Two Mexicans in China

We have been busy lately, with my boyfriends Mum and Dad coming to visit; bringing with them plenty of Mexican food, nuts and my favourite spicy watermelon lolly pops. Oh and a very good quality Tequila with them!

So far they have really been enjoying their time here; walking around the area of our community, going to Walmart and Carrefour, and having a wander in and around Chengdu.

While we were not working, we brought them to a few famous places… we definitely had to bring them for some Chinese tea in a tea house, so they can experience the relaxed nature of Chengdu people.

High on the list was of course food! So far, they have both really enjoyed everything that Chengdu has to offer; hot pot, rabbit, different varieties of dishes… all they really liked.

This Monday we will take them to Kunming, a city that is south of Sichuan province. Here we will spend 5 days where will we have a look at the city, then we will go to Dali, a supposedly quite attractive ancient town. Although I have heard it is very touristy, but that’s no surprise in China!

They still need to go and see the famous pandas, and there are a few more places where we would like to bring them if we have time. Coming back from Kunming, we will have another few days in Chengdu to go to more places.

Because the weather here is becoming colder and colder, that of course brings more smog. Thankfully there have been 2/3 days where the weather hasn’t been that bad. But I suppose they have been warned about the smog so they knew what they would expect!

There are some things that they have been surprised about; such as people appearing more rude than in Mexico. But they have also been surprised about our life in Chengdu and I think they figured out why we have been living here the past few years and what has kept us here.

So all in all, I think their holiday has been going well so far!

再见!

爱玲

Why am I so busy???!

Why am I so busy?!? I don’t seem to have time for anything lately! Lesson Plans, teaching…and more lessons plans are taking over my life.  I hope once I get into the hang of making lesson plans I won’t take as long as I do on them… it is hard though, trying to think of things to do for 90 minutes. And things that are actually interesting and fun for the students!

I’ve also had a busy few weekends too. The weekend before last, myself and a group decided to hit the Biggest Building in The World. Literally. It’s called the New Century Global Centre and it was huge. It has only opened in August so its brand new, with numerous restaurants, 2 hotels, a cinema, loads of clothes shops, an ice-skating rink… and the infamous indoor beach! It really did feel like you were standing in a beach… and the water was lovely and warm. The only downside was that we had to wear a life-jacket….in 3 feet of water. So there was no actual swimming involved, more like trashing about like a beached whale. Buy it was enjoyable all the same. We then hit the slides which were amazing, then lazed about in the Lazy Pool.

But of course, as usual, there were stares. 9 Western girls in bikinis walking around China is bound to draw attention. But we carried on and just tried to ignore them as much as we could! But one thing I did notice though, was how quiet it was! Now this was a Saturday, so we were expecting the worse. But it was actually too quiet. I have no idea why this is. Maybe not a lot of Chinese people know about it? Or they may not be able to afford it? From what I gather they are trying to entice more Westerners to it.

So the next weekend, myself and 3 others organised a little trip because it was the Moon festival. We had Thurs, Fri and Saturday off (we had to work Sunday to make up a day) so we decided to go to Mount Emei and Leshan to see the Giant Buddha. We arrived in Mount Emei and we stayed in the ‘Teddy Bear Hotel’… yes that’s the name of it… It was actually not a bad place, where they played English films on a big projector screen! It was great, us relaxing on comfy sofas; eating our hamburgers and drinking coke. The only negative thing was the damp in the room and beds. We only stayed there 2 nights though so we could stick it out!

Mount Emei was enjoyable! We got a bus up the mountain, then a cable car up to the top (you can walk it but it would take hours). From the cable car we arrived at the Golden Summit. It was unbelievable. We were above the smog, pollution and clouds… looking at blue sky… it’s rare to see blue sky in Chengdu! It was like being in a plane with the clouds below us. There was a huge statue at the top which was only put their in 2006… and there was us thinking it was hundreds of years old! There is also another lovely temple at the top, where people were praying. At the Golden

After that we went for ANOTHER walk… aka hike. I can’t remember the name of the park but it was a nice area, with temples in it and monkeys; who peed on my friend. She thought it was rain coming from the tree.

The day after, we travelled to Leshan and went to see the Man himself. . . the Giant Buddha. It was really good! The Buddha is massive, and it overlooks a big river. I also thought the Buddha would have been located in the middle of a mountain or forest, but no… it sits looking out on a river, which people can go on a boat and see it from there. Our tour guide (an accounting teacher looking to practice her English) told us that the people who made it put grooves in his head so the water will run away from his face and down his ears instead. This was so he wouldn’t erode from the rain. In total it took 90 years to construct. The man who conceived the idea died before it was actually finished.

So my next adventure is hopefully going to be Xian and Juizhaigou. We have a week off at the beginning of October so a lot of people will be travelling around then, including most Chinese! We are having trouble booking tickets though. We thought we needed to book train tickets  10 days in advance, until we went to the desk and found out there were only standing tickets… for 15 hours in a train. We were told that its actually 20 days in advance!

And school is going fine.  It’s strange to see how every class is different, one class may be shy, and the next they would be really energetic! My last class today saw about 30 boys come in. Apparently they were studying in the classroom I was about to teach in, so my assistant came up to me and said ‘they want to sit in your class’ So I had an extra 30 to teach now! I’m hoping they enjoyed my class, at the end some came up to me and said ‘Will you be here at the same time…next week?’ … I replied yes, and I hear ‘OK SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!’ Whether they will turn up or not I have no idea… I think tonight was just the ‘lets have a look at the Western girl’ 

 

Aisling.