Sunday, 15 June 2008

notes from ceels's tummy: 'Ah, what was that, and how do I digest it?'

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: notes from ceels's tummy: 'Ah, what was that, and how do I digest it?'

Y'all are lucky that the internet has not been working in this, the first week of my teaching experience. I would have SCORCHED your ears and inboxes.

The first two lessons were a hell I am surprised I survived. I was as nervous as a girl can be and they all knew it too, the little buggers. By lunchtime I was a taxi ride away from catching a plane home. But I stayed around for the lesson after lunch and it was fine, a dream by comparison.

The rest of the week has been a mixed bag. I have been lectured on the evil influences of falun gong and warned of their cunning attempts to lure foreigners with their lies and deceit. They are a cult and it is the duty of the citizens of the world to stamp out their foul blight. I have been firmly advised that Beijing must have the Olympics in 2008 because it is the greatest (and most beautiful) city in China (and therefore the world).

Can anyone give me advice on keeping a class of 40 twelve year olds quiet (short of a piece of 4 by 2)? Everybody here thinks I am very beautiful (at last!!) and I have been given a very beautiful Chinese name. Of course it did occur to me that seeing as the teachers know Chinese and I don't know Chinese it could be a completely silly-arse name and they are just telling me it is beautiful as a colossal joke.

But nobody has laughed yet.

The first bit means gold and the last bit means moon. I didn't mention certain connotations 'moon' has in Australia (bare bums out bus windows, Bert Newton, lunatics) it didn't seem appropriate.

One of the students today asked if all Australians had wet skin like mine. And I must admit I was stumped. My skin has been as dry as can be since I got here (in fact, before I started moisturising, anywhere something rubbed my skin (a fold in a sock, my thermals, my watch, my shoes) it broke through and I bled), he meant white. I tried to explain that there are many people of different backgrounds in Australia and, besides, I saw less sun than most. No joy.

So I have survived the first week, I’m feeling jovial, I’ve made some friends and I think that next week will be easier (please)

love you very much

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