Yeah, but I’ll get to that later.
Two weeks of teaching now under my belt, well three if you count the one week practicum I had way back in May. I am noticing that the preparation is becoming easier. I had to play catch up for the previous two weeks. Oral IELTS is my strongest lesson. My class is very sharp and their oral english is impressive. I just wish they would talk to one another, and not just to me. Culture is proving a little difficult to teach and grammar is just boring for everyone involved.
On Thursday, Jason (who works in my department) found the coolest apartment for me. This place is box. No more linoleum hospital/science lab dormitories for me. Hardwood floors, carpet, queen sized bed, my own washing machine, kitchen, washroom, dining area, sundeck, 21 inch TV, high speed internet, close to campus, quiet…and all to myself. Free too…with the exception of utilities and net…heh heh. This place is nicer than anything I would ever find in Canada. Makin’ the move over there tommorrow afternoon.
I was introduced to the hot pot on friday night. I really enjoy the dining experience here. It is very ‘involved’. For instance, for those of you who have had the opportunity to dine with me in Canada will know what a quick eater I am, usually finishing a good fifteen minutes before everyone else. Annie and I walked into the place around 6:30pm and didn’t finish until 9:00pm…and we still hadn’t finished all the food. I think my amatuer chopstick skills contributed to extending the meal far longer than it should have.
I also bought a few DVD’s that night as well. DVD’s here, are not really what one would call DVD’s back home. They are all bootlegs, and the quality is hit and miss, but I would classify most as VCD quality. Usually the front sleeve contains praise from various film critics (ie. Roper and Ebert give it two thumbs up)…not here. Plastered on the cover of my copy of Resident Evil: Apocalypse was “an utterly meaningless waste of time” – Chicago Tribune.
On Saturday I thought it would be a good idea to attempt an expedition to the Yangtse River. I couldn’t get to the river, I was close though. In the end, my quest was foiled by a wave of construction skirting the banks of the Yangtse…the Chinese projects I suppose. If I walked far enough, I would probably have reached an opening, but I was tired, and wasn’t really sure of my exact location. I had to be back at campus at 6:50 for a conert.
Every now and then events are made free for the Universities FT’s. This week the school had got a hold of tickets to an Austrian string group. I’m the only FT in the Sino-British department and it gets a little boring over in my section of campus, so I jumped at the opportunity to finally meet some of the other TEFL clones. The concert was very good, but I’ll admit that my knowledge of classical music is very limited, so I didn’t recognize very many pieces.
After the concert, I was introduced to Nanjing’s night scene by three American FT’s working at NNU. All super cool people. After meeting up with some of their friends we went hunting for this place called Ricks. After an interesting cab ride through Nanjing, we found the place and I’ll say that the chaos and mayhem which is the Chinese street at night spills right into the bars and clubs. This place was packed. Met some more FT’s. drank some Bud (sorry Fras…can’t get Molson here) and danced. Find the right people and you end up meeting everyone.
Anyways, apparenly this place is managed by an American dude and when he is around, foreigners drink for free. That’s right. For free. Bottles excluded, but everything else is on the house. Shots, highballs, martinis…anything. When he is not around, we get 50% off with our foreigner VIP card (which I have to remember to get next time I’m there). I was already impressed by the nature of booze prices in this country, but this find puts everthing else to shame. Needless to say, this place could prove to be trouble in the future…
Put up some more photos from the summer.
Nanjing at its finest