Into Year Two
I finally have some time to spend on the blog, as I begin the second day (of seven) of my Chinese National Day holiday. I’ll try and post regularly over the next few days and get you caught up on some of the events of the past few weeks. I am now into my second year in Liuzhou. I am often still amazed that I am actually living and working in China.
For my family and friends, I’ll start here today with a brief of sorts and then get into it in earnest as the week moves along. First off, I absolutely love my new job. It’s not that I didn’t like my old job really, but I did hate the hours. I am only in the classroom about 12 hours a week and I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. I also don’t have my first class until late Monday afternoon, essentially giving me four days off. I work no nights. I work no weekends (well, usually), and the job is (so far) very rewarding. I’ll have more on my initial impressions of Liuzhou Teachers College sometime later in the week.
Mid-Autumn Festival came and went. Large crowds and moon cakes and shopping. I plan to write a bit about it this week as well. Here you can see some of the shopping mayhem from the city center.
Mid-Autumn Holiday Shopping
As I mentioned above, it is the National Day Holiday here in China and most folks have a 7 day break (sorta). I’ll write more about National Day in the coming days and I’ll be out this week taking some photographs. I continue to get new photographic and writing assignments and I continue to make very little money doing it!
A couple of days ago the Liuzhou Foreign Affairs Office invited a number of laowai (foreigners) to take a tour of a pomelo farm and celebrate The Pomelo Festival. Pomelo is very much like a grapefruit, except larger, and not as bitter, and not so juicy. I don’t like them! This is Angela, standing in the pomelo field. She is the product of an American father and Chinese mother and a truly sweet kid. She speaks English, Mandarin and the local Liuzhou dialect! She’s never met a camera she didn’t like!
Angela & Her Pomelo
This is an annual event, wherein the local government (local media in tow) trot out the laowai for a tour and a meal and take lots of photos and video to document just how well we all get along here in The PRC. We began about 1PM and then finished at about 10. That’s the Vice Mayor of Liuzhou there in the background giving his speech as a television cameraman shoots the mostly awake foreigners.
Shooting The Shooter
There was the farm tour, a banquet dinner and a night-time cruise of the Liujiang (Liu River). Actually not a bad day at all, very “harmonious”, and I got to meet a number of new foreigners. There was some kind of separate banquet for some of the more “senior“ laowai or “special” laowai. I am not so senior and definitely no so special, so I was relegated to the junior banquet, kinda’ like sitting at the kid’s table during Thanksgiving. Banquets in China involve a lot of toasting. Every major and minor official in attendance will come by the table and offer up a toast. This time the red wine was decent, so I actually enjoyed the formality! As per my usual, I eventually left the main room to take a look around and meet some of the locals. These kitchen workers were taking a break behind the restaurant. They scattered once they realized I had a camera!
OK, I guess that’s enough for the moment. I may be posting more later today, certainly tomorrow. Belated congrats to the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team. Go Dodgers. Go UK Wildcats. Go Broncos, even though I know you have no defense and I know you are once again going to break my heart. The Dow Jones fell 800 points on Monday, the worst single-day point loss ever in U.S. market history. Wake up people. Oh, and while I’m at it. Does ANYBODY really think Sarah Palin can run the country? Charlie Gibson’s interview was painful to watch but I mean, did you see her with Katie Couric? COME ON! Couric should win an Emmy for holding it together and not laughing out loud! Republicans must be hoping for some kind of miracle at the debate.
Finally, Godspeed Paul Newman. One of the best actors to ever grace stage or screen and one of the good guys. Cool Hand Luke indeed.