Dicos is the Chinese equivalent of McDonalds or KFC. I often pop in for a cheap coffee while waiting to pick up JD from Kindergarten. Yesterday I noticed that the staff door has a strange board along the bottom that the off-duty workers have to step over. Some have said it's to stop rats but this is the staff rest room, not the actual kitchens on the floor below (which are open plan). Very odd.
Even urban cities in China have the occasional wildlife surprises. I found this 20cm long beauty by the door of our flat yesterday. I moved it to some nearby bushes to give it a chance of survival and it was still there when JD returned form Kindergarten, much to his delight. Although stick insects are renowned for their slow moving I think this one was especially lethargic due to the recent cold snap here. Otherwise he looked pretty healthy.
We've had bucketloads of rain every day here recently. Talk of droughts from a few years ago are long forgotten! But we were cheered up yesterday evening by the most amazing (double) rainbow - the clearest I've ever seen. This [right] was the view from my flat - photos don't do justice to the brightness and clarity of the colours. Students at my University had even better views [below] with the full arc on display. Very impressive indeed.
JD and I made some new friends yesterday. The Mum is a teacher of Vietnamese at my University, with a Chinese husband. Their two kids are a little older and little younger than JD which made for perfect playmates. The common language in JD's bedroom was Chinese, whilst for us adults, English. We shared a nice buffet lunch and chatted for many hours. I did wonder if they were winding me up about their English names - Grass, Plane and Boat!?
This week is a Chinese National Holiday celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China on 1st October 1949. This T-shirt sums up the prevailing mood in China these days. Whereas in the West there is a clear distinction between Country and Government, it is very blurred here and often to love one's leaders means to love one's country and vice versa. It's certainly an "interesting" viewpoint, if a bit worrying at times!
When I'm preparing a lesson for my University students I always try, amongst the grammar, vocabulary and pair work, to have one or activities which are more a bit memorable, enjoyable and fun. Thus, last week I had a song for them to listen to [see above] whilst arranging lyrics which had been cut into strips. On Friday, my class of fifty were moving around the classroom [see below] trying to match English shop names with Chinese shop names and pictures of things you can buy there. And today we had an auction where teams could bid for sentences - but only ones without any English mistakes were of value.
This Monday coming is Mid-Autumn Festival in China, so yesterday my University organised an activity for the foreign teachers to make traditional mooncakes.
Sadly, only three teachers turned up for it (myself a Vietnamese and a Burmese) but it was fun and, once packaged, the cakes looked pretty impressive. However, I'll let JD try once first before I risk anything!
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