Monday, 3 August 2009

teaching my knickers to fly

Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: teaching my knickers to fly

Qantas is no longer flying to china. To catch my Qantas flight home I have to go to Hong Kong. Look Hong Kong up on a map. And where is Beijing? Irritated? What do we think? The cost of a plane ticket is half a month's salary and to take the train is thirty hours.

But now to the weather. It is warm enough to go outside in just a shirt and jeans. Soon there will be no more little kids wrapped in so many layers of clothes that they can't walk. They look like little chubby starfish. I saw one the other day fall down some stairs. It didn't feel a thing, it just lay at the bottom and waited for someone to put it back on its feet.

Soon maybe there will be some greenery. We drive past quite a lot of farmland on the way to the boarding school. The paddocks look as though nothing has ever grown in them ever. They are just dry dusty clay beds. Quite often you see sheep (and shepherds!!!) but I don't know what they eat. In fact I am not even sure they are sheep. They have really long legs and big floppy ears. Now, I know sheep. Hell, I’m even wearing a pair of sheep earrings. But these things look more like those big walking things in return of the Jedi.

Except smaller.

There are many odd things that bother me, but those sheep bother me the most. Although the trees run them a close second. The bottom three feet of all the trees on the side of the road is painted white. This is a mystery to me. The birds are starting to come back. There are some that look like mudlarks, but with really long tails and I think the other morning I saw an owl (bearing in mind that all flora/fauna is seen from a tinted bus window at 80-130 kph). And some little sparrowy things.

The most astonishing fact in my life at the moment is that (wait for it). I enjoy teaching, even the chalk. I even feel closer to the teachers from school and want to write them all letters apologising. For every thing. I was cleaning the board today and was suddenly overcome with memories of year twelve Lit, and the smell of chalk and mint chewy and cigarette smoke (the teacher snuck to his car for a ciggie every recess then chewed chewy to pretend that he didn't). That smell will always remind me of Shakespeare and Africa (A Dry White Season).

I am teaching twenty-six classes now, but they are paying me quite a bit more. I have also had an offer to teach night classes. I will wait and see.

And this weekend is the Folk Festival. It has been the hardest couple of days since I arrived at the school. I should be in Port Fairy listening fabulous music and drinking Guinness, but instead I am in China listening to EZY FM and drinking sprite. I don't even have my Pat McKernan cd to comfort me (I forgot to pack it).

Oh well, there is always next year.

love to you

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