New Years Eve

Activities this morning in the school, I’m helping make dumplings with the kids. Having never made dumplings before myself this was all new to me and my dumplings looked less than appetizing! The kids loved it and learnt a few random English words.

On our break Sana and I needed to go to the train station to get our tickets for our new year holiday. Sana had planned for us to go on the back of a scooter each.

 This was a great idea and an experience, except my guy must not have understood the destination and took me somewhere random, luckily google translate to the rescue and I did meet with Sana successfully! 
On our return to the school we found the Chinese staff practicing a dance in the waiting area. As you do.

After school we had Chinese art class, I’ve only ever attempted Japanese manga before now, but am more than open to trying new styles. 

Straight from art class we had a table booked at a hot pot restaurant where we celebrated the new year with boiling various foodstuffs in a pan on the table. 

A warm and spicy welcome to 2017! 


Full on Friday 

Had to wake up early for my Chinese medical. Firstly, at least the Chinese have everything in one place, unlike the U.K. where I had to run around all the different health centres, the doctor, the hospital, back to the doctor, back to the hospital, attempting to find out my blood type by trying to give blood! It took about 3 weeks to get it all done. Chinese medical-done in the hour, results back in 3 days even over New Year! 
Although I was not best impressed with not being allowed to eat or drink and have to give blood samples and nearly passed out, then another doctor shoved a swab down my throat when I least expected it! 
A lovely experience of a Friday morning! So to make up for it I went shopping! 
Work this afternoon, Sana is showing me how to do my lesson plans, I was asked to do my first demonstration lesson for a boy who will hopefully be my first student! 

Chinese Massage

There’s a reason Chinese massage isn’t known around the world. 
The building was palatial, with giant fish and obscure statues decorating the hallways.

Somewhere between amazing and awful is where this massage lies.

The girls provided clothes for us to put on for the massage, usually one gets naked to get rubbed down! 
From my face down to each individual vertebrae every sinew and fiber of my body was pummeled and pushed in ways that has never been done before.
There was no muscle left unmolested
This girl was tiny and she had a pressure that most men would envy! (Or fear!) 
Will find out tomorrow if all that pain was worth it.

Boxing Day

Usually Boxing Day consists of laying around eating leftovers and watching TV. 
I did lay around a lot, but next to the pool, and snacked on coconut and mango. 

This is winter in Hainan.

The most we moved was to walk along the beach to go into the main part of Boao for more street food.

And once again I couldn’t resist the opportunity to become a mermaid! 

We did discover a boat on the beach which, according to the only English sign was an arts college.

We selected way too much food at the street barbecue.

So a much healthier Boxing Day than I’m used to. We have to head back to Haikou tomorrow, but not before having another day in the sun! 

Christmas Day-Chinese Style

Sana and I head to the beach for Christmas Day. This was after I opened my presents everyone had given to bring out with me, and a traditional breakfast of chocolates! 
We took the train to Boao which is east of the island, and a little bit hotter. 

The views from the train were of farm lands and rice fields, more of the China I was expecting to see.

We took a gamble and booked a hotel when we arrived, we walked all up the coast to find a way in as the grounds of the hotel were so huge. 

We were offered complimentary afternoon tea on arrival. 

The tea was lovely, with camomile flowers, goji berries and Chinese dates, served with a selection of cakes.

It worked out about £20 each for a twin queen room overlooking the sea for two nights! 

Fluffy dressing gowns, slippers, giant, soft queen sized beds, rocking patio chairs on the oversized balcony and the obligatory sofa that no one will on. 

Once we had freshened up and watched the sun go down, we took a Chinese version of a rickshaw into the main part of Boao for some street food (finally!) 

So my Christmas dinner consisted of street barbecued corn on the cob, chicken, mushrooms, aubergine and potatoes. All washed down with fresh coconut water. 

This day alone has felt more like ‘real China’ to me.

Christmas Party

In the UK, we have Christmas concerts in school where the children all act out the nativity story. Of course, Christmas is not really celebrated here in China as it is a Christian celebration. Part of teaching English here is also about teaching a little about the culture too, and this has resulted in the event I am attending today. 

So, imagine the traditional school concert, but it’s held in a giant conference room in the Hilton. 

Halfway through there is a magnificent buffet, literally beyond anything I had imagined. 

The children are acting out various scenes from films like Sound of Music, Snow White, Three little pigs and The Tortoise and the Hare, in their second language English, this is combined with some piano solos from some very talented youngsters, and topped off with an award ceremony for the children who have excelled in their English learning. 

This is not what I expected from a school event!

Observation Time

Starting work at 1500 today, meeting Sana and walking over. The founder of I2 had come in from Chengdu to meet the English teachers, so we had a meeting with him and found out a little more about the company. (One thing being that he’s planning on opening a school in Japan, which would work nicely with my plans of teaching in Japan after my time in China, he’s got a year to sort it!)

I then had the opportunity to sit in and observe Sana’s classes and meet the kids I would be teaching. The first class was 3 boys, aged about 5. The class lasted 40mins and I was ready for a lay down after it!
The next class was a 9 year old boy whose English is already quite established.

Went for a wander about the city after dark. It’s seems this is when china comes alive!


Naturally, all this wondering around in the night leads to hunger, we stopped off in a street which was lined with different styles of food. We opted for pancakes in Miss Bing.



And followed this with a good old bubble tea! First time I had bubble tea was in Perth in Australia and I wasn’t too taken by it, but they do chocolate bubble tea here so I’m sold!


Collapsed into my bed, Chinese Christmas party tomorrow…