microwave.” The internet/reception is very spotty around campus, meaning I can’t look it up very quickly, either. I also don’t know Sara’s Chinese name. 
Fresh Orange Juice

Well, then.. I don’t even know how to mime a microwave. I end up continually repeating “Carden” and “Lǎoshì.” One of the two guards seems to know a little english, but not enough to be helpful. It’s all resolved, I guess, because they called someone. I don’t know that they even spoke to anyone, or if they were just fed up, but they just gave it to me. I find it entertaining that they speak mandarin in full sentences to me, knowing full well that I have no idea what they’re saying other than the odd word, like “come” (lài) when inviting me in.

I eat food in the Caf with NZ Kim and Philip’s Filipino wife, Leah. They tell me a bit about their side of the school, and how their schedules seem, uh, less optimal than ours. Apparently Kim has a late class at 5:20, and nothing between lunch and then. That really sucks.

It’s hectic around campus everywhere because this is a boarding school, and Friday afternoons is when the kids go home. I’m carrying a microwave and trying not to crush any of these adorable kids. I saw a random white girl, which left some unresolved questions. There are white children here?? Does she have a Chinese accent? Imagine how confusing that would be.

I lounge around, luxuriously, at home with the air purifiers blasting. The air looks terrible outside, but the meter says it’s not bad. I need to get me one of them, then we can do away with this whole “3 Mountains” business. Or maybe just use them both to see how they compare. In either case, I wait around for Shimou to come over. She is a bit later than originally anticipated.

The Massage Parlor Prices
We meet at the mall just after I grab a “chicken burger” from Burger King. I wasn’t going to get anything from there, but it's as pretty cheap (¥18/$3.66 CAD/$2.76 USD) and I wanted to know if it had a good, non-fried chicken burger. It was alright, but certainly was real chicken. KFC, Burger King, and McDonald's all seem to use real chicken and not that chicken, um, paste.

Shimou and I grab dinner at that Chinese Western food restaurant (again, more accurate than Western Chinese food), and skedaddle over to the blind massage parlor. This time didn’t hurt nearly as much as the week before, but my neck has been killing me because of the terrible ergonomics of a shorter culture and laptop use. The massages are working and totally worth the ¥66 ($13.44 CAD/$10.13 USD) an hour. I’m even considering doubling up. Those knots won't know what hit 'em.

And with that, we call it a night, as my bedtime seems to be around midnight, 1am these days.

Words of the Day

English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Man - nān rén [non rhen]
Woman - Nǔ rén [new rhen]
Boy - nān hái [non hi]
Girl - nǔ hái [new hi]

Play (verb) - wán [wahn]

Editing Music
Still Wild
La Mar
(I realized that I'm linking the songs every time, I might as well just post the video)

No comments:

Post a Comment