Monday, 17 August 2009

he trusted in god that he would deliver him

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: he trusted in god that he would deliver him

China is wearing thin. Or maybe I have had an intensive immersion in Canada for the last week and now the Canadians have gone home and I am still here.

We had a lovely time swapping cultural differences (they don't have yobbos in Canada, or whingers) and laughing at each other’s cultural blunders (I referred to Canada once as America and they mentioned Crocodile Dundee. Did I ever tell you that I failed cross-cultural communication in first year? (So what am I doing in China??)) They have gone now, taking their English and leaving their Canadian chocolate (so good, so good).

Since last week everything has got green. It practically happened overnight. Suddenly the view out the bus window has taken dimension. All the tones of brown kinda made the landscape (if you call it that) look flat. Now there are contrasts and the fields stretch back to the horizon rather than up to the top of the bus window. I also saw a man driving a horse and plow. I know that the new ways are much more efficient, but o, how romantic.

I went shopping a lot with the Canadians and I have bought my first name brand item. A Gucci watch for 50 yuan, which is roughly 12AUD, 10CD, 6.50USD, or 4pounds Stirling. It will be interesting to see how long it holds up. I guess I can no longer take a stand against China's breaches of intellectual property and copyright.

Two weird things have happened this week. While I was at the boarding school, some of the older students, whom I don't teach, asked if they could talk to me. I wanted to say no, but I sat down with them. While we were making stilted conversation, a young chap with a burning look in his eye barrelled up to the table and said over the top of another student:

'Are you a Christian or a Catholic?' in a tone that suggested there were no other options.

I was puzzled and, keeping a hold on my irritation, said 'Well, Catholics are Christians.' I paused, but that was clearly not the answer he was after. 'But I guess I’m neither.'

He studied me for a moment, 'Ah, then you do not trust in god.' Wow, slow down kid. I didn't say that either. But I decided he did not have enough English or patience for me to explain that many things have shades of grey (it seems many Chinese people of my acquaintance see things as either black or white and have no time for my "yes, but" answers. I have had some rather alarming questions) so I settled with 'um, no.'

The other thing was just yesterday. With the junior two kids I am playing the lying game, where they have to say something about themselves and everyone else has to say whether they are lying or telling the truth. This was fine until one girl said 'my father hits me once every day.' and then said that it was true. So what do I do? I couldn't tell if she was serious or not.

I hope everyone is well. Is it true that there is a new James Bond movie on its way? That would be good reason to buy a DVD player. I am having my usual bout of indecision that comes with the idea of buying something. If I don't get over it soon, it will be time to come home and I still won't have got it and then it will be too late, and then I won't have to make a decision… sounds perfect.

love you

No comments: