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Adventures of an Aussie English Teacher - Week 3

Updated on March 27, 2010

It did warm up - for a while.

The adventure continues. Thank goodness we only teach for about about 15 hours a week!!! It would be so hard to fit life in if we had to work harder!

I am working one night a week extra, so that gives me some pocket money, but we managed to fit in several shopping forays (and we've found some good Australian wine at a Wine Shop that ow welcomes us warmly!!!

We went to dinner at a Thai Restaurant and experienced a robbery. Read about it here. On Saturday we went mountain climbing. You can read about that here.

Today I am supposed to be going with my friend to the bank to renew her card (taken in the robbery) and I am up to my neck in marking.  How I wish the students would do as I asked and write their English names and student number on their books.  Would make my life a little easier. I have piles of books to mark!!!!

We are having a teachers' meeting on Wednesday and going to dinner afterwards. So much to do and so many dinners.  Still I am exercising a lot!!

(I've found some yummy sesame seed biscuits too in the college bakery.  I could become addicted!


Ups and downs

The past few days have been interesting - from going to Hangzhou for the "Health Check" and having to make up my missed lessons, to having one subject with still not text book for the students, and my other subject not having the recordings.

Also having to work on a "performance" at the International Women's Day event, and then attending a school celebration, and trying to cope with the amazingly cold weather. It has gone from -3 to +15 degrees to day. What a relief! No rain, cold, but not freezing and blue skies.

Hopefully the weather will continue to get warmer.

Hopefully the books will arrive for the students for next week, and hopefully the audio problems will be resolved. But this is China.

Yesterday another teacher and I walked around the city parks. Everywhere there are beautiful parks and gardens, and as the sun was out for longer periods it was nice to escape outdoors.

It was the first time I had taken my Canon camera out - and I did get some lovely shots of old Shaoxing.  We found a coffee place and had a cup of coffee made Chinese style. (You need to see it - it is not easily explained) and we were chased by persistent beggars for a while, but managed to shake them off.

We made it to Trust Mart supermarket and bought a few provisions before heading back to the campus.

My Thursdays are very long days work wise but I enjoy the work mostly so it is not too bad.

I have three classes on Friday mornings, and then a break until Monday morning.  Not sure what we will do over the weekend but I now have my Tourist Pass so I can go to many places for free.

Now if only it can get warmer.

Busy, busy busy - having fun.

The weekend.  On Friday evening we went to find a good bottle of wine.  I knew of a wine shop near Carrefour near the Shaoxing Railway station, so we headed there in the bus late in the afternoon.  We found an amazing selection of wines, and bought a bottle of Aussie chardonnay and then set out to find a restaurant where we could eat and enjoy the wine.

We found one that is supposed to be good, called Grandma's, but the menu was all in Chinese, so we reasoned that we need a student or local with us.  So we tried to get a bus back to the centre of town, but no buses that we recognised came.  So it was a taxi back to where we had to go.  We decided to go back to the Banana Leaf, where we always get a good welcome.

The Philippino Musos have been there for over 2 years, and are due to finish next week, but they were in full voice and I was up on my feet enjoying a short dance with them.  We had a great meal - a prawn dish where the prawn skin was crispy and edible, and some calamari in chili sauce.

And we enjoyed the wine after we negotiated corkage!  Their own wine list is non existent - they have beer and spirits, but no wine.  And no wine glasses either which reduces the pleasure of drinking wine.

Then back into town, and the bus ride home.  A lovely night.

Saturday - we met for lunch, and then walked around the college and over the road to "rubbish street" and the street markets.  We went to the food market and bought some vegies.  After putting our purchases in the fridge we went out again to a little food place where we enjoyed a meal.

Back into the apartments around 8 pm.

I must say here that I keep bumping into students who were in my classes a year ago.  "Dianna, long time no see.  Do you remember me?"   Sure, I recognise most but many I've forgotten the names, and anyway they probably have changed them.

But it has been hilarious as out of a crowd will come an enthusiastic student (male or female) to hug me and welcome me back.  I wish I could remember their names.

Nearly there.................

At least the text books ave arrived and the classes can proceed without the dramas we've had for the past couple of weeks.

All I have to do is manage the "sound sysem" - it appears that all teachers have had trouble with the CD's sent to us.  I have no doubt they are meant to be used with a computer/audio-visual system, as the sound when dropped onto an SD card, or memory stick, makes it difficult to determine which track is going to be next.  The solution is that you only have on the stick, the current lessons.

I did my first classes out at Keqaio last night - small classes, rather fun, and of course extra RMB for that.

The taxi driver was the same guy who drove me there each night 18 months ago.  And this time instead of "the boss" taking me home, the same driver does the job.  Actually I liked going with "the boss" as he took a much more scenic route.

The weather is warmer and I can sit in my apartment without the heater, and without a heavy jacket. 

I bought a new sheet set for my bed yesterday and am impressed.  It looks nice and it is a nice soft polished cotton.

And I'm catching up with students from previously too - and remembering some names.


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    • Aussieteacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

      Thanks Gramarye, my original intention was to go to Vietnam, but I ended up in China and then South Korea. Age will be against me for doing too much, and it is possible that I will get back to China in 2011. I only do one semester at a time. I do wish I had discovered this work before, but family commitments would not have permitted it before anyway.

    • World-Traveler profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Hello Gramarye

      Great photos! Before you leave Asia, consider teaching in Thailand. I taught English in Thailand for five years. I only intended to teach there for six months and then move onto Hong Kong or Vietnam. Thailand was so nice I never made it to either Hong Kong or Vietnam to teach. I have posted several Hubs about my experiences teaching English in Thailand, as well as South Korea. Could be some helpful information there. I will enjoy following your adventures teaching English in China!

    • Aussieteacher profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

      Hi Gramarye This is my third foray into China, and I am due to leave at the end of June 2010. I may be back, but I don't do winters here.

    • gramarye profile image


      8 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Hi Aussieteacher, just found you on hub pages, and am enjoying your adventures. I spent 7 years as an English teacher in Singapore and can relate to some of your frustrations. I'm going to follow you so I know when week 4 will be there. Enjoy the experience. How long do you expect to be there?

    • huttriver0 profile image


      8 years ago from lower hutt

      What do you do over the weekends?




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