Excuse me whilst I choke on the dust of my diary writing keyboard. It’s almost been a month since the last post, I truly am shit at this. I thought I’d have the time to at least write once a week but now that I’m planning lessons, making material and entertaining the company of my boyfriend I just haven’t found the time. I need to continue writing my best woman speech for Liv’s wedding but I just haven’t even glimpsed at it in 2 months and the days and hours until the wedding are dwindling down. It could possibly be a last minute write up on the plane home.
Speaking of the wedding, I’ve booked my flights back home and I am absolutely fucking buzzing. I swear to the mother of Jesus that if the fridge at home is not filled with 27 different types of cheeses when I step foot into the house I might have to just get back on a plane and come back right away. I’m going to fill every inch of my stomach with cheese, Cadburys, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and then roll around Ilfracombe making groaning noises. I have recently had my craving for cheese and desserts nurtured and fulfilled though – there’s an American chain restaurant called The Cheesecake Factory in one of the Westernised shopping areas and SWEET WENDSLEYDALE it is fucking goooood.
The first time my palette was dancing in heaven was for Spencer’s birthday, she’s one of my good friends here and took me to the hospital when I thought my kidneys were going to explode. I’ll explain without being explicit later. We had a party of 15 and so ultimately we waiting for a bloody long time before we sat down but it was worth it. Everything on the menu screamed “eat me” as I scanned my eyes the dishes, it was at that moment that I wish I had several stomachs because I wanted to eat fucking everything. The combination of macaroni cheese and a burger felt like I’d been asked for a hand in marriage, yes okay my flexible vegetarianism is terrible but MACARONI CHEESE AND A BURGER! Then obviously to follow I just had to inhale a salted caramel cheesecake and then waddle home.
I thought that perhaps the second time I would eat a salad so that I could really enjoy my cheesecake but the hot spinach and cheese dip with tortilla chips sounded incredibly delicious. I was not wrong. That disgustingly full feeling from good but unhealthy food will be my entire 2 weeks in England, I just know it.
Okay so the hospital, yeah I’ve had to go twice in the past 2 weeks because my kidneys became painful after having problems with my “lady garden”, as Lavi calls it. I’ve spent a disgusting amount on money on pointless blood tests that told me fuck all, and then actually got the right results and the medicine I needed. I don’t think things through properly I never have and probably never will, it’s only in hindsight I realise I’m a huge doofus. I shouldn’t have gone to an international hospital but it was the fear of having the symptoms lost in translation and having my leg chopped off or something. Even if I had gone to a public hospital I can’t get reinsured for the fees because it’s not an accidental injury.
Sex education at school is useful but there needs to be a step-by-step course on how to make friends with your lady organs because mine hates me.
I’m running my first race in Beijing on Sunday and I’m absolutely not ready. It isn’t even that far, just a 10k but I feel like I won’t have the stamina to get a good race time, the lungs to deal with potential pollution nor the physical capacity to deal with this 34-degree heat. I’m going to try anyway because my mission is to get a medal in all the cities I am in long enough to race in, and hopefully have a collection of worldwide medals by the time my legs give in.
My initial thought was that I’d be running alongside views of a grand reservoir on the outskirts of Beijing with a salt air breeze running through my over grown Bieber haircut. But nope, that course is for the half marathon runners. It doesn’t matter too much though because the race is called Run to the Beat so I’ll pass several DJ stations to keep me entertained. I’ll keep you updated on the time and position I get.
I’ve recently been receiving some wonderful compliments from the parents of my children and it touches me. Lately I’ve been down the self-doubting dumps because there are some classes that I just feel go horrendously for a variety of reasons. If you’re a teacher or parent, you’ll understand that children can be awkward little fuckers sometimes and just not cooperate with you and whilst that’s a little stressful with 3 kids maybe… try having the statistic that 6/10 children in each class wants to just make my life hell. It’s not that the disruptive children are naughty, they’re kids it is their nature to have energy bursting from their ears but I think I made the mistake of being playful in my first few lessons. Now they just take the piss and don’t take me seriously when I say stop. Don’t get me started on when they fuck around and speak Chinese too.
However, when we went to that gorgeous sunflower farm (you saw the pictures right?) I had to teach a little lesson whilst the parents watched and took part. Afterwards I received so much love for my mini-class and it restored the faith in myself and made me think “actually yeah, I am pretty good at this!”
Last week for Mother’s Day we went to a bakery where the children were able to learn about the day, baking and then could decorate cake for their mothers. 30 children attended this session and at least 17 of those were a part of my classes… you can understand the stress, confusion and anger of some parents when their child was not sat with me for the lesson. During this time, I have a class of 9 children all of which should have been having a normal lesson but instead were at this event and so understandably they should have been at my table of 10, right? Wrong. Parents of children from my other classes were adamant that their child were to sit with me for this baking lesson because they’re ‘Jodie’s child’ but trying to explain that MOST OF THESE CHILDREN WERE MY CHILDREN seemed to go in one ear and out the other. As a result, my table of 10 turned into a table of 12 with some of my scheduled children sitting on other tables.
After we squeezed frosting, sprinkled edible roses and then forked the cake into our gobs I had a comment from a parent who had said that out of the 3 little classes in the room mine was by far the most engaging and responsive. I was blown away by the feedback purely because those 80 minutes were just me trying to make sure the children’s eyes were on me and not staring mindlessly at the cake.
There’s not much else to say really. This past month hasn’t been extraordinarily exciting, in fact life in China is becoming so normal that it feels repetitive and sometimes a bit boring. Maybe when I finally get some time off and my hours possibly dwindle a little then I’ll be able to DO shit.
Tian and I are heading to Seoul in South Korea next month for 4 days so that should be pretty sick.