Long post is long, part 1

So I’ve been pondering what kind of title to start off with. “Don’t Drink the Bi-Jo.” “28 Hours of No Sleep.” “Third Time Isn’t the Charm.” There has been a lot to do and its hard to just find time to sit down a relax for a while.

Thursday was watching others teach the test class that we had. Ross, who is from England and is only 20, does a fantastic job at teaching, throwing everything he had into the job. However, I don’t see him keeping that kind of pace up. Maybe he can, he’s young. Amanda was very professional, and her experience at teaching showed through. That night it was English Corner, which I haven’t got the hang of yet, but I think its a social event where everyone goes and speaks only english. Needless to say, foreign teachers are highly valued at this event. Sadly, Amanda and I did not go because I needed to prep work for my class. I would have liked to have done more, but the Internet connection was hit or miss at Buckland. The more people using it the slower it got and with most of the teachers at English Corner it gave me time to get work done.

Friday came and I did well with my teaching. I tried to teach monsters and quickly learned I should have downloaded some videos rather than just pictures to help explain what monsters are and do. Oh well, live and learn and do a better job this Halloween. Still my trump card was giving out Disney pins for the team that wrote the scariest story. They didn’t quite grasp what I was wanting them to write, but again, I needed to provide better examples.

After the teaching we got back to do the graduation ceremony and take photos. Once I notice they are online at Buckland I’ll let folks know. Then it was off to dinner….don’t drink the Bi-Jo. I’m not sure if that is how its spelled, just how it sounds. Its a Chinese Vodka and its 56% alcohol. 102 proof if you will. I decided to man up and have one, then ran outside to keep it from coming back up. Even the hard alcohol drinkers were coming out after a bit because its a completely vile drink. One of them described it as paint thinner. I’m considering grabbing a few bottles to bring home with me when the break comes and let my friends try them. I’m then reminded of the bit in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when Arthur has just had the worst tea he’s ever tasted served to him, and the ship’s computer asks, “Why not share this drink with your friends?”, to which Arthur replies, “Because I want to keep them.”

According to those who did continue to drink the stuff, the best way to have Bi-Jo is with one of two methods. Possibly both. The first is to drink 3 beers first and quickly so you can get a good drunk going. This will cause your tongue to have a harder time telling your brain that you’ve just put something akin to turpentine in your mouth. The second is to quickly start drinking coca-cola as the soft drink seems to help override the sensation of your tongue trying to leap out of your mouth to strangle you.

We made an early exit, the first to go, explaining that I was feeling ill. My new nickname is “One and Done.” We wandered west street for a bit and made our way home. Saturday was repeated attempts to go out and get laundry done. It was mostly a fruitless effort, Amanda wasn’t happy with my selection at the bakery, we couldn’t find a laundry person that we were happy with the rates, and in the end coughed up the money that the guy at the hostel we were staying at wanted. It was 10 Kaui a load, but on the plus side he then did the hanging up. So it was kinda full service. For lunch we tried Gan’s Noodles. If you’re ever in Yang Zhou, I can’t recommend Gan’s Noodles enough. Part of the fun is watching Gan hand make the noodles through the window into his kitchen. The other part is then eating them. All of his dishes were very good and the large crowd we had left with full stomachs.

A side note, when you go to eat with your friends in China, the Chinese do not understand the idea of giving everyone at the table their food at the same time. When your food is done, you get it and if you wait for the last person to get their food yours might be cold, so eat up.

Saturday night was another trip to West Street with Tara this time. Tara is from Australia, but worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando for a year. So we have fun hanging out with her, and sharing stories about Disney. On West Street, Amanda managed to haggle a hand fan from 60 Kaui down to 15. This time I got to play wingman. As the haggling was going on I wandered off, found more fans, then came back with, “Hey there are more fans down here, I’ll bet you’ll get a better price.” Amanda started to walk away and bang, 15 Kaui. Still, we later learned that one of the other teachers got a fan for 10, and one of the teachers who have been here for two years said you could get them for 5. So we’re doing better, but not there yet.