No blog last night as the VPN was down – for about 18 hours – I can’t work out why it works at times and the not others – it’s extremely frustrating but then I remember – it’s China, everything is random!

The good news is that my paypal account is now active – I got an email from them yesterday morning saying their “checks” had been completed – so I can now order my winter clothes from the seller in Hong Kong – once I’ve asked someone what the address here is – although apparently I get parcels sent to the school office at the main gate – it’s not as if they’re not going to know who I am.

Three classes yesterday – the two in the morning were brilliant, the students absolutely love it when I try and say their names and I get a round of applause every time I manage to get it right.  The afternoon class was fighting a total losing battle – they were tired, only about 4 out of 54 had the slightest grasp of English and it was really hard going.  But then I try and remember that they HAVE to attend my class, and it must be soooooo confusing for them trying to understand what I’m saying.  There’s no point in fretting over it, I know that I do my best so I just have to forget about it and move onto the next class.

Last night was our first English corner….basically it’s meant to be informal, sitting around and the students just chat to you – not here!  Tony and I spent about two hours in the afternoon doing a presentation with lots of visuals about our respective countries and put the PPT onto a USB.  We were presenting in the main lecture hall, scary enough, to about 60 students  6.10 comes and despite the efforts of our FAOs and some other random guy, the computer would just not work and we had to basically wing it……we were like some strange double act – I would say a few things about Scotland and then lose track – so would say and “Tony, in the Ukraine you…..” and it ended up a competition between the two of us more than anything trying to force each other to say the most weirdest things, but in a good way 🙂  We both knew we’d lost the plot when Tony started talking about some Ukrainian boxers! 

The students actually pay the school for this!  50 yuan, £5, for the pleasure of watching Tony and I make total fools of ourselves – to think that 6 months ago I used to panic over having to talk to customers at work, now i’m happily miming the action of playing bagpipes to people!  We did say afterwards though to the FAOs that we think it should be much more informal – the students didn’t have any questions for us (probably because they didn’t understand our random stuff about hills and snow!) and we’re supposed to do it once a week.  I totally get that the school want it to be like a proper lesson, but 3 girls had to run off at 7pm as they had another class, (yup, they had another 2.5 hours of classes to do before the finished their day) and the formal setting just doesn’t encourage discussion.

But it was actually quite fun!

I had both lunch and dinner at the school yesterday – it saves my pathetic attempts to cook something or make a fool of myself trying to ask for takeaway….lunch was fine, the inevitable rice and some sort of vinegary vegetables (it’s alleged that the students’ canteen is better that ours) and dinner was watery noodles, tofu, potato – and bits of pigs’ ears!!!!

Now I used to feed the dog pigs ears, she loved them but I hated even touching them.  These ears were cut into pieces, swimming around in the watery noodles……Tony wouldn’t even touch them but I ate one – absolutely disgusting, you could taste the cartiledge and it was just crunchy and horrible.  But hey at least I can say I’ve tried it 😦

It’s almost 10am here – so I have my two classes in the afternoon, then I’m going to come home and be a domestic goddess and do laundry and clean the apartment – there are dust bunnies everywhere!  Tomorrow is a trip back into town to pick up my new jammies and try and get some food.  I also need to arrange with one of the FAOs to try and buy a router, so I can use my ipad (in theory).

I also need to reply to lots of emails – sorry if I’ve not replied but I will do, and just generally relax with my kindle – even though I’ve maybe only got 2 or 3 classes a day it is hard going, I’m constantly speaking, walking around the class, answering questions or yelling “quiet”!

Today is also my parents’ wedding anniversary – happy anniversary mum and dad, I know my mum reads my blog – sorry I can’t be there or even send you flowers, but i am thinking of you xxx