Wednesday, June 29, 2016

School's out for summer!

Can I just say that again... School's out for summer!

Honestly, it's a horrible school. I do not like the students. They are just spoiled, rich kids. They don't have to learn English, they are going to be rich anyway. And I do not like my bosses. They don't know the first thing about how to put together a program, or to even run the Cambridge program which is already pretty well put together. And, well, they don't know how to handle foreigners.  We are all nice people. Really, the foreigner teachers are a great group. But, we spend most of our time really ticked off about something. I mean, I don't. Not usually. But, there's plenty to be ticked off about, that's for sure.  For my part, my pay is not going to be what I think it should be, I still don't know whether or not I'm getting a bonus, it's all messed up, as is normal. I think I'm about ready to be lied to and treated badly by people in another part of the world for awhile. Though, I plan to be back here for one more year. 

I have mainly been a big lie-about since school was out. It's been raining for most of the time. We even had thunder the other day which is pretty unusual. Anyway, when it is not raining I go out for a walk, or a juice, or bike ride. If it's past rush hour I take my bike. Between 7am and 7pm, though, I walk. 

I got my hair cut. Photo to follow.

On Sunday my friend Steven and I are going to Quibao. It's an ancient water town, actually in Shanghai. Very old. Lots of tourists go there. Since Dong Tai Road has been shut down, I am looking for a new place to go on those steamy Shanghai afternoons when I just want to walk slowly and talk to people. Dong Tai Lu was an antique/"antique" street. You can still find some legitimate antiques. I have been there a few times since it closed down and people who remember me have come out of their houses to offer me antique beads (I am a sucker for those) or whatever they have. Most of the good stuff isn't of much interest to me and/or it's out of my price range. I do love the old Chinese beads, though. They are colorful and funny. Something about them appeals to me. I've bought a lot of them over the  years. Sometimes I buy a piece of red coral if it's of exceptional quality. There used to be some very good jade down there, but I never bought any of it. I love the imperial jade, but the lesser quality jade doesn't do much for me. I enjoy talking to the people. It was a good place to take visitors because it was a way to see "real" Shanghai, and buy some souvenirs too. Also, a good place to practice Chinese speaking.  They will build an office building in its place. The one thing Shanghai does not need is another office building. For one thing Shanghai is already sinking. There are too many buildings on it already. For another thing, sea levels are rising anyway. Add that to the sinking and I think it's a poor real estate investment. I ain't no Donald Trump, of course, but I wouldn't do it. Also, Dong Tai Lu was special. Office buildings are not. I don't care how many neon lights you stick on there it's still not going to be special. Alas. But maybe I'll like Quibao!

I'm reading a new book by Joyce Carol Oates called Middle Age. It's about a bunch of middle-aged people -- quelle surprise -- and how they respond to the death of their mutual friend. It's entertaining, though I'll probably go back to non-fiction after this. I'm just not learning anything from it. 

Hope all is well. Thanks for reading the blog


  1. I hope you get your bonus and that you enjoy your visit to Quibao. Have a good holiday!

    1. I have decided to be happy either way. I have enough. It's not worth loosing my peace over it.