CRAVING HAMBURGERS: Day 17, Sunday September 15 2013

I had a demo at 10:30 today, and was supposed to be paired with Michelle. 10:30 rolled around, but she was nowhere to be seen. I finally found her still entertaining kids from her 9:00am demo! It was a scramble to get set up in time, and parents were already filtering in as we set up the chairs. Despite the stress I had fun. The children were tiny, and I had to lift them up so that they could reach the Smartboard!

They had decided to seat the bouncy, energetic, new FT (foreign teacher) right beside me, and though I was more alive by the end of the demo I had no where near enough energy to deal with 20 year old Damien vibrating with excitement in his seat beside me. He asked me to look over his lesson plan. It looked fun and full of good ideas, but completely disregarded the “template” of suggested lesson plans we were asked to follow. I worried that the Chinese staff would not like this, and that the children would struggle on the tests.

I was given information on our trip to Harbin to get our visas renewed. We will be flying there and back tomorrow. I’m trying to be optimistic but am having a hard time getting excited about a long day of flying under super sketchy circumstances. We are to leave our passports with Mr Yang, and will have to somehow fly back to Jinan without them! When we asked Lainey about this she just kept replying “Mr Yang will handle everything.” Only reason we’re actually going through with it is that others in the office have done it before and come out alright.

I spent the rest of my morning stewing in the office. The printer wasn’t working, and the G1 book (lesson planning book) was missing, and I hated being behind a computer. Lunch was a nice break, we got Chicken soup and rice recommended by Katrina, so we knew it would be a safe bet.

Met up with Sonya and Yue after work and went to the basketball arena with them. There were two adorable kids playing there today. As Nate threw the ball at the net it bounced off the ring and straight for one of the kids dads! We yelled “look out!” but they didn’t understand, and the man got smoked in the head with the ball! We told him we were sorry, and fortunately he was ok.

We were telling Sonya and Yue about our trip we were taking to Harbin, but were having a hard time explaining Visa to them. When Yue looked the word up on her phone she got even more confused asking us why we were going all the way to Harbin to get a bank card! Another woman came over to try and help translate, but got confused thinking we were asking how to get a visa. Eventually we just gave up!

Nate and I hadn’t eaten so Sonya took us to a noodle restaurant (one that actually served noodles) while she met up with a friend to buy shoes. The noodles were delicious, but the plates were so full we were both stuffed before we even made a dent! After eating we walked down the street. There were silver carts that had a recorded message that yelled out at passersby. We asked Sonya what they were saying, and she bought us a yam from one! I guess they were selling yams. We also learned our numbers!

Nate was developing a migraine, so we started to head for home. On our way the girls stopped at a stand selling barbecued tentacle-y things. As we watched the girls pick out skewers to fry Nate muttered “I hope those aren’t for us.” They were for us. When I asked what they were Sonya replied “fish”. Pretty sure it was squid. I ate a couple, but Nate, with a full stomach and a headache, had trouble finishing one. Sonya seemed a little droopy during the rest of the walk home, I just hope we haven’t offended her in some way.


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