This photo shows what English people think the Chinese eat all the time. They do indeed sell Rover down the market but it doesn't seem to be the Pekingesy jobs you see everywhere. They look more like whippets, but this one obviously didn't run fast enough that day. Shall I bring some back for anyone?
I've experienced the College 'handymen' recently. They weren't the first in the brains queue and when they came to look at my dripping shower they decided to fit a new one. They know best, I thought, but maybe a new washer would suffice. New shower was duly bought and fitted the next day. Guess what? Yes, it still dripped! With a new washer my shiny new shower works perfectly - well, unless aimed very carefully, it gushes water all over the kitchen floor, but hey. The 'workers' did do something useful though. A couple of months after my arrival in Wenshan my lumpy mattress was replaced. No mean feat, this. Bed- measuring number one, mattress number one. Too long. Bed damaged trying to jam it in. Should fit, will fit, woops, no. Second bed -measuring. New one brought and put on bed, on top of old one. No, don't want old one. Whew, finally. So, when I discovered that night that I appeared to be sleeping on a plank of wood, I didn't complain. Stiff upper lip - and lots of quilts, blankets, anything I could find, underneath me with not a lot left to go on top. Tim preferred the settee, I think. Anyway, the workers first mended the damaged bed ..... then discovered the mattress was on upside down!!! Six months on a plank. Aaaaagh!
I've also undergone a free women's health-check this week, paid for by the College, and appear to be fine. My poor colleagues, all in their twenties, were horrifically embarrassed about having to undergo their first ever breast examination. Having to translate vaginal examination, cervical smear and the like to me was probably torture, but they learned plenty of new English words . In fact, they didn't know many of the somewhat intimate words in Chinese before and found it excruciating to have to say them. Being unmarried females they were, to their relief and my amazement, not required to have the examinations 'down there'. Only married women, or naughty ones, can suffer such 'women's things' in China.
I've been enjoying a few travel-free weekends recently. It's been nice spending low-key days alone or with students, playing table tennis, practising their English and my Chinese, cooking and eating. And putting off the moment of decision. My departure date. After my Oral exams, at the end of June, I'm free to leave here. Noooooo! I'll probably do a bit of 'easy' travelling to round the year off then head back to the UK mid/late July. It's decision time, well I'll maybe decide tomorrow. The 'manana' rule sounds good. Plenty to do here before the bliss of driving to Tesco and throwing the weekly shopping into the car instead of lugging it up hundreds of steps, lengthening my arms in the process with the heavy bags of vegetables. Eastenders, fish and chips, and of course, seeing everyone again. It ain't all bad.
It's a funny limbo time for me, especially after my inexplicable decision not to go to the VSO Beijing conference, a time I'm trying to draw out as far as possible. I'm very much looking forward to Tom's visit next week, then countdown starts in earnest.