Well it's been quite a busy week! And an absolutely scorching week as well. The temperautre has been reaching 29 degrees and it has been killing us! It started about thursday last week at around 21 degrees and has jsut got steadily warmer and warmer. We've been wearin as little as possible that we can get away with and still look professional and not like escorts being 'the only blondes in the village' hehe. We have been gettin the weirdest looks though, when wearing shorts and little tops, so i decided to ask someone why it was. I thought at first we must have been breaking some really serious custom, until a bloke told me that people were staring because they thought we were mad getting out our skin when it was still so cold! I hadn't noticed until he said that people were still wearing 3 or 4 layers on both their bottom and top halves. Apparently they don't think it's hot until it reaches 35. I can't tell you how happy i am that i wont be here for when that happens.
It's been quite a varied week, workwise. On friday I had to teach the non-english speaking staff at the school for 2 hours which consisted of my chinese teacher as well which was slightly weird to have that role reversal and also a bit daunting as she's far more experiences than me. They were really nice to teach though, really co-operative and actually spoke to each other which is a major issue in all the other classes, despite the students saying we just want to improve our speaking. I had 'library corner' after the staff lesson at a huge library not far from the school. Chinese students who just want to talk meet there every fortnight with a native speaker to ask them questions and just have discussions. They were all really nice and clever but they definitely take themselves too seriously over here. THey started asking me questions like why a chinese person has never won a nobel prize. How the bloody hell am i supposed to know that?! we also got onto the klu klux klan somehow...christ knows how that happened!
Me and Sarah had a day off then on saturday. Again, it was a glorious day, so when Emma got back from her morning class, we decided to go to the big wild goose pagoda together. It's not that far from the flat on the bus and it's right in the middle of the city, so all around it there are nice little market bits and food places. We had a sunbathe and got some food from a noodle place in the little western square area near the pagoda. They also have a set of fountains outside and have shows all through the day that last half an hour where music plays behind them and they do really imaginative sequences. Its really good :). We stayed for a few hours but after a while in the sun with no suntan lotion we thought we'd better leave before i turned into a lobster.
I was teaching all sunday doing oral speech assessments with the competitors from the oral english competition and with my class in the afternoon so i had a really busy day. I managed to get out and have some dinner with jaoquin and sergiy before they went off to beijing for sergiys birthday, as well as justin emma sarah and elena. As it was another beautiful day me sarah emma and elena decided to spend after work inside in a hostel bar haha. It's expats nights on sundays and so there's usually a few westerners to make you feel more at home and in happy hour you can get 2 drinks for the price of 1, so we thought why not?! It was a really good night jsut playing a bit of pool (which having not played for aaaaages i have consequently become crap at) and just chatting with the locals and other teachers who've come over to china like we have. Unfortunately we had to bail out early as me and sarah were judging in the morn for the speech competition at school from 9-1.We did have a nice chat with the taxi driver though asking him what his favourite colour is and if he has any brothers or sisters until we ran out of small talk after about 2 mins!
On monday me and sarah had an early start as i said and got to school to find 60 students milling around the reception and the admin staff with no idea of what was going on. Typical IH Xian, of course. We eventually found out that after all the speech training we'd been doing with the kids who'd got through to the second round, it was all a waste of time. Instead, we had to ask them one question which they had to answer (with some detail, but most just didn't because they'd been told to prepare speeches and so were completely flummoxed as to what the hell was going on) and then they had to perform a song or a poem. I have never wanted to get out of a room so much as on monday and tuesday judging the singing, when westlife is apparently a popular boy band over here. Eugh. Oh as is celine dion and others of the like. We eventually got through them all- with a good poker face might i add- and we'll see what the next round has in store!
I've also had a couple of interviews this week so things are looking up on the job prospect side and I have also been dropped from kindergarten which is no less than a bloody miracle. It also means I've been able to do another medical english lesson today. Although that was fun trying to explain succus prostaticus to a group of chinese speaking urologists. The challenges are what makes the job though i suppose!
So that's it for now! I'll update again after the weekend and hopefully next week just put up a couple of photos from the pagoda and fountains and anything else that might happen in the next few days.