I enjoyed this Chinglish, spotted at a "Self help desk" in a furniture shop last week, particularly the totally opposite aims of "wrapping" or "warping" your fragile items!
The British Consul-General was in Kunming a couple of days ago and I found myself invited to a celebration of 45 years of China-UK ambassadorial relations. There were about 50 business people in attendance, of which just 10 or so were actually British! I met up with my old colleagues from Robert's School which was fun [see below] and the "typically British food" on offer - roast chicken, curry, fish & chips, mashed potatoes, etc - was rather good.
My University hosted a pleasant leaving party today for the half dozen teachers who will not be continuing next term. Amongst them is Nancy [talking to me in photo above] who is transferring to Kunming College. JD loves to play with her kids and we have become good friends over the last couple of years. Hopefully we'll stay in touch.
The event included a number of interesting performances such as a Tea Ceremony, Laos and Dai dancing and a kung fu demonstration.
I also found out that one of foreign teachers I work with has just decided to leave, and a new teacher who had been lined up has quit already! That means I'll be in a team of just two teachers next term where we formerly had 4-5. Could be interesting.
JD's Kindergarten class had an Open Morning today for Father's Day. The class had a presentation about Fathers [left] and then we made fancy cameras with our child [right]. After that, there were Father+Son running races and a Tug-of-War between the Dads of different classes. Our class were the Tug-of-War champions after 4 wins and one disputed loss. My muscles ache!
This week sees the last of my English Corners for this term. I go along from 6.30-8.00pm fortnightly and try to bring along a fun speaking activity to get the attendees chatting about different topics. Although for me it's part of my job, attendance is voluntary for the students. We usually see 10-20 coming along each week and meet outside the library - weather permitting. The picture shows regular "AndyChaser" who is off to pastures new at the end of this academic year.
Whether it's dressing himself, getting his favourite DVD playing or suddenly deciding our car needs washing (and then doing it), he's full of self-confidence. Most of the time this is to be encouraged but, when you find him "cleaning the garage floor" with a dishcloth because it is "a bit dirty", you have to set some guidelines!
JD and I had a fun lunch yesterday with an old colleague of mine, Lilly, who is now studying in Paris. She took us (and a handful of her other friends) to an upmarket dumpling restaurant. She knows the owner and he very kindly agreed to let us try our hand at making dumplings for his store once we had finished eating. So the Head Chef demonstrated the technique to us and we all had a go. It as harder than it looked, of course, but JD loved crimping the dough on the meat and anticipating eating his creations.
Today was Children's Day in China and JD's Kindergarten took over the Kunming City Stadium for the morning to allow each class to perform their well-practised dances.
One parent of each student had been drafted in to perform with the children and Jiajia made her excuses. So I was one of four Dads along with twenty-five Mums! We've been rehearsing for 6 weeks.
Our performance today was 11th out of 16, so a certain amount of tedium had crept into the audience as we began to strut our stuff. We started with some hip-hop and then transitioned into traditional ethnic dances. JD did his part this time (having refused to do anything at all at the dress rehearsal, probably because I wasn't able to make it to that practice) and afterwards Jiajia said, "It was beyond my imagination" which I think was a compliment.
My good wife brought our video camera with us too ...and then completely forgot to use it! But they say there will be a professionally put together DVD of the whole event in due course.
Apparently we won first prize ...as did every one of the dance troupes. This is socialist China after all! Altogether it took four hours to get through and then we were told not to bother taking our kids back to school for the afternoon. I'm not sure UK school would get away with that sort of thing!
Past blog entries