First report from Zhongshan

Ni hao!

I’m finally back here on the blog!

It’s been happening so much here since my last post but I’ll try to cover the most of it!
The last days in Beijing we moved out from the university to another place an hour south of the city. It was a really nice place, even tough it was in the middle of nowhere…
It felt like a five-star hotel and everything was so luxury! The best part was the food, a Chinese buffet with fresh fruits and many delicious dishes!

One of the days we took a buss in the Beijing to do some last-minute exploring and went to the lama temple, a vegan restaurant and a quick visit to BUU again before heading back. On the way back our bus got hit by a car, my first Chinese traffic accident! It sounds worse than it is, the car barely touched us but we had to stay an hour at a bridge to wait for the police to show up, when they finally did we just drove a little bit away to get away from the bridge and then the drivers and the police talked for a while before we leave. But we played games, talked and had a ABBA-medley. The day after was the departure day when we had to split the group. Many of us were going south together but we left many others and the goodbyes were very sad :(
We had been living together for a month and got very close and then we had to leave many friends…

The train ride south was really an experience! About 20 hours on a hard bed, six beds in each ”room” and I had the upper bed so I had to do some climbing.
After 20 hours of card games, chasing the fruit wagon, discussing Irish politics, hitting my head while sitting up and not so much sleep we arrived at Guangzhou early in the morning. Tired, sweaty, hungry and in great need of a shower we meet with a person from our school, good first impression…

After another 2 hours with a bus we arrived in Zhongshan and finally got something to eat and could see our apartment.

Pictures will be up soon so you can see what it looks like around here. Now we have been living here for almost three weeks and it feels like very good, I really like my new home!
Our school is quite big, about 8000 students! I have junior one which means age 11-14 even though some are 10 or 15. Each week I have 20 different classes with 50-55 students/class = 1000-1100 students in total! I directly gave up learning all the names, with their Chinese names I will not remember them all, I’m happy enough to remember their faces… Some of them have english names, sometimes they choose their names themselves which they might regret later in life…

When I walked around in the classrooms the first week and ask for their names I had to use my poker face a lot…

Here’s some examples of their english names:

Sky (the kid wants to be a pilot)
Peter Parker
Code smile
Tack (Swedish for thank you)
Tracy and Zoe (two boys)
Crazy Carlos

It’s not always easy not to laugh at them…
I have given some of my students English names and I had to stop myself from being mean and give them funny names.

But the best thing about the school is that I feel like a celebrity everywhere I go! I have to say ”Hello!” every other second and many kids stops me to talk to me, sometimes I can barely get out of the classroom after the lesson because of a horde of students wants to ask me questions, have my phone number (I don’t really want hundred of students to have my number…), tell me I’m tall and touch my arms… I love my students though, they are really nice and much more polite than Swedish students, when I ask them questions they stand up to answer and every morning they all stand up and bow to me!

It’s going to be hard to go back to Sweden where no one will turn around in the street to look at me…

Right now we have five days of because of the Moon festival (the Chinese people eat moon cakes, have dinner with the family and watch the moon) and we’re going to Guangzhou to celebrate it on Friday.


What else is there to say?
The heat here is the worst I’ve ever felt, it’s so hot and humid, only a quick walk feels like a Marathon!
So I’m looking forward to the winter which will be like Swedish spring :)

I hope the pictures will be up soon, until then take care and Happy Moon festival! :)

2 kommentarertill"First report from Zhongshan"

  1. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    29 september, 2013 - 17:12 | Direktlänk

    Nice to read about your life dear son.

    Try to give them name to be proud of later in life. Like Sunshine, Friendly, Beautiful, Happy… And don´t forget to look at the moon!

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