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Truly, do I need to say more? Had a blast! Thanks to my new found Jinan friends! Big hugs!

Posted by mskaye 14:06 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

What a birthday celebration!

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Happy birthday to me...

Gee, life's grand, received wonderful birthday salutations and small gifts in memory for me from my Jinan students, then later spent a great evening with friends with dinner and cake... Lots and lots of pics.. will post soon!

Posted by mskaye 07:25 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (3)

Clock makes haste

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Wow! The hands on the clock are moving as fast as the days when I return to Sichuan.... whoa!!! Another week and I am back in to Guangya School... well, at least, I'll have a few days rest before classes start with those students. hopefully, then I'm able to edit my video and post so all can see. I did promise Raul of sharing link once completed. Been so busy... well, today, two classes then remaining week till I fly is 1 class a day, hmmm, except for 4 August which is 2 classes... ONE FULL DAY of freedom on 5 August :) then 6 & 7 August, a class apiece.

At least I can say that I have LOTS of new lessons to use :) Gained and learned more of myself and teaching skills... yeah, sometimes, I do still speak fast, but not always... try not to anyway.. LOL!

Hopefully, when i find my next location I have just as much scenic moments to capture... will find more in Duijangyan ... have such trouble spelling that city's name... always so close but not perfect.

Using loaner computer to type this posting, tis such a very SLOW processor... giving my small laptop a rest, probably will use tonight to edit and COMPLETE then POST my video at summer camp... tis no excuse not to finish.

Made contact with other virtual friends I met online... glad he and I connected, he'll assist with my photo techniques whilst I still have advantage of being here in Asia. I hope to travel more this winter and visit another virtual friend in Australia... tis would be fantastic, also by then, I should have a new contract ready and I'm on the move again.

Received several nice unexpected birthday wishes... awww, made me feel ... GREAT :) ... not OLD which in reality is state of mind. However, I can't account for my muscles and bones sometimes... they seem to have minds of their own... LOL!! Nevertheless, a good natured attitude, adventurous mind, notorious sense of humor and healthy common sense has been very kind to spirit, body and soul... I'm grateful.

Well, almost time fo me to walk out door and head for class building...my mind rested, tis why I wrote this morning... felt like a writer on the go, feels great, another year and celebrating my birthday in another continent. Yep, life has been very good to me, quite blessed one might say, not rich in dollars but ENRICHED with life.

FINALLY completed!!!!

Posted by mskaye 15:29 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (7)

Time flies when you're having fun

... back to Jinan Training School ...

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I said good bye to the orchestra of crickets and frogs, snacking gnats and mosquitoes and the children of Century Yinguan Experiment School when I was informed that I had to return to Jinan Training Center downtown. The moment was not a tear-jerker, but I was not to return this time for the remaining of July I was scheduled to teach the college level students which meant I'd miss Closing Ceremony of the students' achievement in learning English. Raul, in particular, was disappointed of my short noticed instructions.

I video taped my students saying goodbye to me and Raul made his wonderful speech.... and friends tell me that I'm animated (laughing very heartily of shared amusement). I shall miss them, Raul especially. Nora also bid me farewell for she was anxious to return to her home country in Hungary. We both battled a week and a half of bad plumbing, being a free meal to insects whilst our ears at the mercy of unwarranted evenings and early wake ups of deafening chirping, arguing with taxi drivers, but we mostly did appreciate the quiet and isolation away from the city.

When I mean isolation - I do mean I - S - O - L - A - T - I - O - N, tis why most cab services do not want to drive out the school. Although only a 45 minute ride, the drive takes much longer due to the crumbling road conditions. Nevertheless, there were no other distractions, other than the laughter of screaming and yelling of English words from children and teens.

I've been back for 5 days now, and I certainly didn't miss the madness of traffic and swarm of people racing across the streets. Back at the flat, I most certainly appreciated the single mattress... which I was able to sleep then awaken next morning with flexibility.

Been teaching at the training school since 21 July and haven't stopped yet, even weekends... weekend mornings, I usually take a very early morning walk into town to watch as the city awakens in preparing for the day, also for me to get photos without interruptions. Later after my return, I received an unexpected mobile text that I had class that Saturday afternoon... luckily, where I was in walking distance to return to flat to change clothes and head out again.

Have class again today, but only one ..., however, two more days with a total of eight more hours of teaching. Sadly, my time here in Jinan is almost over ... almost 10 more days before my flight returns for Sichuan.

Posted by mskaye 16:49 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (3)

A bad taxi experience

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After teaching that 18th July Saturday afternoon, I had lunch with my new Jinan friend, Ava, also a IELTS teacher. We, her boyfriend, herself and I, went to restaurant for dinner and catch up in knowing more of each other. Ava also changed jobs and decided to teach, she experienced same 'teacher's nightmare' dealing with other people's children. We shared a hearty laugh of our moments and shared how we overcame our fears. I felt as though we've known each other for years. Her boyfriend, enjoying the ordered dishes, would sometimes acknowledge our conversation, but he was more involved in eating and watching the featured film playing on the screen (we ate at Jasmine's).

Then after dinner, I had to return to summer camp for I had to teach the next day. Ava assisted in hailing a taxi for me and explained to driver where I needed to go in which I also gave him the Chinese written address. As soon as we said our goodbyes, I closed the door, the driver looked over to say in Chinese he was charging me 80RMB for trip.

Now, that was insane because when I returned from Jinan to summer camp the first time, there were no issues with driver and I paid for what the meter was clocked... with slightly heavy traffic, I paid 45RMB. I shook my head and voiced 'no' and wrote on paper 45, he in return waved his hand and shook his head 'no' to firmly insist on 80RMB.

We verbally fought on the way there, and although I may not speak Chinese, I knew direction in returning to the school. At the same time, I watched the meter, at times, he refused to acknowledge my directions and always gave excuse in stopping when I motioned he had to turn left or right, he would go opposite direction or just stop to ask someone who directed the same direction I just provided.

We were close to the school and as soon as the meter clocked at 31.50RMB, he stopped meter and put up his available sign. He pulled into drive way of school and demanded his fare. I told him I'm paying what receipt had printed and I needed receipt (for reimbursement) and he refused, but demanded payment.

Luckily, one of the parents saw - literally heard - driver and I argue about fare. Of course, driver had his story and I told mine. By this time, the fare was being reduced but he refused to give me receipt. Finally, one the Chinese counselors also joined in the shouting match, she understood more what I said and understood that driver was cheating me.

The father said that I could write down service number and make a complaint on driver, and driver went ballistic. The fare was then reduced to 40RMB, but still refused receipt. Counselor stepped aside with me and said that driver will accept 40 but I must promise not to contact service number (by this time, Raul and rest of Colorful Language Global Village returned on bus to school for I had texted him to meet me at gate because of situation - talk about such timing). However, she didn't understand, like driver, why I required receipt, I simply answered, "For business reimbursement." I also made my promise not to contact his service number.

I paid my 40RMB, got my receipt (driver had given me with two fares in which one was mine, upon adding another fare totaling amount over 40RMB), and left in a huff. Under his breath, I could him swear in Chinese... I bet from that mumbling he was saying that he doesn't want to deal with foreigners.

I explained to Raul what happened and he even said that he didn't like people who cheat...

Posted by mskaye 20:47 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (5)

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