Tuesday, August 28, 2012

May 11; The food truth strikes again

Day 96
It's Friday!!! Which means....class, zoo market, then dinner with friends.

Hayley (the food truth as TanG calls her) introduced us to Mr. Shi's dumplings last month. That place was hard to find as it was in alleys but it was really good. Today, Hayley recommended we try a vegetarian buffet. As a pescetarian, I was like hell ya, but for many the idea of a veggie food fair wasn't as exciting as I thought it was.
Dinner buffet = 88 RMB
alfalfa sprouts were my favourite!
too busy stuffing faces while Papa John tells a story
It was a feast fit for a veggie queen/king and I believe everyone came out happy, as I came out ecstatic!

May 10; from the fear of being criticized to criticizing

Day 95

I had an open class today, meaning that parents and other teachers were allowed to watch me teach. This, of course, was not my idea. It was something that I had to follow through with. Just the thought of being criticized and watched by parents and colleagues made me uncomfortable. I taught three classes today and of those three classes, only one class had parents watch me. Of the 30 students, only three parents showed up. The parents just kind of sat at the back of the class, being invisible. I'm not sure if the parents didn't care to talk to me afterwards or just didn't speak English, but either way I did not have to talk with the parents. *phew*
On our way for dinner in Wudaokou, we ran into another foreign teacher who we haven't really hung out with (he's a really busy guy). Surprisingly, he asked to join us for dinner. We got to know him and his future wife more over the course of the evening. They have an interesting relationship for many reasons, but the one thing that stuck out tonight was the fact that her English level was beginner and his Chinese level was so so. (FYI: The girl is Chinese and the guy is Caucasian). If you've watched Love Actually, you might think the whole scenario is super cute but in reality, communication is so important in a relationship and so how can one possibly work if you can't effectively communicate thoughts (do not give me the language of love bullcrap). People who speak the same language have communication problems all the time. In my eyes, communication is more than lacking when two people can't speak the same language fluently -- trust me, I would know.

On the topic of dating and leaving you with something positive rather than ranting, Aunty Tom gave one piece of good advice: if you really like someone, you'll break the rules.

May 9; drinking buckets on a lesson planning weeknight.

Day 94
Kris and I went to La Bamba's to do a bit to lesson plan for the rest of the week.
potato spudsters + lesson planning = winning combo
potato spudsters, as i learned, was just potato balls in batter. 

Bars in Wudaokou have different specials every night. Tonight, we realized these specials change every so often...
One of the usual bars we go to, Wu, had wonderful Wednesday special: free drinks from 8:00pm 'till late. When we arrived, they changed the special: open bar for 20 RMB for ladies and 50 RMB for men. Although it was a fantastic sounding deal, we found another place since we didn't feel like drinking on this lovely Wednesday night. We spent the rest of the evening at Helen's, one of my favourite student hangouts, with Tanjin plus papa John and David.
and so we did end up drinking
Bucket = 45RMB 

Fact: Our dysfunctional family tree just got bigger! David was inducted into our family.

Friday, August 24, 2012

May 8; broken mug, wilting flower

Day 93

Unfortunate news: My Korean "fighting" mug broke last night. = (
Coincidentally, my friend called to arrange plans to make a trip to IKEA this weekend to get stuff for his new apartment   so I figured I could get a new mug there. Although my Chinese-Swedish mug won't be the same as my Korean one = (

But on the brighter side, the weather in Beijing had been getting a lot nicer. The greenery around the school is proof of that. Today, one of my students gave me a flower:
already wilting : (
Kids are just so darn thoughtful without even knowing it. 

May 6; Birthday weekend continued... featuring The Avengers

Day 91
Tanjin and Heys' birthday weekend celebration continued into Sunday with Pyros pizza for brunch followed by The Avengers.
Kristie and I had our own pre-movie plans... sleeping in and Paris Baguette to follow.
garlic toast
After our very exciting, professional, interesting discussion of last night (my cries of excitement created a very loud soundtrack in the cafe), we met up with the gang after their two hour all you can eat pizza session. After hearing people’s impressions of me, I realized I have a really high voice. And I also talk really “happily.” I also talk/act, as Heys describes it, like a gay man. At first I was confused because obviously I’m not a man nor am I gay. What he meant to say was that I’m feminine and gay men are feminine, and maybe a little flamboyant. Instead of calling me a girly-girl/girl/whatever else words you’d use, gay man was the one he choose. And little would I know, that is what people would start describing me as…

Alright, so there was one movie I really wanted to watch this year, and that was The Avengers. I was pretty excited to find out this movie was actually releasing in China. Pluuus, we got to watch it during the same opening weekend as North America and in 3D too! The movie theatre was clean and up to western standards.The popcorn on the other hand -- it was sweet (as expected) but ugh, popcorn is a food that should be salty... and made extra salty with butter. That was the only thing that was disappointing, but I'll admit, I was pretty impressed with my first movie theatre experience in Eastern Asia.

Oh and as for the movie: awesome!
Fact#1: I thought Hawk Eye was hot guy and I wondered why Chris Evans/Capt'n America wasn't called Hot guy instead.

Fact#2: I was losing my voice again. Dammit, Beijing air!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

May 5; Happy Half Birthday Tanjin and Heys!

Day 90
The most talked about event this week had finally arrived: Tanjin and Heys half birthday!
People were soo ready to eat Indian food, drink, and sing. (Mmmm, those are a few of my favourite things!)
But before the celebrations began, Kristie, the birthday girl, and had a little pre-celebration with Chris Hemsworth and a hair straightener... i.e. we watched Thor and played with Tanjin's hair. *Thor was so good, I can't believe I hadn't watched it before.
Let the night commence!
We got that pre-prom feeling
Asians can fly.
ruining Papa John's moment
wasps...that weren't invited.
It was quite the show up at the Ganges restaurant.
Sigrid joins us after a week! =) 
Zhang, Jeff, and Cam talking about stuff.
John and Berney
Jack joins us for the first time!
Kristie and Catherine after their meal.
Heys brought some of his new hiking friends.
Heys testing out his new back scratcher from Mona.
Jeff comes over to help us calculate the bill. 
big fat bill for the 16 people who showed up.
After paying that bill, the restaurant gave us a plate of watermelon --on the house!
It's like they knew watermelon was the birthday princess' favourite fruit.
Some of the gang had to leave before going to Wu bar, but we were still 10 people strong!
chilling on the rooftop
I spy tequila shots. 
1 shot.
2 shot.
Chocolate Kiss -
soo gooood!
Mona and Heys acting all cute
Cat and Angel and Zhang
Birthday duo (with Jeff's eye creeping in the corner)
Jeff, Tanjin, and Kristie hanging/plotting
Wu bartendeeeer with Tanjin and her wingman (w/ Kristie and David creeping)
Birthday girl and I
Bernard and I
We headed to KTV to do a bit of singing, trolling, and of course wandering. Room hopping is pretty fun since foreigners are usually willing/wanting to talk to other foreigners. 
Zhang, Jeff, and Catherine getting hyped up for some karaoke!
Uncle Heys and Agnel.
don't need? We totally need 1D.
really get into the song
Heys probably singing some Beatles
Still not ready to go to bed yet, we went to La Bamba's to tire ourselves out with a game of pool.
Still going strong.
Seeing the sunrise in bed,  that's when you know it had been a good night.