I popped in to the school today, hoping to be greeted with, "Hi PJ, welcome back". Instead, there were 5 unfamilar secretarial faces on the front desk, one of whom said, "Hello sir, can I help you?". I felt like pointing to the photo of me on the wall there and whimpering, "I used to be famous here!". But it's because there has been the usual high turnover of secretarial staff. There's lots of new fresh-faced Chinese teachers too, plus we've lost two foreign teachers and gained two new ones.
I've been called "PJ" since joining the school two years ago (as when I started, there was already another foreign teacher called "Paul") but I've decided it's a good time to revert to being "Paul" once again. Other changes include a new barbecue restaurant which has opened up below our school [see photo]. Apparently the smoke and fumes it generates have rendered two of our classrooms unuseable! There's also a big new sign as you enter the school with the predictably Chinglish title, "Robert's School of Languages - establishing for 8 years". Groan.
Healthwise, I've been very shakey since returning and not sleeping particularly well. Hopefully it's just temporary fallout from the stresses of travelling, lifting luggage, unpacking and jet lag. We'll see in time. It's been good to see old friends again though. I had a nice chat about next term with Rob (my boss and friend) this afternoon and I'm looking forward to a quiet evening with Jiajia ("Ava") later today. She's been having fun shopping for me over recent months and arrived yesterday with a big bag full of "fashionable clothes", including two pairs of jeans, a sweatshirt, a dressing gown, a new rucksack and some enormous hiking boots [see photo]! All in all, it's great to be back.
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