Day 20 - Romantic Night at The Lake with The Beef

Friday, February 26th, 2016
Smog Level: 2 Mountains
"Comical Craftsmanship, Cobbler!
Cobble Conscientiously!"

After a pleasant morning chatting with Josh over coffee, I rouse Shimou from her slumber and get things moving. I’m going to tutor a couple people today, so it looks like it’ll be at least a 5 hour work day today. Honestly, none of this feels like work. Maybe that’s because it’s fresh and new, but more likely because I really didn’t enjoy my stop-over situation in Canada. While there, I made the best of it and tried to enjoy it as much as possible, but this.. This is lightyears ahead of that.
After tutoring one of my students in person for the first time (only online in the past), I cab across town to the other student for another 2 hours session. This entails reading, writing, and vocabulary… but mostly it’s just conversation and answering questions about phrases that come up during it. I did this naturally with my friends in Australia, so this is heaven for a little spending cash.

If you’re wondering how much a foreign tutor can make, it depends if you’re a teacher or not. If you’re a random foreigner, you can probably get a cap of about ¥200 ($41 CAD/$30.7 USD) an hour. If you’re a teacher with experience of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), you can probably reach for ¥250+ an hour. Most people seem to prefer to do 2 hour sessions, and I’ve heard you can make it even more convenient for yourself by getting them to come to you. For now, I’m fine with going to them, as it’s not that inconvenient and I need something to survive until my first pay cheque.
People Aplenty
Chinese, Canadian, Chuckling Collectively
Luke (aka Jim, aka Tony, aka The Beef) is leaving in a couple days, so we’re going to spend some time with him down that same street we went to with Olive on Day 11. We grab some Chinese pancake from “Pancake Man/Hero” which seems to be quite the novelty, even for the locals. There is an assortment of food to sample down this stone-brick road. We snag: stinky tofu (again), fried noodles, pudding milk tea (like bubble tea), pear water (hot pear tea, basically), and “New Zealand Cheese.” That last one is a bit of a disappointment because it looked like cheesecake, but instead was like as sweet grilled cheese. Still, everything is pretty damn cheap, ranging from ¥10-20 (~$2-4 CAD/$1.50-3 USD).

The area has even more to offer, as there’s a small lake nearby called Hòu Hǎi, which, I think, means “Back Ocean.” It’s really more of a large pond, surrounded by bars and clubs, most of which have great live music. Random people may walk up to you, speaking english, and try to persuade you to go to specific clubs. I asked if “gūn” (roughly “F off”) was appropriate for the more persistent random people. They felt it wasn’t appropriate then, either. I have this powerful word and it seems to be utterly useless.

Bars, Bridges, and Bit...uh, People
Way to ruin my alliteration streak, Political Correctness.
I grab a couple cheap souvenirs, only ¥10 each, and snap some nice photos of the lake's neon lights. I’m in a playful mood, possibly from a mix of lack of food most of the day, and just the right mixture of fatigue, caffeine, and water. In either case, the crowds really don’t bother me at all. I run around making stupid poses with the mannequins, snapping pictures, and saying stupid things in mandarin. “Nǐ shì shǐ(You are shitty) Shimou says as a jab, to which I loudly respond, “Shimou! Nǐ fàngpìle?!” meaning “You farted?!” The guys behind us heard and started laughing.

Moral of the story: It’s much easier to embarrass a local in their tongue than it is to embarrass a foreigner who doesn’t understand the language.

Lovely Illuminated Lake
All in all, great area that should be checked out. The shopping laneways are called “nan duo gu xian[non duo goo she-an] and “yan dai xie jie,” [yawn die she-eh jee-eh] which may or may not be one word each. I just threw the spaces in where the words seem to be separate from each other. Again, the area is Hou Hai. Great fun, not expensive - check it out!

Words of the Day:
Least - zuìxiǎo [zoy she-ow]
Bubble Tea - zhēnzhū nǎichá [jen-juu nye-cha](Directly translated: Pearl Milk Tea)
Give - gěi [gay]
egg - dàn [dahn]
that (dog) - nà (gè/tiáo gǒu) [nah guh/tee-own go]

Editing Music
Jack Garratt

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