China Team Journal

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 2

Well the second week in school was much like the first - serious language barriers to overcome, more word puzzles - crosswords and word searches - a new Unit of the text and much repetition of the same.  The classes are getting more used to me and I find myself the object of many paparazzi photo shoots.  I brought a guitar to my classes this week and found that simply having an instrument in your hands makes you a rock star.  I played some songs, got other kids to show off their talents - tai chi, kick boxing and Kung Fu.  The class is very encouraging and it is a nice brake from the dry textbook. 

It is still freezing in the classrooms but the kids just leave the windows open anyway.  I believe they are impervious to the cold.  I seem to be adapting little by little but it is a drastic change from the weather in Africa and India.  Between and after classes, we enjoy lots of noodles and broth and exchange stories and answer the teachers' questions - which seem to never end...I guess that's the point though.

The week passed with little incident and I was certainly looking forward to the weekend.  No real big plans though.  I went shopping for gifts in endless stalls of the west market and decided to go out and see the bar was very interesting.  Since my Chinese is so very limited, I decided it would be good to bring the Chinese checkers game 'waitshi' and ended up playing quite a number of games with an onlooking crowd throughout the night.  I was urged onto stage to sing and dance like a trained monkey...and proceeded to do so like a willing good monkey I am.

In the meantime, I played and won many games of 'waitshi' and had eventually drawn quite the crowd.   After a while, it was like the language barrier was no longer there - although I will be returning home as a champion-level sharades player.  Overall, I had a really great and relaxing weekend... And looking forward to dumpling and karaoke Monday.