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.