Sunday in the desert – it’s been a quiet day, it’s nearly 5pm and I’m waiting for the Archers to come on on Radio 4 🙂  However I think I may have resolved my food problem – in two ways.  I have the scariest gas cooker in the apartment.  You have to switch on two different connection things and then the gas powers throughout the cooker……it’s terrifying, I have visions of exploding the whole apartment block!  However this morning I was brave, used the gas and boiled two eggs – pure and utter bliss 🙂  Of course they taste totally different here, they’re so fresh, not battery-tasting, and that and my new lovely milky coffee was a great start to the morning.

The other food issue is random.  Along the road next to the bus station is a block of restaurants – I say restaurants, for anyone who has been to China will know, these consist of holes in the wall with some seating and health and safety doesn’t exist in these places.  But, armed with “dai zou” which is chinese for takeaway and the Chinese student whose mother obviously ran the place, I was able to get, via lots of arm motions for food and pointing at things in the kitchen, some sort of meat in toasted bread – and you know what, it was absolutely fantastic 🙂  I’m hoping it was pork (could have been dog for all I know!) but the woman stir fried the chopped meat, added some sort of sauce and put it between this thinly sliced sort of pitta bread.  It’s seriously ranking up there with the best food I’ve had in Jingbian in a week – all for 40p!  I can’t be bothered going out tonight to get more food, I’ve got fruit, chocolate and noodles in the apartment, there’s a limit of how much I can make a fool of myself in one day – but I got the result I wanted which was food 🙂

Talking of making a fool of myself, I also ventured on the bike today – I say bike, there are no gears, the brakes are a little lax but I went out at the back of the apartment block which is a total building site for miles and miles – Jingbian I’m sure is going to become a very rich city because of the oil/gas and coal, and I think the authorities are capitalising on this as by the looks of these apartments they are going to be huge, with shops underneath.

First teaching class is tomorrow at 10.30.  I did my lesson plan this morning which is a brief introduction to me then asking the students about their families.  The running time is 45 minutes which is the length of the class, who knows how it will go – I’m not terribly worried about it but I may be by 6am when I get up tomorrow!  But that’s the reason I came to China (a) to push myself waaaay out of my comfort zone and (b) in some way to make a difference to students and try and inspire them to achieve their goals. 

I hadn’t realised that despite it being Sunday, the poor students still have classes – it’ll be interesting to see what time they finish tonight, last night they were still pouring of the school at 9.30pm and at almost 5pm they’re heading back into school for their homework period which starts at 5pm.  No wonder we’ve all been told that many of the students fall asleep during our English class but also no wonder the Chinese have such a strong work ethic, as right from kindergarten they are expected to be in classes for hours on end and that obviously translates into their working environment. 

Time to relax and listen to the Archers – when the Archers finished on a Sunday that’s when I would head into work (I am still convinced I have a job!) 🙂