Wednesday, 30 September 2009

'pop' goes the weasel

Date: Tue, 1 May 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: 'pop' goes the weasel

My thoughts are turning ever homeward. I am recovering from being sick, the third time in as many months (the second in as many weeks). And I feel a strong yearning to be where my heart is.

In brighter news, I think I forgot to mention that I have stopped hiccoughing. Yes indeedy. Caffeine makes me hiccough. So the reason why I was hiccoughing so much at Hudson’s, was not because I was nervous about coming to china, but because I was drinking three cups of coffee a day.

The mysterious stranger sitting to my left keeps staring at me. I think I might leave now

Monday, 28 September 2009

Say manure, say manoeuvre. See my problem?

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: Say manure, say manoeuvre. See my problem?

I have that feeling I get when I haven't been eating properly, not sleeping, and worrying too much.

It turns out that the 'editorial' position is a foreign expert position (proof-reading) and maybe some writing. Melinda says the town near Wuhan is a hole. The kids have exams this week and are being holy terrors. I have heard nothing from Tibet. (Do we hear an 'I’m coming home in this?') I said yes to the newspaper.

There has been a rash of 'f*%k you's' in junior one. I have dealt with this situation by clapping my hand over my mouth and faking a heart attack every time I hear the phrase. The student involved is then so embarrassed that the phrase is never uttered again by anyone in the class (a miracle cure).

It is a funny thing about other people's swear words. Melinda's English teacher gave the class a run down on words relating to sex. He would only explain meanings in English (e.g. 'the male organ'). And the lesson was apparently to prevent situations like the one where his friend had to fill out the customs report in English. He had his little electronic dictionary so there was no problem and he wrote Name: Zhong Shu, Age: 31, Sex: No Experience.

Now, Melinda is sweet and innocent. But she told a joke about a banana that made my hair stand on end. I clapped my hands over my ears and howled, (remember that I went to boarding school and was an apprentice chef, and I have just about heard it all). Finally I asked for all the relevant terms in Chinese and she quite happily rattled them off. Then I asked in Tibetan. She paused. The room chilled. She could not say a thing. She looked stricken. Close to tears. I said 'ah, no no nevermind, I don't want to know.'

So I don't know the words in Tibetan, but I can swear passing well in Chinese.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

oh crap

Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: oh crap

The job I want: Lhasa Middle School, Tibet.

The jobs I have been offered: Another semester at my current school.

:A semester (or more) at a middle school near Wuhan.

:An editorial position at a new English newspaper in Beijing.

Amount of time to decide: 5 days.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

from Bono to Beatles

Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: from Bono to Beatles

I had a China Experience on the way to the internet cafe today. There was a traffic jam so bad that the people walking (like me) were stuck.

There is all this fluffy white shit in the air. Apparently it comes from the willows and it is pollen or something. It makes it hard to breath and hard to see. Gets stuck in your teeth and eyes and ears and nose. It looks like a blizzard but the sun is blazing and it is stinking hot. (Was it ever cold? I can't believe it was ever cold)

I got my hair cut, the really picturesque spot where the guy has been cutting hair was ripped down, but I think I still got some good photos. They are ripping down all the buildings at the end of the street, you can look in and see little bits of people's lives, men are coming and taking away all the furniture on bicycles and everyone looks a bit lost.

Hope Easter was funners
love ceels