A Travellerspoint blog

December 25th, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!

sunny -5 °C

After a hectic and busy week last week, I was able to get an extra day off of work this week. It felt like a real vacation having 4 days off in a row! Mike and I didn't do much. A little shopping at Ikea, a little shopping at Joy City (one of the biggest malls in Beijing), a little bit of Chinese with Ying and a little bit of sight-seeing around lake Houhai (unfortunately, I didn't think to bring the camera!).

It certainly feels strange not spending Christmas with my family though! Yesterday and today felt like regular days. I wonder if I'll be itching for Christmas in two months time... I did feel a bit sad yesterday because we hadn't planned to do anything special. I regretted not buying a Christmas tree ( since the lobby in my hotel was decorated with garlands and lights galore, I figured I really didn't need to decorate my studio. And besides, where would I put the stuff once the season ended?!) Still, for a moment there yesterday I felt sad that I hadn't tried to make it a special occasion and that I hadn't gotten my act together to buy Mike a gift in time (especially since he had gotten me something). That being said, today made up for yesterday's bust. We had a lovely time with my colleagues, enjoying Dylan's Brazilian wife's food and talking to my colleagues!

Posted by Evil1 03:28 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

December 19th, 2009

Exhausted

sunny -3 °C

It's 7:30 PM and I just got back from work. I'm completely exhausted. Today was one of those days where things just seem to go from bad to worse. I woke up in a bad mood because Mike made a comment about me being late for work. I would have been late if I had had a class scheduled this morning but as it was I didn't need to teach until later. And then things got worse. Beverly got sick and left work at 12:30 PM. Colin came to me directly and asked if I wouldn't mind teaching her 1 PM class. I told him I couldn't since I had not planned for any classes tomorrow. (The Christmas party that the school organized on Thursday had taken up all my class prepping time). I figured that Beverly's class would be cancelled or that they would call in the substitute teacher. But instead Colin ended up teaching her class. And he gave me the cold shoulder for the rest of the afternoon because I had not leapt at the opportunity to help out. Eventually though, he did thaw out a bit but it was a dreadful day nonetheless. And to be honest, I'm not really looking forward to the next 2 days and their full loads of classes!

Posted by Evil1 03:32 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

December 15th, 2009

Chinese lessons

sunny 4 °C

Yesterday morning, Mike and I had our first Chinese lesson together. Prior to coming to China, he and I had attempted to learn some Chinese together but we never got very far. My school offered to pay for Chinese lessons but unfortunately, they were only held once a week. And the teacher either rushed through lessons or didn't show up! So I took matters into my own hands last week and contacted Beverly's private tutor. Her name is Ying and she's a Peking University student finishing up her last year!

So anyways, yesterday's two hours went by really quickly. I knew most of the vocabulary she introduced us to (ie numbers, days, months and how to introduce yourself). Mike, on the other hand, knew very little besides the subject pronouns. But he picked things up incredibly quickly. I knew he had a good memory for the office gossip I bombard him with on a weekly basis but I didn't realize it extended to more useful things! Thanks to this, his dreadful accent and his theatricals that cracked us up, the class went by quickly! Looking forward to more of the same in tomorrow's class....!

Posted by Evil1 18:08 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

December 9th, 2009

Climbing the Great Wall!

overcast 6 °C

Yesterday, Mike and I got up with the roosters at the crack of dawn and headed towards Tian'anmen Square. One of my Chinese colleagues had recommended we take a tour bus down to the Great Wall. The price included the bus ride to the wall, to the Mong tombs, lunch and the ride back to Beijing. For 100 RMB each, that sounded ideal! The only pitfall she said was that we'd have to wait for the bus to be full before we left.

Oh boy, did we wait! We waited close to 2 hours in the unheated bus for it to fill up. Still, once we got to the Great Wall, we were both glad we'd come. The weather was sunny and clear and once we started hiking up the wall, it didn't feel cold anymore! We took tons of pictures, posed with a camel and then headed back down to meet our group again. Except our bus didn't head to the Ming Tombs. Instead, it took us to a jade factory, a cookie factory and I really don't know what the last place was! The whole time, tour guides regaled the Chinese tourists with fun stories and we were left guessing what on earth they were talking about! The Chinese tourists really seemed to enjoy being taken to all these different tourist traps but after the third one, we were famished and ready to head back into the City. So we caught bus 919 back to Beijing and ate some wonderful French food at the Cafe de la Poste!

In retrospect, I wish we'd taken bus 919 to the Badaling portion of the Great Wall. It would have been cheaper and we could have walked around and taken advantage of the Wall for longer! Next time!

Posted by Evil1 20:11 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

December 7th, 2009

overcast 3 °C

Mike arrived Friday without a glitch. I was stressed because I was scheduled to work the afternoon he arrived. I had to give oral placement tests. But my supervisor, now Colin, told me it wasn't everyday that my boyfriend arrived and that I could take my time. I'm still in awe at home great people are in this company (compared to how psycho-rigid they were at my former one!). I barely had time to see him though this week-end since I teach all day Saturday and Sunday! But I guess it was all right since he's still very much jet-lagged after a 16 hour trip and 7 hours time difference!

Posted by Evil1 20:06 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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