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Why?? Facebook came along... No need to keep updating the same stuff on two different places.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Grading and nothing

That kind of summarizes my activities for this week...

On Tuesday we celebrated Bonne's birthday with pizza and beer! On Wednesday and Thursday I graded the multiple choice part of Shoshannah's exams and I played supervisor at Aaron's American History Exam. Some of the answers his students gave to questions are so hilarious that I just have to share them with you:

Q: What term was used to describe young people of the 1960's and early 1970's famous for Vietnam War protests and their dedication to "sex, drugs and rock n' roll"?

A: African-Americans
Q: What was the government's response to the Great Depression?

A: Bill Clinton. He had besides wife, a lover his number two breast - we call "er nai" in Chinese - called Lewinsker. So he was in trouble. He is a great depression.
Q: Essay: Aside from economic and technological development, what do you believe are the most important differences between American and Chinese society?

A: In America, anyone can speak what he wants to say, even though he blames Bush. He has the right to do that. He also has the freedom. But in China, many people have complaints to government, but they can't speak, especially in public. The leader doesn't like other people's better opinions. If some deputy or just some knowledge person - like professor - gives him better opinions than his own opinions in public, the higher leader can't sleep well. Then he will use a secret way to get them off him. Many Chinese know. So in China, the most important thing is not how to do your job best, it's how to keep your leaders happy...

(this essay got an A)
Q: Essay question: What were some of the root causes and immediate causes of the Civil War?

A: "Light and Freedom"
A country needs something to happen. I think the main cause of the American Civil War is magic history. Maybe it isn't crazy. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't serious. Maybe it is. Magic history would change something. Magic history is the essence of reality, beyond-reality, and everything else too. That's the light of freedom, it is fate. I'm sorry, how to describe my opinion exactly, but I will you to understand. Do you agree it? My dear teacher!

(this essay did NOT get an A)
Yesterday I went out with Bonne, Bas, Sander and Susan to Kundu and had a real Chinese style night of fun. Just watching the Chinese acting Chinese is the best thing to do when going out! We ended the night with some great street food and I am "enjoying" the hangover from that night today...

Next week: HOLIDAY!!!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Around the lake & my birthday party

134 kilometer on my last day as a 25 year old...

Last Friday I went cycling around Dianchi Lake. Dianchi is a big lake (approx. 40km long) just south of Kunming. Since the lake doesn't move I was quite sure that I could cycle around it and end up in Kunming again without getting too lost... And for once it worked!!! The first 40km were great! New, slick roads, hardly any traffic, amazing views and pretty clean air. However after that the circumstances started to deteriorate. Roads got worse (up to a point that there were more holes than actual road) and lots of stinky, big trucks. However I made it and it was a great experience! Although I won't take the same route again, I certainly will go back to the west side of the lake!!

Later that night we had a KTV party for Trish her students. I really am not a big fan of karaoke, but it was fun to see and hear the Chinese students having a great time! Some are very good at it (most of them don't even need to see the lyrics) and of course others suck :-)

Yesterday it was my birthday!! As a surprise Shoshannah took me to Haigen Park where we enjoyed Go Karts, bumper cars, a rocket thing that swings you upside down, sun, grass and beer! It was a very relaxed way to start the day!

Videos of the bumper cars & our space rocket ride...

Later that night we had diner with 15 people at Hong Dou Yuan (our favorite Chinese/Yunnanese restaurant). Lots of good food, beer, bai jiu, presents, songs and fun! Bai jiu is China's national alcohol --> cheap and disgusting! But of course we had to toast with it... (see the "happy" faces below). Since Bonne's (one of the other Dutchies here) birthday is on Tuesday we decided to combine the two and have one big party on our rooftop. I made 10 liters of Chinese style Sangria (again made from the bai jiu) and that together with beer and music made sure we had a blast! We also went to Kundu (the "clubbing" district) afterwards, but for me that was a little too much and had a hard time staying awake in the club... ;-) That's what happens when you get old... haha!

In the next two weeks I have to prepare for classes next year, clean out our apartment and help Shos grade all her papers so we can leave for our holiday around the 7th of July.

Thanks for all your e-cards and text messages!!
The Old Man...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Healthy as a horse

Bleeegh, rainy season...

Although the temperature still is quite nice, it rains a lot as well lately. I went to pick up my health exam yesterday and got soaked... Some streets in Kunming look more like swimming pools than actual streets after heavy rainfall. But I got the results and I am perfectly alright! No strange diseases or disorders so I will be allowed to work in China. Handed all my stuff to the Foreign Affairs Office and they are confident I will have all the required documents to apply for my work visa in Hong Kong.

Since I don't have anything else to tell that might be interesting for you, here is a little joke. Just read the sentences aloud and you'll see that Chinese isn't that hard after all!

That's not right : Sum Ting Wong
Are you harboring a fugitive? : Hu Yu Hai Ding
See me ASAP: Kum Hia Nao
Stupid Man : Dum Fuk
Small Horse : Tai Ni Po Ni
Did you go to the beach? : Wai Yu So Tan
I bumped into a coffee table : Ai Bang Mai Fu Kin Ni
I think you need a face lift : Chin Tu Fat
It's very dark in here : Wai So Dim
I thought you were on a diet : Wai Yu Mun Ching
This is a tow away zone : No Pah King
Our meeting is scheduled for next week : Wai Yu Kum Nao
Staying out of sight : Lei Ying Lo
He's cleaning his automobile : Wa Shing Ka
Your body odor is offensive : Yu Stin Ki Pu
Great : Fa Kin Su Pa

Mwuhahahaha ;-)

Hope you enjoyed my last post as a "young" person...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Contract signed!!

International/Foreign Expert!!!

On Tuesday I got a phone call that the the number of hours I am supposed to teach got reduced to 13 for the first semester. Still five courses, but two of them are relatively simple so I won't need a lot of preparation time for those. The second semester I will be teaching fewer hours and fewer courses as promised by the School of Economics! The courses I will be teaching are titled: 1) Business Negotiation, 2) International Economic Organizations, 3) Topics in Financial Management, 4) Readings on Economic and Trade Journals, and 5) Theory and Practice of Multinationals. The content of these courses is all up to me, so coming up with some good ideas is my job for the next few weeks.

On Thursday I received the revised contract, signed it and handed it back to the International Exchange Office asap. To speed things up I went for my Medical Check today. I was a little anxious about what they were going to do, but it was so "stupid". Get a form, complete it, give them your passport and 3 photos and start the tests. The tests consisted of: 1) weight and length, 2) an eye test (seeing and color blindness), 3) an ECG, 4) an UltraSound of my chest, 5) a blood sample, 6) a urine sample, and 7) a chest X-Ray. All that for a mere 326 RMB (€ 32)... and a good laugh because their measuring equipment for length ended at 1.90 meters. Since I am 1.89 and was wearing shoes, I barely fitted underneath that thing and the lady needed a little stool to stand on in order to measure me ;-)

I am supposed to pick up the results on Tuesday and hand them over to the university so they can arrange all the paperwork needed for my visa application. Hopefully everything works out and I have all the stuff I need before I leave China to go on holiday.
It is raining like mad right now, so no TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) on the rooftop this afternoon. Hopefully the weather will be better next week Saturday because it's my birthday and I was planning on a great rooftop party!!! So one more week of enjoying my youth before I turn to my "late twenties"...

Greetingzzz from a rainy, but still laidback Kunming!
Your International Expert: Rudi B.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Poor little thing

Wonder why it happened:
1) Customs didn’t bother to repack properly
2) Very lousy job by TNT/China Post

Yesterday I finally got notice I could pick up the package I sent to myself two months ago. Went to pick it up today and I when I got it I was speechless… My beautiful, strong, square, white box looked more like a big wrinkled cardboard ball than like a box :-( Unpacking it back home was even worse! It looked like they put in a paint-mixing machine for 10 minutes… Nothing, but really absolutely nothing was undamaged! The packaging of the items were torn, chocolate bars looked like chocolate sprinkles, and everything was sticky due to a small leakage of the hair gel :-(

Oh well, at least it arrived and everything is still usable, although I must say that it is very hard to put butter on crumbled “Peijnenburg Ontbijtkoek” and unwrapping crushed “Kinder Surprise” isn’t that much fun…

But I got all my stuff and learned the “valuable” lesson that you shouldn’t spend any time on neatly packing any packages to China. Just throwing it in the box and putting a lot of tape around it seems to be the best and simplest way! My dad also sent me an envelope and I really wonder in what shape that will arrive haha!

This again is an experience in Chinese ways of doing things. When you finally get them to do something, they do it fast and lousy ;-) But more on that another time!!

Lu Hao Lang

Sunday, June 10, 2007

International Expert @ School of Economics

Doesn't that sound great :-)

On Wednesday I finally got the e-mail that included the job offer I was waiting for! Of course I was very happy to get it, but after reading the details of the contract I discovered a few things that, according to me, needed to be changed. The number of hours and courses they want me to teach are just to high . I wouldn't be able to prepare properly for all of them. Luckily Collin (the current International Expert for the School of Economics) agrees with me and is being a great help in trying to convince the University that they need to adjust their requirements. We feel confident that there will be an agreement somewhere this week!!

Besides that i am occupied with looking up flight and making travel itineraries for people that want to come and visit me and of course for Shos and myself! But that's no problem because I just love searching the Internet for good deals on flight or fun things to do while on holiday.

Groetjes aan het thuisfront!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Uneventful week

Just being lazy...

To be honest: nothing exciting happened last week! Just a normal week of being alive and doing everyday stuff. Heard some more gossips that people at the University are already preparing my contract so that's great! Besides that I did some cycling, went to the gym, had TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) on the rooftop of our building, on Saturday a great party with some Dutch people I know here and I spend the entire Sunday lying next to the pool or in the hotsprings. This week hopefully good news about my job and than I can really start making plans for the rest of the year ;-)

Below I inserted a nice picture to show you what my (our) apartment looks like! I think it's a great place and we have the luck that the fuwuyuan (service personnel) come in everyday to clean everything :-)

Have a great time!

PS: Luckily Yunnan is a huge province, so we didn't feel a thing: Earthquake Rocks Yunnan