Archive for September, 2006

Published September 26th, 2006 by Mliesie

Still going strong.

If I don’t write now, you may not hear from me for at least another week as we will be going to Xi’an for a few days (yes! we really need a short break…..). Anyway, it’s been a fun weekend again.

On Saturday we visited Zhenbei Tai, together with some students. As we arrived there and looked at a poster of famous people having visited Zhenbei Tai…..guess who I saw!!!!!!!! Our charming heir to the throne…Willem Alexander. Couldn’t resist and took a picture of his picture. The students were flabbergasted as well…………..hahahahaha!! Zhenbei is the biggest tower of the Great Wall. Unfortunately, they have (almost) completely rebuilt it, instead of restoring it. Few parts of the original, very muddy and crumpled, Wall are still visible and I was impressed by how big Zehenbei Tai is, but still it’s a pity it’s been rebuilt instead of restored….as are many things in Yulin and perhaps all of China?? Because we didn’t want to wait for the bus, we walked all the way home which turned out to be good language practice for both the students and us as well as a good work-out! We got to learn new Chinese words and good pronunciation and they were able to practice their English. Isn’t it great when things work both ways.

After having arrived near the college, Ma Lei invited me for lunch, which we both really needed after the visit and the long walk home and with some work ahead. It was a great meal again, so if you come visit, I already know a couple of real Chinese restaurants and I can recognize some of the Chinese characters on the menu… Off we went after lunch, Ma Lei to his dorms to take a nap and I went to Kate to talk about Sandstorm, the English Department periodical, and do some brainstorming. See, we are actually getting some work done here! By now Ellie was completely pooped, but the end of day wasn’t in sight yet. Lois was coming over to Ellie’s, to show us how to do a home cooked hotpot. It’s another one of my favourites… I guess in Dutch we would call it “Chinese fondue”, but onlY much tastier and ofcourse using chopsticks! Beware, IF you come and visit, you may very well expect a home cooked hotpot..mmmmmm. A very tasteful ending of a great day!

Kate, William (1).jpg    Kate, Lois (our hotpot cook), me and Ellie

Kate and I had decided to go for a bike ride on Sunday, so I could finally test my Chinese mountainbike. Guess what….it was pouring! Somebody just doesn’t want me to use my bike! Don’t worry, the rain kept me busy anyway. My wonderful flat does suffer some leakage…Yes, it very much feels like home sweet home. Just after I had finished my dinner, Ma Lei unexpectedly dropped in and a few minutes later Ms Ji and her daughter Ming Ming also came by. To have a look at some pictures and the posters of Holland I have around the house. Quite a pleasant evening.

Nothing special on Monday or today, except for the fact that we were told to make up for our Wednesday and Thursday lessons. Coming Saturday and next Sunday. Officially the students only have three days off. As we have 5 weekdays off, the skipped lessons have to be made up for in the weekends. Chinese custom! Oh, and we are to have dinner with our Dean, the vice-dean and probably our wai ban coming Thursday. Oops and I now also have my final schedule for after the National Holiday, although I still do not know how many students to expect. Surprise, surprise!

Okay, I’m telling it quits now. Still so much more to tell about my general impression of China / YuLin and the things I see happening in the streets and daily life that keep surprising me. Just something I’ll keep up my sleeve.. So, if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’m off for a short break to Xi’an. Will tell about that when I get back!