New Years Eve In Zhuhai

on Friday, 31 December 2010

Today is new years eve. I have to work, but after work I go to the port and pick up Waiyi. We sort out my apartment so that I have another two months to stay and then quite late we head out to the bar street. We decide to try and get a bus there, but I have always got taxis before. We don’t see anything and it is quite late so end up just getting some food where we get of the bus at Ajisen Ramen. We then walk around trying to find the bar street, but it doesn’t work and at 11:00pm we just get in a taxi and go there. It is really really busy and we have clearly arrived too late, everywhere is absolutely packed and as we are not eating we have no where to sit down, we should have arrived early and eaten here. We try a couple of bars but they are ridiculously busy and the Chinese people are so drunk and rude, we decide to just leave and go back to the apartment. We watch the Hong Kong fireworks on the TV instead. I should have just paid for the visa and gone to Hong Kong for the weekend, but I need to go next week to meet mum and dad on their way home from New Zealand. So this new years is pretty uneventful and goes by without a single beer being drunk! It’s a new year though and a new month away. Not long and it will be a year since I left home. I am starting to think after that point I will return home, if only for a short period before deciding what to do next!

A Better Day

on Thursday, 30 December 2010

Today I feel a bit better. The kindergarten has lots of people from the government looking round the school and I have to go outside and do some sports with the kids and dance a ridiculous dance with them. Tomorrow Waiyi will come for the weekend :).

Another Day

on Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Today I don’t do much. I have a bit of a bad day and am thinking a lot about what I will do. Stay in Zhuhai, go home or go to Hong Kong.

Alone Again

on Tuesday, 28 December 2010

This morning I wake up alone again. I go to work and as usual come home for lunch, then after work I go and use some free Wi-Fi to download a film before going back to the apartment. Oh life in Zhuhai is so so fun!

Half Day At Work

on Monday, 27 December 2010

Today I have a half day at work, Waiyi has the day of as it is a holiday in Hong Kong. I have to go in, in the morning, so get up early and go and do the morning classes. I am finished and back at the apartment by 11:30pm. We don’t end up doing much though e have a look around and play some pool and Waiyi helps negotiate me to stay in the apartment for another to months for 1000RMB (£90) a month. Waiyi gets the 9:00pm ferry back to Hong Kong and after dropping her off I go home. The cab driver decides to pick up one of his drunk mates on the way. The fare should be about 19RMB, but the meter shows 22RMB. I give him 20 but the guy has the cheek to ask for more, I just walk off. I get an early night, back to work tomorrow and all by myself in Zhuhai.

300th Day Away And It’s Boxing Day

on Sunday, 26 December 2010

Today is boxing day and also my 300th day away from home so far! Again we get up at about midday and go out to get something to eat. We get some tickets for a film at the local cinema. Unfortunately none of the big Chinese films have English subtitles for some reason so we have to watch Salt in English, but it is only showing in one of their tiny cinemas which has only 12 seats. We then play some pool again. Not a very entertaining boxing day! Have to do a half day at work till 11am but then have the rest of the day to do something's with Waiyi as she has a day off because of Christmas in Hong Kong.

Christmas Day In Zhuhai

on Saturday, 25 December 2010

So this morning I wake up to a very different Christmas, in Zhuhai, China. With just Waiyi. I only have two presents one from work and one from Waiyi. We stay in bed until about 11am and then go into town to see if anything is going on. There is nothing really going on, so we just walk around and get some food and I manage to speak to mum and dad and my brother and sister on Skype briefly, although the connection is not great. The weather turns quite bad and we end up heading back to the apartment, where we get some food and watch a film, but I fall asleep half way through, so am asleep at about 9:30pm on Christmas day! I wouldn’t say it was the most entertaining Christmas ever, but at least I was not completely alone.

Christmas Eve

on Friday, 24 December 2010

This morning is Christmas Eve, I have to work today. In the morning I have lessons and get my Santa suit and have to dress up and stand at the gate giving out candy. I go home for lunch and when I return there are no lessons because the kids are all preparing for the show with costumes and make up. The show starts at about 5:00pm and all the kids do their little dances and songs in front of all the other kids and their parents one by one. Waiyi arrives at about 5:15pm and we watch some of the show before I  have to go and get changed. Nobody has given me or Alan, the other English teacher at the kindergarten any information and in all the practices we just walk down the climbing frame thing after the last show and say Merry Christmas and then go and give out candy at the dinner tables. There are some spotlights set up as it is dark. Then we are told to stay on the climbing frame and then again told we should walk to the stage. Anyway, the last show finishes and the lights don’t come on, we walk down towards the stage, then there are loads of fireworks going off and we just don’t know what we are supposed to do as they have told us nothing. We just start throwing the candy to the kids and go onto the stage. It turns out we were supposed to stay on the climbing frame until the fireworks had gone off and then the lights would come on and we would walk to the stage. It would be nice to have some information on what is going to happen! After we give out all the candy, there is some food, but it has pretty much been eaten by all the kids and parents. Chinese parents were trampling over the kids to get the free candy and food. I get changed out of the Santa costume and we leave to get some food. We end up going to sleep at about 10:00pm as we are very tired! Tomorrow is Christmas day, but it will be very weird spending it in Zhuhai, China with just Waiyi! Merry Christmas everyone!

More Practice For The Show

on Thursday, 23 December 2010

So this morning I am in work again and am feeling even better now, not perfect but a few days and I will be there. In the morning again we have practice for the show, this time I get a head mic thing and look a complete idiot. I have to dress up as Santa in the morning as well and hand out candy at the gate.

Back To Work

on Wednesday, 22 December 2010

This morning I feel better, still not great but thankfully a bit better. I decide to go in a little bit late and Ivy and Happy, the boss are really nice and say “Don’t worry about it”. Then in the morning the classes are cancelled and everyone is rehearsing for the play. I go outside and watch all the kids practicing and find out that I have to stay till 6pm on Friday, I had hoped to leave early because Waiyi is arriving at 4:30am , but she can come and watch anyway, I also find out I have to be Santa and walk around with a big bag of sweets to give to all the kids, great, I also have to speak to all the kids and their families! We do a short rehearsal, but they don’t tell me where to go or what to say or do, so I am just walking around puzzled, not very good planning going on, but some of the class shows are very good. Afterwards it is almost lunch so I just go plan for the afternoon and then back to the apartment for some lunch, by now I am feeling much better and the mouthwash seems to be working great. I go back and do the afternoon classes then return home and just relax in my apartment.

Sick Day 2

on Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Today I wake up and I still feel dreadful, so again text Ivy to say I will not be in. The pain in my throat is subsiding, but I now have very swollen gums and my wisdom tooth is very painful. I buy some mouthwash and this seems to give temporary relief and I keep taking the antibiotics and painkillers. I am starting to feel a bit better but still not great. Tomorrow I really have to go in though.

Sick Day

on Monday, 20 December 2010

So, last nigh I text Ivy and said I would not be in today. I spend most of the day in bed and only pop out for some food, but I can’t eat much. In the evening I still feel dreadful and don’t think I will be able to work again tomorrow.

The Diagnosis

on Sunday, 19 December 2010

This morning we again get up late and check out at about midday. I am feeling a bit better now, I am not cold anymore, but my throat is more painful. I leave my bag at the hotel and we look around Mongkok, I am not really in the mood for walking and do not have the energy, especially when it is just so ridiculously busy. Waiyi wants to look around but I just want to sit or lie down. On the street there is a guy with no hands making flowers out of play dough, they are very impressive and he is selling them for 20HKD, I want to get one, but there is lots of people waiting. We stand for maybe 5 minutes and there is a huge crowd and in the 5 minutes people must put at least 200HKD in his hat. We come back 5 hours later and the guy is still there with a crowd round him and loads of money being put in his hat. I also find out today they have just introduced a minimum wage in Hong Kong of 28HKD. This guy could have been making 100 times that much! My throat is now feeling really bad, so we try and find a doctor the first place they are all closed as it is 6:00pm on a Sunday. Waiyi finally manages to find a place that is open and can see me. He asks some questions and has a look and straight away tells me I have Tonsillitis. He gives me about 6 different tablets to take and it costs me 310HKD, hopefully I can claim this back on my travel insurance. We then go and get some food, but I only have some soup, we then go and get my bag from the hotel and head to the port. It is the end of a dreadful weekend in Hong Kong, which has not only cost a fortune, but I haven’t done anything, but spend most of the time in bed. I feel bad for Waiyi as well as she has looked after me when I have been nothing but miserable. The ferry gets back to Zhuhai at 11:00pm and I get a taxi home as I still feel really bad. I don’t get home till 11:30pm. I will have to call in sick at the kindergarten tomorrow. I should have gone straight to the doctors on Friday as Waiyi suggested. but I am glad I managed to go in Hong Kong at all because it would be almost impossible to sort it out without Waiyi. I just hope now with the medication I recover quickly.

Moving To Mongkok

on Saturday, 18 December 2010

So this morning we leave the hotel and I still feel dreadful, my throat is hurting quite badly now. We go and get some food and then head to Waiyis to pick some stuff up and then go to the new hotel. We check in and then go for some food before returning quite early again as I still feel dreadful. The place is very nice, but I just feel terrible. Although I get a reasonably good nights sleep.

On My Way To Hong Kong

on Friday, 17 December 2010

Last night I didn’t sleep very well and woke up feeling quite ill. I went to the kindergarten anyway and at lunch went home and packed my stuff for my time in Hong Kong. When I left the school I was feeling really ill, with a really bad fever. On the ferry I was freezing and when I got to Hong Kong I felt dreadful and thought their scanners were going to pick me up as being ill and refuse me to enter. The cameras started beeping loads as I walked past but they didn’t do anything. I had not booked a hostel in Hong Kong stupidly and turned up at the usual place to find they were fully booked. So I felt really ill and I had nowhere to stay. We ring loads of hostels but everywhere is fully booked and am almost going to pay £100 plus for a hotel. Luckily there is a no show at the hostel and after an hour of sitting there looking for a place we get a room there. I feel really dreadful and Waiyi does a great job of looking after me, buying me medicine and food, although I can’t eat. She also gives me my Christmas present, I think partly because she is just so excited about it a week early. It is a really nice coat, which keeps me warmer. I am absolutely freezing and sleep with most of my clothes on. In the morning we have to check out and Waiyi has arranged a night at a hotel one of her clients runs. The first night costs 450HKD(£40) and this hotel is 800HKD (£70)! I really can’t afford to do this but it just shows I need to plan better in the future.

Finding Matt

on Thursday, 16 December 2010

This morning the weather is dreadful again, it is freezing cold and raining. At lunch I come home and go and speak to some people at GLV, because this week I have not been able to get hold of Matt. I speak to one of the teachers and they say that GLV hasn’t heard from him either and that she will check with the women in charge. I go back to the kindergarten and finish my classes and then return to GLV in the afternoon. I manage to speak to the women in charge and she says they have been trying to contact him all week and either on Sunday or Monday he had moved out of the apartment and nobody has seen him since the weekend. He has completely disappeared without telling anyone. It is really weird. I have tried contacting him on both his numbers and also emailing him and messaging him on Facebook. So far nobody has been able to speak to him though!

Bucketing It Down

on Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Today the weather is definitely colder and it is very cloudy. There is a birthday in the youngest of my kindergarten classes and they have a big party and a big chocolate cake that subsequently goes everywhere apart from in their mouths. At the end of the day I leave a bit early because it is tipping it down so I don’t have to stay for the outdoor activities. I go home and get changed as my shoes are leaking and my feet are soaked. I then go to the ice bar. I haven’t been able to get hold of Matt all week, so need to try and find him.

The Weather Is Turning

on Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Today is business as usual at the kindergarten, there weather has turned cold again and there is some rain. I hope this doesn’t last long as I am not used to seeing rain for so long. I have been told there is about 2 or 3 months to come though. I get an early night in and eat at my apartment because I don’t want to go out.

Start Of Second Week At Happy

on Monday, 13 December 2010

So today was the first say of my second week. I was a bit late again, the buses in the morning are ridiculously over crowded and you have to squeeze on. I went home for lunch, had something to eat and posted some letters. After my afternoon classes I went to EF and luckily managed to get my money, even though the guy managing the place had quit after not being paid. A dreadful company! The traffic on the way was ridiculous and the Chinese people have no patience at all, and there is no such thing as a yellow box junction, so quite often at a crossroads everyone will just push out and then go so close to the car in front that they can’t reverse and it just turns to complete gridlock. They really are the worst drivers I have ever seen. After I pick my money up I head back and sit in the square to use some of the free Wi-Fi to download and then go home and get an early night. The last week I have not been able to sleep the whole nigh without waking up and am therefore very tired, I hope I can sleep better soon, I just have a lot on my mind at the moment.

Some Pool, But Not Much Else

on Sunday, 12 December 2010

Today we get up quite late and after getting something to eat, we go and play some pool and then watch a talent show in the square and have a walk around. We end up not doing much, which is annoying, really need to spend the time actually looking around Zhuhai. I take Waiyi to the port to go back to Hong Kong, the time just flies when she is here and it is not enough time, I really need to get a job in Hong Kong as soon as possible!

Go Karting And Shopping

on Saturday, 11 December 2010

Today we get up quite late, I go and do a bit of shopping with Waiyi, just for a few bits and also get my hair cut. Then with Matt we go to Gongbei and do some go karting, I win as usual and then we spend the rest of the afternoon looking round the shops. I had hoped to buy some presents, but end up buying nothing and Matt is the only person who buys anything. I hate shopping! We find a backstreet food road and get something to eat, before heading back and having some drinks in the ice bar. Maybe having too many in the end.

First Week Over

on Friday, 10 December 2010

So the first week at Happy Kindergarten is over. Today I got some presents, I think all teachers receive them at the end of each week. This time it was a huge pack of toilet rolls and a big bag of oranges, every little helps. Anyway straight after work I popped home to the apartment and then went to EF to pick up my pay for the work I did there. I missed Mike, the guy who runs it by 10minutes and the receptionist said he was really annoyed because the boss had not paid the wages. Didn’t sound good, I will have to go back another time. Then I head straight to the port to pick up Waiyi. We then head back and get some food and then play some zilch and have a beer in the ice bar, before getting quite an early night as I am shattered and so is Waiyi.

Settling In

on Thursday, 9 December 2010

I am starting to get used to working here now, I am actually starting to enjoy it, just need to come up with more games for the kids as that is all they want to do. I have also been asked by Dulwich college international school to do some part time work on the weekend, but want to wait a while before doing more work, and the weekend is not ideal as I want to spend this time with Waiyi.

3rd Day At Happy

on Wednesday, 8 December 2010

My 3rd day at the kindergarten, again I go home in my ridiculously long lunch break of 3 and a half hours, although after travelling home and back, it is not really worth it. I need to stay at the school or move to a place nearer, so I can get home quickly.

2nd Day At Happy

on Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My second day at the kindergarten goes well, I just need to find some more games to play with the kids. It is all about the games and making the kids have fun, nothing else really matters.

First Day In The Kindergarten

on Monday, 6 December 2010

This morning I leave at about 7:00am and get the bus, I end up arriving more than 30minutes early, so I now know I can wake up 30mins later. Firstly I have to great the students and be there so their parents can see me. I also have breakfast which is the dreadful congee stuff. Then I have 5 lessons and then a 3 and a half hour lunch break. Matt meets me and we go and have a foot massage nearby. I then have 5 more classes and then can leave. I get back at 5:30 and then play some dice with Matt and Brad before going to bed at about 10:00pm. No more late nights for me.

Shopping Day

on Sunday, 5 December 2010

Today, I don’t really do anything. Just go and do a bit of shopping as I need to buy some more credit for my internet usb stick and I have a look at some TV’s and an XBOX360 even though I don’t have the money. I get an early night as I have to be up at 7:00am to go to the kindergarten for my first day.

Signing The Contract

on Saturday, 4 December 2010

This morning I have to go to the kindergarten and sign the contract. I sign the contract and meet all the staff that are there. I then go back and do a bit of shopping and collect my medical check from EF, I have to wait a few more days for my money. I get a fairly early night as I am still feeling a bit ill from the night before.

2nd Demo Class

on Friday, 3 December 2010

So this morning I had my second demo class at the happy kindergarten. The demo was at 9am and I left at about 8am, it was lucky as the first 2 busses went past with absolutely no space on them. I didn’t want to wait and risk the next busses being packed, so instead grabbed a taxi. I had no idea how to say the schools name, so I had to ring Waiyi and ask her to tell him where to go. It happened that her phone battery had died and it diverted to her house and her brother picked up. She was still at home as the alarm had not worked and was late for work. She gave the taxi driver directions, I don’t know what I would do without her. I was really, really nervous about the demo, but it went really well and they said it was a great lesson and they were really happy. I left and rang Matt to check where he was, he was still at the apartment and said he was not going to the interview. As it was only me and him applying for the job, I am hoping that I have the job, but am still waiting for them to contact me. The job is much better, easier work, I don’t have to work at the weekend and it is more money. At about 5:00pm we went to the ice bar for some drinks and ended up staying all night and drinking a lot of beer. Ivy from the happy kindergarten also rang and asked me to go in tomorrow to sign the contract, so I have a new job starting on Monday, thankfully as I really need to earn some proper money.

2 More Kindergarten Interviews

on Thursday, 2 December 2010

So this morning me and Matt go to the happy kindergarten to watch a demo lesson and then we will have to teach our own lesson tomorrow. I also have a second interview straight after, but they want me to do a demo lesson on Monday. Both jobs have advantages and disadvantages so I can’t decide which one I would prefer. The happy one is more money and less hours, but the other one gets a visa and is easier work.  After the second interview I go back and speak to the woman at the estate agent because the drain in the toilet is not working properly. She arranges for the landlord to come and look at it in the evening. Then I spend the day relaxing and preparing the lesson for tomorrow. I go to the ice bar for a couple of beers, and end up spending a bit too long there.

Start Of My 10th Month

on Wednesday, 1 December 2010

So last night was my first night sleeping in my apartment, the bedding I bought was the cheapest I could find and is not the greatest. I also went to sleep with the window open and as there is a very busy road just outside I woke up with lots of noise. First of in the morning I have to go and get some credit for my phone and I spend some time in GLV using their internet. Me and Matt go to Gongbei and have a foot massage and then come back and I watch some TV on my laptop. I get a call from the kindergarten I went to on Monday and they have invited me and Matt back for another interview. We go for some food and a bit of zilch, but don’t stay out late as we have to be at the school at 9:30am to watch a demo lesson.

Unemployed Again

on Tuesday, 30 November 2010

This morning I get up, check out of the hotel and move the rest of my stuff into the apartment.  Me and Matt get something to eat and then sit in the GLV using the internet. I have to be at EF for the business training by 2:00pm. But I really hate the job and am contemplating quitting, especially after hearing more stories about people not getting paid and even the boss sending an email saying two members of staff still haven’t been paid since October. I get there and watch a business class, the business class is actually ok and doesn’t seem to difficult, but a combination of things, mainly the fact they want me to teach 5 different classes and not mainly kindergarten, which is why they hired me. I have some interviews set up at some local kindergartens this week and although it is probably stupid to quit your job when you haven’t got another one and have no money, especially after just over one week, I just really hated it and it was actually making me miserable and ridiculously stressed. It was a huge relief after I had said I was quitting. I go back and meet Matt for some food and a beer then we go and watch a film, Manhunter, at Brads apartment.

Interview At Kindergarten

on Monday, 29 November 2010

This morning I had an interview at a kindergarten, the kindergarten was really really nice and was the perfect job. Unfortunately my demo didn’t go great and they would not get a visa, I would have to keep going to Hong Kong or Macau. I am really not liking EF now and am actually on the brink of quitting after just one week. I am disappointed with the lesson and am not confident of getting a job there. Me and Waiyi look for some more apartments and I find somewhere for 1200 Yuan a month for a 1 bedroom place. Me and Matt were going to get a place together but he is probably going to go to Hangzhou instead now, so I just rent for one month to see what happens. Matt has an interview for the same kindergarten that afternoon and says it went dreadful as well and that they had 10 other people applying for the job. Me and Waiyi get some dinner and then go to the port. We arrive 5 minutes before the boat is due to leave and although we have done this the last two times this time the boat has left early and she misses it. We have to wait for another hour and then I go to the ice bar for a couple f drinks with Matt. I have to go to EF tomorrow to be trained in teaching business English.

First Sunday At EF

on Sunday, 28 November 2010

Today, I had my four hour lesson talking about travel. It happened that the students are quite rich and had done quite a lot of travelling, so we spent quite a bit of time talking about their travel experiences and then they all planned a trip and explained it to everybody. Afterwards I had another kindergarten class and then we all went to the ice bar for some zilch, but again didn’t stay late.

First Saturday At EF

on Saturday, 27 November 2010

So today, I turn up at EF and had expected to share some lessons with other teachers, but instead was told I had to teach my own lesson and had five minutes to prepare. The first lesson went reasonably, but the second I ended up just taking the kids to the park and playing football as it was activities weekend. Then I had a kindergarten lesson and then left a bit early with the excuse that I needed to find an apartment with Waiyi. We had a quick look, but ended up going and playing some pool and then got an early night as we were both very tired.

Trying To Find The Buddhist Temple

on Friday, 26 November 2010

Today I get woken up by Matt, for some reason I am sleeping very late and still feeling very tired. He wants to go to the Buddhist temple. I have to pick up my medical report first. I arrive at 12:15pm and they have gone to lunch and the guy says come back at 2pm. Luckily a nice women opens up and gets my report for me. I head back, and we get a bus to the Buddhist temple, it turns out it is not here and there is just a very expensive garden, for 50 Yuan. They say the temple is miles away in the mountain, so we decide I have enough time and don’t know where to go so head back. I send a few more job applications to some kindergartens, in the hope I can get a better job before I sign the contract. I get one women ring me almost straight away and arranges an interview for Monday. Fortunately I am not working so will go there on Monday and hopefully get that job. Which is both more money and I don’t have to work weekends and I prefer the younger kids as well. Fingers crossed!

Go Karting In Gongbei

on Thursday, 25 November 2010

This morning I get up late again and me and Matt go to Gongbei. I do some go karting and then we find a cafe and Matt has an interview for a job in Vietnam. I am starting to think my job is not that great, but I don’t want to leave, so will continue looking while working there. We get some dumplings and then go back and we again go to the ice bar and play zilch.

First Day Back At Work

on Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Today was my first day working properly at English First. I was unsure whether my lesson was at 10am to 12 or 2pm to 4pm. I had been told 10-12, but the online calendar said 2-4. I rang  the boss and asked if it was 10-12, he said yes, I asked about the calendar and it turns out that it was set in English time, so was eight hours wrong. My first lesson was a 10am and was a 2 hour lesson. I did a lesson about clothing and although I had one student whose English was great and one whose English was terrible. The lesson actually went really well. Afterwards I had a break from 12 to 6:30. At 6:30 I had to go and do an oral test for some new students who wanted to join the school and test what level they should be in. Afterwards I go back and me and Matt play some zilch. We end up getting very drunk and not going home till 2am.

Planning For First Lesson

on Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Today I get up and have my medical exam in the morning. I go to the hospital and have to have blood tests, x-rays, urine tests, ultrasound, ECG, eye test and various other tests.The rest of the day I spend planning my lesson for tomorrow and want to make sure I have plenty of stuff prepared so I don’t end up sitting there with nothing to do. We go for a drink and I get an early nights sleep.

First Day At EF

on Monday, 22 November 2010

Today I go into EF to meet the staff and get some more details of the job and agree to the terms. Waiyi comes along with me. Surprisingly the boss offers me only 6000, I end up agreeing to 7500, but later think maybe I have been done over a bit. Nothing is signed so I can get out when ever I want at the moment, but really need a job at the moment as I am almost out of money completely. I agree and then me and Waiyi go for some food and I take her to the port to go home. At the moment I am staying in a hotel but really need to move soon.

Worst Hotel Ever

on Sunday, 21 November 2010

Today I am woken up at 7am by the most ridiculously loud hammering and drilling noises. I go to the window and look out and 2 foot from the glass is a workmen and around him are about 5 others banging and drilling stuff. I put in my headphones and try to get back to sleep but it is just so ridiculously loud. We obviously move hotels and try and get a refund, after a lot of arguing we finally get 40 yuan taken of the bill, but really the room is not worth anything. We get in the new hotel and it is actually much better for less money. Matt has some part time work today and when he finishes he rings me and says they want to give me a job, unfortunately they are only taking one of us, so although I am happy, it is a shame we both don’t get to work together. We all go and watch the new Harry Potter, everyone agrees it is dreadful and I am annoyed we waste the time watching it. We then go to the ice bar and play some zilch with Brad. We get quite an early night though as I have to go to the EF tomorrow.

Back To English First

on Saturday, 20 November 2010

Today we are back at English first to do some demo lessons. We arrive at about 10am and end up spending the whole day there. We end up teaching one lesson of kindergarten and supervising some tests, as it is test day and most of the students don’t have a proper class. Waiyi is coming in the afternoon, but rings and says she has had to go to hospital after injuring her thumb. It isn’t too bad and she will still come and visit, just arrive a bit later. I have to stay at the school anyway. She arrives at about 9pm and I get her from the port. We check in to a hotel and then go to the ice bar for a couple of drinks and some zilch.

Leaving Hong Kong Again

on Friday, 19 November 2010

This morning I leave Hong Kong at about 10am, I go to Shenzhen and still haven’t decided to go to the interview in Shenzhen or not. I decide not to as it is not legal and instead go to Zhuhai where I can get free accommodation as an intern at GLV. I meet Matt in Shenzhen and we get the ferry down, I go to GLV to sort out the internship, but it can’t be organised today and I have to email. We then go straight to an interview at English First in Zhuhai. We observe a kindergarten lesson and get to join in and help out. The boss Mike who had originally said there was two positions now said it is unlikely we will both get the job as one position is for kindergarten mainly and the other business English and he has a guy trained in business English. It is a bit of a shame because it would be great for us both to get a job together. Mike does say the guy wants a lot more money and it may not be approved, so there is still a chance of us both getting the job. After we are shatttered as it has been a long day so go back to the ice bar for some drinks. I plan to get a hotel after as I think there will be plenty of room. It turns out there isn’t at 12:30am and I end up having to stay at Matts as GLV has not replied either.

Supposed To Leave Hong Kong

on Thursday, 18 November 2010

Today I am supposed to leave Hong Kong after I get my visa. The visa will be ready at 6pm. I get up and pack my stuff and check out and go and have lunch with Waiyi. Over lunch I decide it is going to be late when I leave and it will cost me almost the same in Hong Kong for a room as in Shenzhen. Therefore when I get back to the hotel I check back into my old room and decide to stay one more night and leave in the morning. Me, Waiyi and Chris go out for a few drinks, but get a fairly early night as they have to work and I have to leave early.

Interview In Hong Kong

on Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Today I have an interview at a kindergarten in Hong Kong. I just about managed to find it in time. It is actually closer to China than the main part of Hong Kong, so it is not ideally positioned, but they asked for an interview. I arrived and gave them my details, then as I had expected they were unsure whether they would be able to apply for a visa for me, so they asked me to send them some more details and then they could check and get back to me. So it wasn’t a complete waste of time, but I am not hopefully they will be granted permission for the visa. I meet Waiyi in the afternoon and we go for some dinner.

Jackass 3D

on Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Today we don’t do too much. I meet Waiyi after she has finished work and we go and watch Jackass 3D, I find it hilarious, but Waiyi isn’t impressed. We go for a steak afterwards and get an early night. I will leave for Shenzhen tomorrow, once I have my visa.

Apply For Visa And A Film

on Monday, 15 November 2010

This morning I get up early and go and apply for my visa. I then try and change rooms but they say I can’t get in the room yet and will have to wait till later. I watch a film on my laptop and then go and meet Waiyi at her brothers graduation. I get roped in to taking loads of photos and we go for a meal afterwards and then meet some friends of hers, although not related they call her aunt. I get in trouble with the security guard for taking a picture of a butchers stall for some ridiculous reason. We then head back to Causeway bay and watch a film together, Unstoppable. I think it is pretty lame but Waiyi thinks it is quite good and even cries at the end. We get a late dinner and then go to sleep. Waiyi has to work tomorrow, so I don’t have much to do.

Early Night

on Sunday, 14 November 2010

Today Matt leaves for Shenzhen again, as he has a double entry visa and needs to get back for the interview tomorrow. We go to the visa centre and I can still only get a double entry for 30 days each. It costs me 900HKD for a double entry, ridiculous compared to the 250HKD it costs Matt with his Polish passport! We see Matt off, he really hasn’t got a clue travelling by himself, with his ridiculously heavy bag. Me and Waiyi get some food and have an early night. Waiyi has the day off tomorrow, she has to go to her brothers graduation ceremony but I will meet her there once I have applied for my visa and moved rooms.

First Interview

on Saturday, 13 November 2010

Today we have an interview with a women for a job at a kindergarten in Shenzhen. Luckily the checkout time of our hotel is 2:00pm, so we can leave our bags at the hotel, while we go to the interview. The women asks us to meet her at KFC and after a nice girl guides us to it we arrive and wait for Issabella to arrive. She arrives about 15 minutes late, asks us a few questions and takes some photos. I have to leave to get a new Chinese visa tomorrow and Matt will come as well. Issabella arranges an interview for Matt on Monday. We both go back to the hotel and get out stuff and make our way to Hong Kong. We get checked in at the hostel, the same one I stayed at last time and then me, Matt and Waiyi go for some food and then to Lan Kwai Fong. We meet Lydiah and Robin and they take us on a tour of LKF and Wan Chai. Inevitably we all get very drunk and don’t get home till late.

TEFL Is Over

on Friday, 12 November 2010

So this morning we go to GLV to collect our certificates. We end up leaving at about 2:30pm and after saying goodbye to Brad and Jenny. Me, Matt and Lydiah go to the port, Lydiah heads off back to Hong Kong and me and Matt go to Shenzhen. The ferry is about one hour and is very rough. We arrive and try and find a hostel, but there doesn’t seem to be anything very cheap. We eventually decide to stay at a place recommended by the travel bureau at the port. It is actually a hotel and costs 260Y for a twin room, but as it is just one night we just book it. The taxi takes almost an hour to get there, but it is near the main station, so we can get to Hong Kong easily tomorrow. We spend a bit of time looking around the local area and get some food and use some internet in Starbucks. Tomorrow we have an interview with a kindergarten in Shenzhen, but it doesn’t sound very legit and probably won’t offer us a work visa. We will have to wait and see.

Last Days Teaching At Sanzao

on Thursday, 11 November 2010

Today is our last TP and pretty much the end of the course. I am the first teacher and get a great class and the lesson goes great. I watch everyone else then we head back to finish of some paperwork in the folder. We have a farewell dinner in the evening and me and Matt also have to go and do English corner again! I also spend some more time researching jobs and we also have a presentation by GLV. It seems to be the policy of the Chinese government to give work visas to degree holders and they should also have two years teaching experience, I don’t have either. I think in very rare occasions the school would get the visa for you, but I think this is very unlikely. It is a bit worrying as it seems all the schools contacting me want to work on a tourist visa illegally, especially working in this area of China, I would have to go to more remote areas of China to get a work visa legally. I hope I could sort something out soon.

Teaching At Number 9 Middle School

on Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Today the other half of the class teaches at a local school, but not until 4:30pm. For the rest of the day we just do some more planning and finish of some other work in our folders that needs to be completed before the end of the course. We have to make sure tomorrows class is all prepared as well. We leave for the school at about 4:00pm and get taxis, the school is really nice. Everyone is a bit worried about this model as it is supposed to be the hardest, but thankfully my lesson goes fairly well, probably one of the best so far. We go back to the school, have a couple of drinks at the ice bar as it is somebodies birthday, then we go back to the apartment and I end up sleeping at about 10:00pm as I am so tired. Tomorrow is the last day of teaching, then we get our certificate on Friday and me and Matt will leave for Shenzhen, where we both have an interview at a kindergarten on Saturday.

Day Off From Teaching

on Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Today half of us didn’t have a lesson, so the whole day was spent just preparing for our lessons on Wednesday and Thursday. Four people from the class were teaching today and four tomorrow. Today they were teaching in GLV and the students were brand new students, only been at the school two days and their English was very limited. The lessons were an hour and it was hard work for the teachers. I am glad I will teach kids tomorrow at a middle school, with better English than the adults at GLV. I spend the whole day preparing my two lessons and then go and observe one lesson. After that we go to the ice bar for some drinks and then to another teachers apartment to play some XBOX, first time in a long while. I end up getting a bit drunk, but no where near as bad as Matt.

Monday Lesson

on Monday, 8 November 2010

Today we have to get the bus to a rural school about an hour away from GLV. We arrive and the school is pretty impressive. We spend the whole day there and don’t get back to GLV until about 5:30pm. The students are great, but this school does not recruit English teachers as it doesn’t have the funding. We go back and watch a film on Brad’s new 60” TV that he ahs bought. Only 2 more teaching days left.

A Haircut Finally

on Sunday, 7 November 2010

Today we play some more pool, I get some revenge on Waiyi and seven ball her again. I also go and get my haircut. It only costs 20yuan (£1.90) and I get a lovely shampoo and head massage. We go to the ice bar again in the evening, but Renee and Matt are ill so we don’t spend much time there.

250 Days!

on Saturday, 6 November 2010

Today I get up at 9am to go to a teacher training session at the school, thankfully I actually felt alright. The meeting was actually quite interesting. Only me, Lydiah and Xenia turned up. The meeting was 2 hours long. Afterwards we went and had some food and played a bit of pool. Some how Waiyi managed to seven ball me. We then went back to the ice bar and played some dice and had some beers.

First Reading And Writing Lesson

on Friday, 5 November 2010

Today in the morning we have our first reading and writing lesson. It is at the same school, we did the first lesson. My lesson goes quite well I think, and we watch Jenny give a demonstration of the next lesson model, which is great. We then go back to the school, the last few days it has started raining and pretty much not stopped, I hope the sun comes back soon. Its the first time in 8 months it has been less than 25 degrees and bright sunshine. I try and get all my work done and planning for next Monday so I can finish at 5, when Waiyi is coming over to meet me. I get almost everything done and leave at 5 an pick her up. We go to the dumpling king restaurant and then the ice bar for some beers and some dice. We play a new game that Brad teaches us called Zilch, very fun game ad a welcome change to the usual one. We stay a while, me, Waiyi, Renee, Matt and then Lydiah and her husband join us a bit later. We go home about 11pm as everyone doesn’t feel like staying late tonight, instead we will go out tomorrow. I have to be up at 10am tomorrow to go to a teacher training session the school we are in is doing. It is optional but I think it will be useful.

Last One On One Meeting

on Thursday, 4 November 2010

Today was our last one to one meeting. I decided to try and correct Ann’s way of telling the time. This was successful, but didn’t take up even half the lesson, so for the rest of the lesson, we just chatted, with me asking another 500 questions. Afterwards we had time for lesson planning tomorrow, when we have the second teaching model. I managed to get quite a lot of work done, hopefully I won’t have too much work for the weekend when Waiyi is visiting. After school we go to the ice bar for a couple of beers and some dice before going back for some sleep.

Second One To One Meeting

on Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Today we have the second one to one meeting. Ann is a lot more open now and is speaking a lot better, she still struggles to understand quite a few words but her reading is pretty good. I have to record a sample to analyse later and find to correct on the last meeting. Afterwards we spend most of the time planning for our next lessons. I have received a couple of emails back from jobs in Hong Kong. One wants an interview the other says  they require six months experience before they can get a work visa. I leave the school quite early and go back to the apartment. I watch a bit of TV on my laptop and then go to bed early. It is a good day as I have got some replies to sending out my CV, but I also find out one of my shares has gone up a lot today and I have missed out on quite a lot of money.

First One To One Meeting

on Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Today is our first one to one meeting. We have all got completely different students, some very young and some very old, with different degrees of English. I have been told my student is a 30 year old English teacher and his English is excellent. I prepare some topics for conversation. When I get there, I wait for 15 minutes but he doesn’t show. I speak to Jenny and she says I should take her sister in law, her English is very limited, so my topics of conversation last about 5 minutes and then I have to make up hundreds of other questions as she gives one word answers. We go out that night and have some beers at the ice bar and play some dice. We end up getting quite drunk.

Start of Another Week And Another Month

on Monday, 1 November 2010

We start today with a observation lesson of Brad in the second teaching model, which we will have to use on Friday. This is a much easier model it seems and afterwards the rest of the day is used for some grammar lessons and some lesson planning. Me, Matt and Renee go to the dumpling king for some food and then go back to Matts to watch a film, which is actually the documentary about Banksy.

Another Day In Gongbei

on Sunday, 31 October 2010

We get up and have some breakfast and sort a fw things out in the morning. By the time we go to Gongbei it is already nearly midday. We play a bit of pool then I do some go karting, I manage to get my time down to below 1 minute, in fact 5 seconds faster than last time. Waiyi doesn’t want to do it so I end up going round by myself. We then get a bit of food and look at some of the shops. It is getting quite cold here now so for the first time in 8 months I need to get some winter clothes, as I just have the one fleece. I don’t end up buying anything because I am a bit short of money at the moment and have at least 2 more weeks to go before I can start working and then it will be a month before I get paid and a month in Hong Kong will be expensive, especially if I have to pay rent upfront. We get back to the apartment and Waiyi helps with some of my grammar test, then we go and get some food. She has some frog with rice and stupidly I get the Hawaiian pizza which is basically a cheese pizza with no tomato and a tin of fruit dumped on top. It is disgusting! I then take Waiyi to the port and she heads back to Hong Kong until next weekend. I get the bus back and spend an hour sitting in the square outside the school where they have a stage and they have some singers performing and I right the blog, which I need to be writing more regularly not trying to remember 2 weeks worth of stuff. Tomorrow it’s back to school. We are half way through though now, just hoping I can sort a job out in Hong Kong before the end of the course, fingers crossed.

Waiting For Waiyi

on Saturday, 30 October 2010

Today I get up quite late as I am still feeling quite ill. I watch some films and then in the afternoon go and pick Waiyi up. She has been playing basketball so had to come late. She misses the first ferry so instead of waiting decides to get a ferry to Macau and then cross over the border from there. This ferry ends up being delayed and she doesn’t arrive till 8:30pm. We get a bus back to GLV and have some dinner and a beer at the ice bar, before going to sleep.

Really Bad Lesson

on Friday, 29 October 2010

Today we had to teach another lesson. This time it was at a local private school. This one is a richer school than the first one though. Again I was last, This time we had different grades of students. I had level 6 and the lesson went dreadfully. I forgot a few steps in the lesson plan and the kids were not paying attention and causing lots of trouble. It was disappointing and I realise I need to practice the lesson a lot more before going in there. Hopefully next time it will go much better. Afterwards we all went back to the school and as our next lesson is not till Friday of next week and the afternoon was for lesson planning most people went home. I stayed and wrote my CV though and sent it off to the TEFL person in Hong Kong. Fingers crossed I will be able to get some work there. In the evening I watch some TV I have downloaded, Spooks and we go out for some food and a few drinks to celebrate some peoples birthdays. There is a Halloween party at the school, so we go and have a look, after we have a quick drink at the bar before going back and watching a film. I go to sleep quite early because I am starting to feel a bit tired and ill. Waiyi will come over to visit again for the weekend, but will not arrive until late because she has a basketball match in the morning.

Learning A New Model

on Thursday, 28 October 2010

Today we learn a new teaching model, a multimedia model for the first half of the day and then we have lesson planning in the afternoon, ready for our next lesson on Friday. I have already done most of it though so can finish early. Me, Renee and Matt go into town and do a bit of shopping, before going back to Matts to watch a film.

First Lesson By Ourselves

on Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Today we have lessons in the morning again, we are split into to groups of 4 and mine is the last lesson of one group. I watch Matt and Donna first, then Kathryn and then it was me. We have a class of about 25, 14 year olds. The kids are much smarter and more well behaved and the lesson goes brilliantly, with me only forgetting a few little things. After the lessons we are swamped with the kids wanting autographs and emails and to shake our hands. It is a amazing and the kids are so keen to learn and are so excited and hard working.  We go back to the school and do an evaluation of the class and a bit more planning, tomorrow we have a day of teaching, with another class on Friday. We go and watch a film at Matts again after having a few drinks in bar street.

Shared Teaching Practice

on Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Today we have a shared teaching practice. We have to teach a class in a pair. My partner is Kathryn. I am very nervous and although we complete the lesson, it isn’t that great and although in my review they say i was not nervous, I felt more nervous than I have ever felt. We go back and start planning for our individual teaching practice. I start to think whether this is the right thing for me to be doing.

Planning For Our Shared Teaching Practice

on Monday, 25 October 2010

Today we spend the whole day planning for our shared teaching practice. Our dialogue is quite simple, but we are visiting a very poor private school in Zhuhai, so have no idea how competent the kids will be and whether it will be too hard for them. I am very nervous about the lesson tomorrow and hope it doesn’t get too bad.

Hangover

on Sunday, 24 October 2010

Today I get up late and Waiyi gets up even later at about midday. We go and play some pool and that evening we do some work and then go for a meal with my classmates. I take Waiyi to the port and she gets the 9:30pm ferry back to Hong Kong.

Tour Of Zhuhai

on Saturday, 23 October 2010

This morning we go on a tour of the city. Waiyi is arriving at about midday. Brad our teacher shows us where to get a bus pass and where and which busses we can get to some areas of town, including the Macau border. We visit the underground market and the DVD shop which Brad has built up a collection of over 2000 DVDs from. We meet Waiyi at the port and then go to have a foot massage, one hour only costs 25 yuan and it is great! We stop of at the local market and get Waiyi to buy us a chicken and some other food for dinner. We then go for a meal at Brads, where Lydiah cooks some food for us. We get quite drunk and go and play a bit of pool before going to sleep, very late.

Racism At The Karaoke Bar

on Friday, 22 October 2010

Tonight me Renee and Tim go for some drinks at a local bar under GLV, we play some dice and the beers are only 6 Yuan for a pint, so we end up drinking quite a lot. We get chatting to some of the teachers who actually work here, who say they do absolutely no work. I end up being invited to a party at a karaoke bar, so go along with them. When I arrive the Chinese guy whose party it is, is not happy there are so many foreigners at the party and gets annoyed and makes me leave, saying things like “dirty white man”, “I hate white guys”. The first instance of racism I have ever seen in my time in china. I don’t want any trouble so just go back to the apartment. When I get there I find my room mate has locked the door from the inside, even though we were told numerous times to not do this. I bang on the door but get no answer and as my phone is dead I can’t ring. So I end up sleeping in the corridor, not happy. Then in the morning, I ring the bell and knock again, but still no answer, at 8am I go to the school and find some other classmates so I can ring and get the door opened. I go and get the door opened and he says “ he heard me knocking but couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed”, the guy is an absolute moron!

Peer To Peer Teaching Practice

on Thursday, 21 October 2010

Today was our fourth day of the course, there was supposed to be a typhoon coming. We had to do a peer to peer teaching practice, where we had to teach an English lesson to the rest of the class, most went dreadfully including my own. It wasn’t the greatest start to teaching a lesson and I am not looking forward to doing it in front of 30 kids.

Third Days Teaching

on Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Today we had our third days teaching which including another Grammar lesson, which was quite difficult but we have been told is not very important and our last language class, which was in Hunan. The lesson was not quite as good as the Thai one, but was still a good example of a lesson model for when we teach some classes. Hunan was not as interesting though as it is only spoken by a very small amount of people and you would never  have a use for it. After  we had finished and had some food, we went and tried to find somewhere to buy a USB internet stick. Luckily Renee was with us and can speak Mandarin, so she could ask all the questions. We could only get the sim cards and would have to get the USB sticks from elsewhere, but they would all be closed now, so instead we went to a coffee shop for some Wi-Fi instead.

2nd Days Teaching

on Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Today we had classes again for most of the day, including a Thai lesson which was good and taught us the style of how we would teach an English lesson later in the course. We then went and played some pool in Gongbei for an hour before going back to our apartment. Shortly after we had to be at KFC for the English corner where we chat with people, including students and locals. There were only 3 pupils, 2 from the school and one local and 3 of us. We had to stay an hour but ended up staying an hour and a half. We have to do 2, 2 hour sessions to get free food for the whole month, which is a very good deal, especially as the food is very good and large portions. The students English was actually quite good and a conversation was fairly easy, especially with one called Joe whose English was excellent and said he had taught himself.

First Day In Class

on Monday, 18 October 2010

Today was our first day of classes, I was up at 7:30am and we left at 8:10am to have breakfast in the canteen. We get free food for doing 2 hours of chatting with pupils at the English corner in KFC. After breakfast we got straight into classes, including a grammar lesson and a Mandarin lesson. We did some homework straight after class and also had some dinner. Kindly another pupil on the course Thomas, who has a car took us all to look round the city, we found a bar street and had a few drinks and played some dice before heading back. We get back to the room at about 11pm.

Signing On At School

on Sunday, 17 October 2010

This morning we get up early and go to the school, so I can sign on. We arrive at about 10:30am and I am the first person there, so luckily get the best room in the apartment. The apartment is huge and my room is massive, it has a kitchen, fridge, microwave, cooker, TV and SKY. My room also has an en suite. The only thing it is lacking is Wi-Fi, which is a  bit annoying. I leave my stuff and me and Waiyi go back in to town and play some pool. Afterwards I go to the port and see Waiyi off. I have left my laptop in her bag and luckily just remember before she leaves and she can rush back through customs to give it to me. It is quite hard seeing her go, I hope she can visit as often as possible on the weekends as it is very hard for me to visit Hong Kong as I need another Chinese visa. I then go back to school for orientation, I first meet Tim, my roommate, he is from the US, but has some Chinese in him and can speak Cantonese very well. There is also Maciej(Matt) from Poland who can speak fluent Polish, German, English, Japanese and Korean! There is lydia from Kenya, but who lives in Hong Kong, Katherine frm Zhuhai, Thomas from the US, who is also part Chinese. Renee from the US as well, but Chinese and can speak Mandarin. Jenny is our TEFL trainee. After the orientation we have a welcome dinner, where Jenny orders way too much food and then a tour of the city, to see the main locations, before going back to the apartment for some sleep, before our first day of classes tomorrow.

Visiting The School

on Saturday, 16 October 2010

Today we get up quite late, we go and find the school and have a little tour and also find the place where the apartment is, but we can’t get in as it is gated.We go and do lots of shopping, as I need some smart clothes to teach my lessons in. There are shoes for less than £5 but they are all too small. I get some trousers for £9 and they take them up for me and iron them in the shop! I get a shirt for £2.50 but the sleeves are much too short.  . I also buy a new electric shave which is quite expensive and a towel. We then go to the pool hall where it takes Waiyi two and a half hours to beat me before we can leave. We then go to a seafood restaurant near the Macau border where they have a fish market near the restaurants and you just choose the seafood, buy it, then take it into one of the restaurants and for a small fee they will prepare it for you. We then go back to the apartment. Tomorrow I go to the school to sign on and move into my apartment!

Going To Zhuhai

on Friday, 15 October 2010

Today me and Waiyi leave Hong Kong and go to Zhuhai. We leave at 12:30 and the ferry takes one hour and ten minutes. After checking in, we go into town, we try some go karting, which is good fun. Waiyi has the worst time of the day and her best lap is twice as long as everyone else. We play some pool at a local pool hall and look round the supermarket which is the biggest place I have ever seen, selling everything you could want. Ten times bigger than Tesco. We have ten dumplings for less than 30p, everything is so cheap again after Hong Kong. There are also lots of little bars along the main road, which reminds me of Thailand and something I have never seen in a Chinese city before.

Another Film

on Thursday, 14 October 2010

Today I meet Waiyi for lunch and meet a couple of her films. Alex and On On. We see some snakes in the shopping mall, Waiyi is a wimp. We go back and watch a film, Eat Pray Love and then have some horrible food in Causeway Bay.

Lamma Island And The Peak

on Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Today, in the morning I meet Manzy and Kingyan, two of Waiyi’s friends and we go to Lamma island, a small island near Hong Kong. We spend a few hours there looking around and visiting the beach and also the wind turbine which strangely is actually a tourist attraction in China. We go back and then visit the peak, which is a viewing platform high up on a hill, with amazing views over Hong Kong. You have to pay a small fee and we later find you can get the same view from not far away for free. A great opportunity for some great photos, unfortunately a tripod would have been very useful, I really need to buy one. We also visit Madame Tussauds and get lots of photos taken. We then go back to Causeway bay for dinner, but decide not to go out as we are both so tired.

Food At The Yorkshire Pudding

on Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Today I slept in late again, I met Waiyi for dinner in Soho and we visited the Yorkshire pudding restaurant. The food was quite expensive and wasn’t very great. The actual Yorkshire pudding being very disappointing, after getting so excited about it.

Meal In Soho

on Monday, 11 October 2010

Today I didn’t really do anything, I slept quite late then went and watched a Chinese film by myself called Legend of the fist, return of Chen Zhen. It was actually quite a good film. Waiyi had to go to a funeral that evening so I waited for her and then we went for some food later.

Flugtag

on Sunday, 10 October 2010

Today we go and watch the Red Bull Flugtag, it is very busy and none of the planes work very at all. We then go and watch a film at the cinema before going and collecting my bags from the hotel.

Lan Kwai Fong

on Saturday, 9 October 2010

We go to LKF.

Guangzhou Park

on Friday, 8 October 2010

This morning we wake up and Waiyis aunt and uncle have to work. So they leave the keys and we end up sleeping a bit more, before going out. We go to the local park and have a look at the 5 ram statue, the statue of Guangzhou. We hire an electric boat to go round the lake and then get collected by her uncle again, collecting her aunt and then going to a local restaurant and having some goose in a wok over a barbeque type thing in the middle of the table. We then go back to their flat and have some more beers, with a couple of friends of theirs, I am so tired though and keep falling asleep. I try sleeping in the camping bed instead of the sofa and end up having a dreadful nights sleep, made all the worse as I have been feeling really bad for the last 5 or 6 days! We will leave tomorrow and go back to Hong Kong.

Dim Sum

on Thursday, 7 October 2010

This morning we are up quite early and go to a posh hotel with Waiyis mum, brother, grandparents, an aunt, uncle and cousin. I try some of the dishes and some are ok, but others taste or just look too terrible. After that me and Waiyi have a walk round, this area has a lot of British type buildings and it seems all the wedding couples come to have their photos taken. We must see at least ten couples having photos done. We also come across some people playing a game in the park I have not seen in China before, they have what looks a bit like a shuttlecock and they play keepy uppys with it, but they do it in a way that is more like a dance. There is groups of about 5 or 6 and there is about twenty groups in the park. I buy one of them for 15Yuan, negotiated down by Waiyi from 20Yuan, it still seems quite expensive and low and behold, when we go into a shop they are selling them for 5, scammed again! We then have a look around town and watch inception in the local cinema. The cinema is dreadful though, the seats are so low, peoples heads are in the way and I think only one speaker worked, and it wasn’t the speech one. Obviously they can’t understand anyway and just read the subtitles, but it was very difficult to watch. Waiyi fell asleep for most of the film and I did also for some of it. I will definitely have to watch it again. We then go back to Waiyis grandparents and eat some more food and Waiyi teaches me Mahjong. We then get collected by Waiyis uncle and buy some seafood on the way home, only 100yuan(£10). For two big boxes of crab, 2 of shrimp, some sort of muscles, some fish and some vegetable thing. We get back quite late and eat the food with some beers before sleeping quite late again and having to be up early again.

Leaving For China

on Wednesday, 6 October 2010

This morning we leave Waiyis home and make our way to Guangzhou, it is not too long a journey, just a few hours. I stupidly only got a double entry visa when I should have got a multiple entry visa. I had not realised Guangzhou was such a large city, but I also thought there would be lots of foreigners, in fact I hardly saw any! We have come with Waiyis brother and we are picked up by her uncle and aunt. We stop off at the shopping mall and meet her mum and grandmother, then make our way back to her grandparents house where they are all playing Mahjong. We go out for a birthday dinner, where there is 21 people, almost all of her family, uncles, aunts and cousins. After the meal we head back to her grandparents briefly, where they play more mahjong. Before her uncle leaves to collect his daughter, we are staying with them so leave with him, to collect her from a drama school where she is practicing for a part in the opening ceremony at the Asian games which are being held in Guangzhou. We pick her up and head back to theirs and have some beers. We don’t end up sleeping till 2am!

Laptop Is Back

on Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Today, I am checking out of the hotel and spending one night at Waiyi’s before going to Guangzhou the next day. I get up and pack everything away and put some clothes in to be washed. Then go to meet Waiyi for lunch, I arrive a bit early so spend some time walking around Kowloo park, until she can leave. We have lunch with Chris and another colleague of Waiyis. We have some Chinese food which includes pig ear, jellyfish, ox stomach and taro. Both the taro and the pig ear almost make me through up and the jellyfish is not much better. The ox stomach is actually surprisingly quite nice, but too spicy. After lunch I go and collect my laptop which they have managed to fix that morning. I pick up the laptop and then return to Causeway Bay and use the internet in the hostel, while I wait for Waiyi to finish work and to pick up my laundry and visa.

Bad Steak And Some New Clothes

on Monday, 4 October 2010

Today, I am up late again. I meet Waiyi for lunch and we go to a place called Quarterdeck, with amazing views of the harbour. They have a special deal for lunch, which includes two drinks, a main course and as much of the buffet as you want. We have a steak, which is very tough and not particularly great, but for the price and the restaurant location is ok. Waiyi has an extra long lunch, of two hours as the boss is away. Afterwards I go and buy some new clothes, my tee shirts are getting a bit tatty and sadly not doing 8 hours of walking and eating a lot more and sitting on beaches have meant they don’t fit too well either. I will need to join a gym and go on a diet when I get back in China. The food and clothing are two things that are actually fairly cheap in Hong Kong, so I get some tee shirts for just a few pounds and jeans are only about a tenner. The housing is the real killer when living in Hong Kong. A horrible small flat sets you back at least £250,000 and anything decent is half a million plus! After shopping, I go and meet Waiyi for dinner and some drinks with Chris and another friend called Elvis. We only stay for one drink though as it is Monday night and it is not very busy!

Stanley Beach

on Sunday, 3 October 2010

Today we visit Stanley beach. There are actually several very nice beaches in Hong Kong and Waiyis mum works at this one. We look around all the shops and meet her mum during her lunch break. It is very expensive around here and one drink in a British type pub is nearly £6. We have a hotdog at a local stall, where another one of Waiyis friends work, but the hotdog and cheesy fries are pretty dreadful. We head back and have some dinner, before going to watch a film. We watch a film called detective Dee, which is actually a Cantonese film, starring the most famous Hong Kong actor Andy Lau. The film is actually really good and having to read the subtitles is not that much of a problem. The cinema is near Waiyis home, so she goes home and I head back to my hostel. When I get back the road next to mine has been shut by the police and there is a security van at the side of the road, I assume it has been attacked, but find out in the morning from Waiyi that two of the guards had an argument and one of them fired their shotgun into the air! Crazy!

Chinese BBQ

on Saturday, 2 October 2010

Today we go and watch a film called the Devil, it is a pretty bad film. Afterwards we go to a gathering of Waiyis school friends at a BBQ in the new territories. It is called the skybbq and you pay about $80 and can eat as much as you want. There are hundreds of people in a playground type area and everyone has their own little BBQ and you cook your own food on it. It is a bit different to a BBQ in Britain as there is just so many people. I meet quite a few of Waiyis friends and although it is unbelievably hot, it is fun. We get the bus all the way back and although planned to meet Chris, we are too tired so go home.

National Day

on Friday, 1 October 2010

Today is the Chinese national day. Apparently there is a parade near my hotel, but when it finally comes it is actually a demonstration against the Chinese government claiming they have been stealing peoples organs and people are marching with some pretty disturbing photos. There is also some people dressed up pretending to cut organs out of each other. We go to another area and there is some singing and dancing and some stalls with kids games. The games are all very simple and practically impossible to lose, but there is just old women queuing up time and time again on the same game to win a kids pencil or other stupid little prizes and just filling their bags with the stuff! We then go and watch the firework show at the harbour, it is 23minutes long and apparently cost over $3 million. The harbour front is absolutely packed with people, the show is very impressive and when it comes to leaving it is very difficult and takes a long time to get out of the area. We stop off in Lan Kwai Fong for some drinks, before heading home.

Ocean Park

on Thursday, 30 September 2010

Today we visit ocean park which is one of the theme parks in Hong Kong, but apart from just rides there is a dolphin show and there are various other animals. We spend most of the day here, and the dolphin show in particular is very impressive. We don’t go on many of the rides, because are tired and Waiyi says some make her sick, wimp! We have some Chinese ice cream which is very icy and wafer thin type ice cream, very nice, but Waiyi manages to knock half of it over on the table. We then meet Waiyis mum and brother for some dinner at a local restaurant. Her mum speaks no English, but her brother is quite good.

New Hotel and Visa

on Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Today, I get up early and go and find another hotel in Causeway bay, it is more expensive and actually too much money really, but is my own room so I am willing to pay the extra. I also go and apply for my Chinese visa, I get a double entry so can visit Guangzhou with Waiyi for her grandfathers birthday, but only manage to get  30day visa because there is a big sporting event in Guangzhou and the Chinese government won’t give out longer visas. This means I will have to come back and get another Chinese visa before my course ends, unless I can extend it, which they said was unlikely. Waiyi is taking a half day, so I meet her at her work and we go and put my laptop in for repair. That night we meet a couple of her friends Manzy Chu and Kingyan, and go for some food at Spaghetti house and then some drinks afterwards in Wan Chai. Chris meets us there for a drink, but leaves quite early. The rest of us stay quite late and get fairly drunk!

Leaving Singapore And Tom

on Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Today, we leave Singapore. I get up late and have some breakfast and we wait at the hotel until we need to leave. Me, Darren and James get the MRT to the airport and the others get a cab including Tom. I am leaving from a different terminal and have to get a bus, so I don’t see the others before leaving. Mine and Tom’s trip is over after nearly 7 months together! I wait in the departure lounge by myself and realise that now I am by myself again and am a bit apprehensive about my course and how easily I can get a job in China. The flight is four hours and unfortunately I don’t have my laptop but manage to read and listen to some music to get through the journey. The flight is slightly delayed but I get extra leg room again and again Tiger airways are great. I arrive and Waiyi is waiting to meet me, we get the airport express to Fortress hill and I stay at the same hostel me and Tom did the last time we were here. The dorm is full of some weird people this time though. There is a Chinese looking couple with loads of luggage sharing a single bed and look like they have stayed for months and also two other guys who also look like they are living there, one of which is covered in tattoos and is rolling a joint, he has all the latest Apple products though and says he is on a business trip meeting other Apple employees. The bed is very small and I decide I won’t stay there after this night, the dorm is $140 a night which is a fairly good price for Hong Kong, but I can’t stay here two weeks! Me and Waiyi go for a late nigh steak at a place across the road which is ridiculously cheap and we see a apparently famous Hong Kong actor there.

Sentosa And Raffles

on Monday, 27 September 2010

Today we visit Sentosa in the morning, which is an island of the coast of Singapore, which is basically a huge theme park. But after arriving it starts raining and we can’t do anything so head back to the hotel. That evening they have decided to visit Raffles bar, apparently a famous bar in Singapore but I had never heard of it. I have no smart clothes and apparently the dress code is quite strict so decide not to bother and will stay at the hotel. They are going out afterwards though, so I decide I will come along and just wait for them to have their Singapore sling. When we arrive, they don’t seem to mind I am in shorts and flip flops, so I decide to go in. The bar is just like being in a Wetherspoons, but with tons of monkey nut shells on the floor. Pretty disappointing! We have one drink, I have a Singapore sling, just because that is what you should have I guess, in fact it is actually quite nice, but is very expensive, so we just have the one, before going to Clarke Quay. We get there and have quite a few drinks and get a bit drunk!

Singapore Grand Prix

on Sunday, 26 September 2010

Today is the day of the Grand prix, we end up arriving at about 3:30pm, it is absolutely packed. We manage to catch a Porsche race before the grand prix and the views are not too bad. We wait around for the actual race to start and try to find somewhere to stand about an hour before the race starts, but all the stands are completely packed out and you can barely see anything. If I went again I would definitely pay the extra for some decent seats. The organisers have also restricted lots of views for what reason I do not know, it’s not for safety as they have just put huge sheets up to restrict the views. I manage to find a small gap where I can get some half decent photos of the first couple of laps, as seeing anything let alone getting a photo is near impossible at any of the small stands. We try and climb a tree, but find it is absolutely covered in huge red ants and are quickly escorted down by about ten security guards. We have a walk around and find a couple of reasonable spots in our area, one of which is very hidden and the other we have to walk into a fountain. If you want to watch the race, you have to watch it on one of the huge screens, but it is worth going just for the sound, it is amazing, so loud it is ridiculous. We had been told to take ear plugs and I thought everyone was just exaggerating, but if you were standing near the track it was painfully loud and they were definitely needed. Taking photos was very difficult with the restricted views, low light and just ridiculous speed the cars were going.  The only real decent shots were the ones of the cars after they had been dragged off the track. We watched quite a bit in the main square, with some Aussies, there was a lot of booing when Webber forced Hamilton off! We had tickets to watch Mariah Carey, but decided not to bother in the end. We head to Clarke Quay, a pint of Tiger is $22, about £10, so we don’t end up drinking and leave pretty quickly and decide to spend our money tomorrow.

Arriving In Singapore

on Saturday, 25 September 2010

This morning I wake up very early, at about 5am, although i have been waking up all night, I go and try and wash and brush my teeth in the bathroom and then wait for my flight at 9:15am. The flight is about 15 minutes delayed, but after the horror stories about this airline, everything seems perfect and I have no problem, the plane is immaculate and I have extra leg room. I will definitely use Tiger airways again as they are so cheap. The flight is about one and a half hours and we arrive at about midday, Singapore time. It starts tipping it down with rain and I get soaked walking to the hostel. I check in, but the others are not there, so I wait around in reception till they arrive that later. We then decide to go and try and see the qualifying, which starts at 10:00pm, we get as close as possible, but they really have done a good job of not letting anyone who hasn’t paid seeing the race. We go to a few bars, but at £5 a pint, we don’t drink much, although we end up getting back at about 3am. I am really tired, after not sleeping much in the last week. But want to get up early to go do a bit of clothes shopping, somehow I have left my jeans somewhere, so need a few bits. Then we have the grand prix this evening, there are a few other races before hand and some shows, so plan to arrive about 3pm.

On My Way To Singapore

on Friday, 24 September 2010

Today I am going to Phuket by bus and then I fly to Singapore tomorrow morning. I leave at about 12:20pm, we take the bus first to the pier, a girl is sick and then this makes another guy sick, so we have to sit in this cramped minibus with two people throwing up into plastic bags most of the journey and then get the ferry over to the mainland. From there we get on another bus for about one and a half hours, unfortunately the air conditioning has broken and the bus is absolutely roasting everyone sweating profusely. We then swap busses and spend some time waiting around, they want 300baht to drop me at the airport instead of the town. I say no, because they have to drive past it and it is much closer than the town, another example of them trying to get more money out of you. We get the minibus to Phuket and although we are supposed to arrive at the town about 9:30pm and the airport around 9:00pm, they finally drop me off around 11:30pm. I start to walk towards the airport which is 5 kilometres away, because it is so late I don’t know whether I can find a cab. Luckily just round the corner a cab stops and after asking for 100baht. I only have 460baht and have been told a room at the airport is either 300-400baht. I tell him I only have 60 and he says”Ok”. I get to the airport and in fact there is no rooms here and the cheapest nearby is 1000baht. The information lady suggests I just sleep at the airport, so that is what I will do. I manage to steal some wifi from a restaurant and finally try and sleep at about 2:30am. I only end up getting maybe one hour sleep though.

Thailand Round Up

on Tuesday, 21 September 2010

So after just finishing another week in Thailand. 9 weeks in total! The most spent in any country so far, I thought I’d write what I thought of Thailand. When we first arrived we went straight to our muay thai training camp in Phuket. Here we spent three weeks training and other than that did not do too much, apart from a few trips to the cinema ad the beach. These three weeks were hard work, I would probably say even more so than the trekking in Nepal, because at least there we had amazing mountains and scenery to see. After a few days, I could tell the actual fighting was just not interesting me and it became just a way to lose some weight and get fit. In hindsight though, I personally just didn’t put in the effort I should of, maybe because it was not interesting me, or maybe I just didn’t give it enough of a chance. So after the training we went to Koh Pha-Ngan, this was a party island and personally I didn’t really like it. The full moon party was massive and a good laugh with friends, but staying on the island at least in Haadrin is not nice. I later find that there are some unbelievably nice areas of the island as good as any of the others we visit, perhaps even the nicest beach in Thailand, just so completely different from the party area in the south, I couldn’t believe one end of the tiny island could be so much different to the other. At this point we only spent one night on Koh Samui, so didn’t really have a chance to see what it was like. Next we went to Phi Phi, I had been expecting a paradise island, and although the the small island of Phi Phi Ley was very nice! The main island was dirty, as was the beach, with just a few bars on the beach. It was a huge let down and one day is plenty to just take a longtail to Phi Phi Ley. Next we went over to Phuket, this time we stayed in Patong which is the busier area of Phuket, the beach was surprisingly very nice and it is a very busy place. The main road is not very nice, just lots of lady bars and lady boys everywhere. Next we were up to Bangkok, which was also a bit of a let down, the capital city, but there is actually not much to do and the hassle in Khao San Road was not very nice. After this everybody left and it was just back to me and Tom. Next we were up to Chiang Mai for a few days, but this turned out to be a very nice place, with loads of things to do and also cheap and with a pretty good nightlife. We only had 3 days here, and it was nowhere near enough. You needed at least 1 week if not 2.

After Chiang Mai, me and Tom went back to Bangkok and then went our own ways for the next 10 days while I met Waiyi back down south on the islands. We stayed at some very nice hotels, for a comparatively cheap price to a hotel in the UK. Even though I had visited a lot of the islands already, we managed to fit in things that I had not done before with the other guys.

Later I would return to Koh Samui for a week with Adam and after only spending one day here last time, found it to be one of the best places in Thailand. I could spend a long time here. In the end I actually started to quite enjoy Thailand and after you get over the seediness of it, there are some really fun places and some excellent beaches, I would love to go back in the diving season to spend a few weeks diving around Thailand!

Another Late Night

Today, we wake up late again, we meet one of Adam’s friends who lives on Koh Samui and go and get some food at a Mexican restaurant. We then go out and play some pool, this time finally managing to win some games, and end up staying there for about 4 hours and having quite a few Changs.

Another Wasted Day

on Monday, 20 September 2010

Again today we don’t do much get some food and recover again. Have a look round the local street for some clothes and things to do, but everything seems to cost quite a lot of money and the diving doesn’t sound great, unless you go far away, which costs a lot of money. We go out that evening for some more pool and some beers.

Wasted Day

on Sunday, 19 September 2010

Today, we get up late and just chill out at a beach side restaurant and take advantage of some free internet. We don’t do anything else and just spend the whole day recovering from the night before. I feel dreadful! We go out for a cabaret show that night, which I have to say I found a bit boring, but was funny nonetheless. We played a bit of pool in a bar, with the usual hassle from some bar girls, one of which must have been on something and looked like the crazy frog and was very hyperactive, until she managed to get some old bloke in the bar and we just watched in disgust while playing pool, while trying to spend as little money as possible on drinks. There was also some old guy, probably in his 40’s with some young Thai guy, who can’t have been older than me. Thailand really is a weird place.

Back In Koh Samui

on Saturday, 18 September 2010

This morning we leave the pier area and decide to head to Koh Samui. We are up and at the tour office at 8:00am. We get a lift into town and have to wait an hour for a minibus to take us back to Had Yai. From here we get a ticket to Koh Samui, we get a minibus to Surat Thani, which takes four hours, we arrive at another tour office and are told we have missed the bus to the pier by 10 minutes and that we will have to wait till 11pm and get the night boat to Koh Samui, which takes all night or we can pay another 350baht each and get another ferry to Koh Samui. We argue with the women for a while, but are getting nowhere and the women is actual starting to cry. We have no choice and have to pay the extra 350 baht. We get another minibus to the pier and then a huge ferry to Koh Samui, which takes one and a half hours. We share a taxi with a Dutch couple into Chaweng and find a hostel for the night. We manage to find a room for 600baht, which is really really nice and we can’t believe we have got somewhere so nice for this price. We go out and get some food and end up staying out late having some beers and playing some pool.

Malaysia Round Up

on Friday, 17 September 2010

We have not ended up spending much time in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has very little to do apart from the Petronas towers and we only spent some time on one of the islands, which was also fairly boring and after we had been told it was paradise by some friends we where expecting a bit more. Maybe we had been to so many beaches in Thailand it just felt like more of the same. If you like beaches it would be great.

Back To Thailand

Today we have planned to leave the Perenthians, last night Adam has said that some were talking about not leaving and staying. But the plan is still me, James, Tom and Tim will leave. My alarm goes of at 7am and we all get up, apart from Tom who is in bed with all his clothes on, including a jumper, he is really ill. James also decides he will stay another night and therefore just me, Tim and Adam leave. We get the 8:00am speedboat over to Kual Besut and then share a taxi to Kota Bharu for 60 ringgit. We arrive at the bus terminal and check the busses but they say that because of the religious holiday, all Muslims are travelling around and as the country has a very high Muslim population, everyone is travelling. We decide to instead get a  taxi to the Thai border and then a bus over to the port and a boat to Koh Lipe. We arrive at the port at 6:30pm Thai time and find there are no more busses and the speedboat to the island is 900baht return, which seems ridiculous considering it’s only about 40km and you can go to Singapore for the same price and that must be at least 1500km. We have some food and discuss our options. Me and Adam think we will go to Koh Samui again for another full moon instead, as it just seems way too expensive. We will think about it overnight and decide in the morning.

First Dive In 6 Months

on Thursday, 16 September 2010

This morning I am up at 7:30am for the diving, I wake the others up and we go and get some breakfast down on the beach. I am a bit nervous, as I have not dived for 6 months and am not sure if I will be able to remember everything. Our gear is set up and we have to give it a check over, I just watch the others to get some idea of what to do. We stick all the stuff in the boat and head to the dive site, picking up another diver from the other island on the way. We arrive at the dive site called Pinnacle, which is a triangular shape rock that just about sticks out of the water and at the deepest point is about 25m. We get our gear on and get in and go down with the guide, there is us 3 and one other guy on a pleasure dive who is a divemaster, his name is Felix and he is German. He has all his own gear and an underwater camera. We go down circle the rock a couple of times, James runs out of air near the end and ends up sharing with Felix and Taco surfaces a few minutes before the rest of us as he is also out of air. We get back in the boat and head back to the dive centre, we strip our gear and fill in our log books. All finished by 11:00am. The rest of the day is spent relaxing on the beach. Tomorrow morning we will all leave. James will go to KL and the rest will either go to Langkawi or back to Thailand. I am unsure whether to go to Langkawi or straight down to KL, but will decide tomorrow.

Giant Turtles, But No Sharks

on Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Today we decide to do the snorkelling trip. We are up at 10:30 and the full day trip starts at 10:30pm. We decide 5 hours is to long anyway, so do the shorter trip, which goes to the main points anyway. Shark point and turtle point. On the trip is me, James, Tom and Adam. To start with we stop at turtle point and there is loads of people, we all jump in and after 30 seconds a huge turtle swims up underneath me, up to the surface and then dives back down. The visibility is not great and only Adam sees some small ones. After a while, they say we will go back later. The next stop is shark point, we all jump in again, with the guys from the boat, it is a bit clearer here, but still not as good as near the beach, for some reason. I spot a small shark, maybe 3 or 4 foot long, but it swims of so quickly, I only get a short glimpse. After about 20 minutes in the water, Tom and Adam spot one or maybe to big ones, that again swim off before me and James can get to them. We spot one other little baby shark, but that is it. It is a bit disappointing not to see the big one as I expected there would be lots and they would swim around us. We then head to one other point, but this is just fish and a little boring. We go back to turtle point on the way back and there is nobody there this time. We spot a few on the surface, one which is quite close, so we all jump in and swim with it for a few minutes. It is huge and has lots of fish swimming alongside cleaning it.  We then return to the beach and sunbathe till dinner. Some guys get some sleep early and some others stay out till 5am. Me, James and Taco are doing a dive tomorrow and have to be down on the beach at 8:30am, so we get an early one.

Got Burnt

on Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Today I wake up at 9:30am. Tom has stayed in the other guys dorm and comes back to our room just after I wake up. I decide to go and have some breakfast and read a bit until the rest of them al get up. Eventually they wake up and they have some breakfast at about 12:30pm. Then we end up spending the rest of the day on the beach and in the sea and trying to work out what to do in the next couple of weeks until we need to be in Singapore for the grand prix. We have some dinner and I walk along the ridiculously steep, unlit path to the other side of the island to use the internet cafe. We should do the snorkelling trip tomorrow and possibly start our advanced open water course, so get a reasonably early night.

More Snorkelling!

on Monday, 13 September 2010

This morning the guys finally turn up, so there is now eight of us, 3 stay at our hotel and the other 3 get a dorm. They drop off all their stuff and we get some breakfast and chill out on the beach. We hire some more snorkelling stuff and go to the other end of the beach where a couple has said they saw giant fish and moray eels. I go out with James, Adam and Tim and after about 45mins I decide to go back because the snorkel and mask are dreadful and there is not that many fish out there. The others stay out a bit longer and come back saying they have seen the huge fish and eels as well. We stay on the beach a bit longer, before getting some dinner and going out for some drinks. I only have one beer, but the others go through 3 bottles of rum before going out and then more rum and beers when out.

The Towers

on Wednesday, 1 September 2010

This morning we are up early to visit the Petronas towers. We get there quite early and there is not too long a queue for the tickets. Most of the early times have sold out though and we get tickets for 12:30pm. So on the way back we visit the other telecommunications tower, this one you have to pay for and is actually higher up than the Petronas towers because it is built on top of a hill. It is quite expensive and we think it isn’t really worth it. We come back and get our hair cut, before heading back to the Petronas towers for out tour. We start by watching a 10minute advertising movie from the company and then go up the lift to the walkway, which is actually only about halfway up the building, so the view is not that impressive, and we only have 10 minutes up there. The film with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones, Entrapment was filmed here. We head back to the hostel and just chill out until we have to leave for the train.

Nothing!

on Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Today we don’t really do anything, just hang around China town and go to the train station to sort out our train tickets.

Petronas Twin Towers

on Monday, 30 August 2010

This morning we get up early to go to the Petronas twin towers. Amazingly it is actually free to go up, but there are limited tickets and they give them out on a first come first served basis, so you have to get there early to queue up and the queue can get quite long. The cab driver first takes us to the other single tower and even though we asked for the twin towers, he tries to tell us that this single tower is called the twin towers. So we are later getting queued up for the tickets and the fare is more. We arrive and the guy wants extra money because we booked through the hotel, I say he took us totally the wrong way but  tries to tell us we said the wrong place. I almost hit the bloke. We then get inside and find out that the towers are actually closed on a Monday, so we can’t go up anyway. We might try again tomorrow.

Rest Day And A Bit Of Shopping

on Sunday, 29 August 2010

Today we get up quite late, about midday and have a look around and get our bearings. The hostel is in China town, so it is very buy, we have a look around the markets and visit a shopping mall, they have Karaoke places everywhere here. We eat at a Jamaican bar called the reggae bar and get an early night.

Leaving Phuket For Kuala Lumpur

on Saturday, 28 August 2010

This morning we did a last minute bit of shopping before getting the taxi to the airport. Waiyi was leaving at 4pm, so we got there about 2pm. She got checked in, and at the check in there was a sign saying “Attention all guests, we inform you that the Malaysian immigration has stopped giving out visa on arrival from the 15th of August, if you could previously obtain a VOA you will now have to get a visa beforehand, otherwise we can not accept you” So in the queue I thought, that’s it we are not going to get to Malaysia. We get to the check in counter and I ask and they do some checks on the computer and it turns out I am still ok and it is only some countries that have had the VOA revoked. It is time for Waiyi to go through immigration, so we say our goodbyes :(. I now have about a 6.5 hour wait till my flight, so just sit in a bar. Tom arrives not much later from his bus from Koh Pha-Ngan and we both just wait in the airport, spending several hours over a pint to get free wifi. We check in at about 9:30pm, our flight and find out the flight is delayed 1.5 hours, so have to wait even longer in the airport. We finally take off at about 11pm. The flight is just over an hour, but as we come in to land, we are almost about to land and then the plane suddenly pulls up sharply and we have to fly round for another 30mins before landing. The pilot just says “They were asked to pull up for an unknown reason”. The woman next to me doesn’t like the manoeuvre much and the turbulence and fills 3 sick bags. We finally land and get a taxi to our hotel, finally arriving at about 3am absolutely shattered.

Jet Ski And Fanta Sea

on Friday, 27 August 2010

Today after breakfast we went down onto the beach. We had a walk along, but it was just so hot we had to stop and get some sun beds and an umbrella. We spent a couple of hours on the beach, before deciding to do some jet skiing. We had twenty minutes on a big one. It was the fastest jet ski I have ever been on! We ended up falling off once, because of me and then Waiyi decided to take over and poodle around at about 10mph. We then noticed the sea was completely full of huge jelly fish, so were a bit more careful. After the beach we headed back to the hotel and relaxed before we had to leave to visit Fanta Sea. Fanta sea is huge attraction in Phuket and for the almost £45 each we had spent, hoped it would be amazing. We arrived and had our buffet lunch, which was in a huge hall, with loads of different food. We then had some time to look around the park, which was basically full of shops and theme park style games to win teddies. The shops were mainly jewellery shops and were just there so the old men could buy the young Thai holiday wives a present. We did quite well at the games and won 5 prizes. They had a little pistol range which I managed to win on with a very impressive score of 46 out of 50! They also had an air rifle range with metal pellets and the guns were not fixed down at all. There was nothing to stop someone just walking off with one. I didn’t do so well on this one, I think the sights were a bit off! Waiyi won on the basketball game, embarrassing all the guys who were failing next to her, some very impressive shooting! We then went to watch the show which started a bit boringly. It was meant to be a story, but was quite hard to follow and other than the elephant shows and the magic show, it was actually quite boring, and with cramped and uncomfortable seats was not worth it considering the price. The Chinese acrobatic shows were much more impressive for much less money! We get the minibus back and get some sleep. We are both leaving the next day. Waiyi back to HK and me to KL! It has been a great 10 days!

Some Shopping And The Expendables

on Thursday, 26 August 2010

Today we did some shopping at the local shopping centre and watched a film at the cinema, The Expendables. The film was pretty bad! We went back to the hotel and spent some time in the pool, before going out for some food at an all you can eat buffet restaurant.

Missed Boat!

on Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Today we get up and have breakfast, planning to get the ferry at 9:30am. We check out and then realise the boat was actually at 9:00am and we have missed it (Dai Be). We therefore have to wait for the next one at 2:30pm. We sit around in a bar all day having smoothies and using the internet. We finally get to the hotel, Patong resort at about 5pm. We went out for some dinner, which ended up costing 2200baht(£45).

Finally Some Sun

on Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Today we wake up to clear blue skies and it is a beautiful day, finally the first nice day we have had. We have breakfast at the hotel, before going to try and hire a longtail for the day. The previous night we had checked the prices and I had thought they said 1200baht for half a day and 1700baht for a whole day, but this is not the case and they want 2500 for the whole day. We decide 6 hours is a bit long and just go for the half day option. We go on the same route as I had done before, but the boat is able to go up to maya beach and we don’t have to swim to the rocks and climb up like last time. We do some snorkelling and take some photos, but it is just so hot. We visit monkey beach again and this time it is full of monkeys and everyone is feeding them bananas. We end up getting back a bit early, but have had enough anyway. We get back to the hotel at about 4pm and end up falling asleep till about midnight. We get up and have a quick walk to the beach and get some food, but almost as soon as we arrive on the beach everything is closing, so we go back and get some more sleep. We have quite an early start to get the boat back to Phuket at 9:30am.

Leaving Paradise

on Monday, 23 August 2010

This morning we are leaving Koh Yao for Koh Phi Phi. We are up at 7am and get packed before going down to checkout. They initially try and charge about 24,000baht when the bill is actually 15,000baht. We then have some breakfast and get the longtail to the other pier, from there we get a taxi to the main pier, Manoh pier. This works out cheaper than it did to get there, so we had been ripped off as usual. We then get a  speedboat from Manoh pier to Bangrong pier, Phuket. This costs 200baht, during the journey the weather gets really bad and the driver can only see about 5 metres in front of the boat. This doesn’t stop him flying along at about 50mph, until we almost smash straight into another island and he finally decides to slow down. He eventually finds the right route and we get to Bangrong pier about 20 minutes late. It is still raining really heavily and we have to run to get under shelter. We manage to find a taxi and go to Ratsada pier to catch the ferry to Phi Phi. We get out tickets and the boat leaves at about 1:30pm and should take 2 hours. The ferry is considerably more expensive than I had thought and that it cost from Krabi to Phi Phi. We arrive and book 2 nights at palmtree resort. I think we could have got it slightly cheaper online, but I am shattered and just want to get something booked. We dump our stuff and get a bit of lunch and have a fish spa and look round the shops and get some prices for hiring a longtail. We come back have a bit of dinner and a couple of beers and hope the weather tomorrow will be a bit better!

Another Day Doing Nothing

on Sunday, 22 August 2010

This morning we get up quite early with the plan to hire a longtail boat for the afternoon to have a look around the islands and do some scuba diving. We eat breakfast and then spend some time on the beach sunbathing and have a swim in the water, but the water is not very clear. We play some monopoly and then go for our free lunch even though I am not hungry at all. We then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in the room watching films and playing monopoly as it is raining quite heavily. Tomorrow we have to be up early and are leaving Paradise and Koh Yao for Koh Phi Phi.

Waiyi Tries Scuba Diving

on Saturday, 21 August 2010

This morning Waiyi is doing a complimentary introduction to scuba diving at 10:50am. We get up early and watch the start of meet the fockers, before having to go down for breakfast, again I try and eat as much as possible, Waiyi even has noodles with duck which is a bit of a strange breakfast option. She claims it is her early lunch as it is not about 10:30am. We then go to the scuba centre and she gets equipped with the gear. She has to walk to the pool, but she can hardly manage to walk with all the gear on. She gets taught the basics and swims round the pool several times, she seems to be doing pretty well, but afterwards doesn’t seem to keen on going again. I ask the staff about the missing bikini and they say they will look into it. We go back to the room and get changed, before heading to the local village. We go down and try and find out how to get there as the resort is a bit isolated. They say there is a boat leaving in 15 minutes and costs 150 baht per person, per way. We are waiting to go and it starts to pour with rain, so end up giving it a miss and having a ridiculously expensive beer. Then the resort manager asks to speak to us, she says she has checked some more and asked security, but is as confused as us apparently. We don’t find out what happened to it, but they say they will knock the cost of the bikini off our bill. Waiyi says it cost 300HKD(£25), they convert it to baht and knock it of the bill and also give us a free lunch token for us. We go back and watch the rest of meet the fockers and play some Monopoly deal.