Had to get up early for training at the west centre. I had a bad feeling about the day and did not want to get out of bed, but the prospect of traveling across the city on my own for the first time was exciting, so I dragged my body out of bed and to the kitchen to put together some sort of breakfast. Our buns had gone mouldy so I made scrambled eggs and bean sprouts with hot tea to wash it down. Nate and I had picked up one of these giant grapefruit type things that we’d seen on the streets. It was massive, the size of a small beach ball! I hacked this monster in two with our cleaver to go along with our food. We had no spoons so we just ripped the thing apart to get at the fleshy fruit inside. It was not as delicious as I expected. Very dry, perhaps we didn’t pick a ripe one.
I was lucky to flag down a cab quickly for the time of day it was. I had my laminated address sheet that Lainey had left for me and Nate, and I used that to point to the school I wanted to get to. I tried to talk to the driver but only got as far as “Nihao” (hello), and “Nihao ma?” (how are you?)
I met the new teacher, Damien, who I was supposed to be training with, but he had to leave to chase down lost luggage. This left me alone at the centre until 1:30pm with nothing to do. I was not impressed. I decided to roll with the punches and just get a bunch of work done. Needless to say my lesson plans now are as planned as they can get without my CTs around to discuss with. When the training did happen it covered the demo I had already done many times over, and another demo that we do not even do at our school, and that was it. At least I got to go home 20 minutes early.
I needed a mission to keep me from feeling sorry for myself and stop me from being so bitter at China. I walked to the market to pick up buns, the place was packed. The street corner had been turned into a massive barbeque, and the entire road had been taken over by booths selling cloths, shoes, food, belts, and cheep toys. I wished I had money.
I left the market as it was beginning to get dark and searched out somewhere to eat. I decided to check out the other restaurant we had been recommended the other day. It was set up similar to red restaurant with a table at the entrance for buying tickets with which to pay with. I ordered two dishes. One looked like mushrooms and cucumbers. The other chicken. To go with it I grabbed a bun that was fried and crispy.
The chicken was delicious, seasoned in a deep spicy gravy with garlic and hot peppers. I soaked up the sauce with my bun savouring the dregs of flavour. The cucumber dish was a different story. What I had thought were mushrooms was actually a very rubbery, chewy, type of meat. I’m pretty sure it was tripe (animal stomach).
At the end of the day, cuddled up in Nate’s arms, China didn’t seem so bad even though it doesn’t have burgers.