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Monday, March 03, 2008

Oh China......

Some things are great but others are just so hard to get used to...

Last week we had dinner with Collin in a little Thai restaurant on Wen Hua Xiang (the little alley near the Yunda Binguan). Everything was great until I was halfway through my dish and discovered an ugly, fat maggot in my dish :-( Pointed it out to the waitress and no problem I got a new dish... Not that it never happens in Western restaurants, but judging by the waitress' reaction this seems to happen quite regularly. Bleeegh!!!

I also started working again. My work week is like this: 7x45 minutes on Tuesday and 2x45 minutes on odd week Thursdays. Not too shabby ehh :-) For the first 4 hours on Tuesday I have the same students as last semester which is nice since I know what their strengths and weaknesses are (and they know mine...). But the last three hours I have another, new class to teach: Cases in International Business. I was very much looking forward to doing this course although it is an elective and supposedly I would only have 10 students. But a small group lends itself very well to interactive and intensive working together. But last Tuesday there where exactly three students present in this class... Students can come and leave this class as they please for the first three weeks of the semester and only then have to decide whether to take my class or not. I would love 10 students, but three... But nonetheless I am sure it will once again be a great semester.

Besides teaching I am also going to take Chinese classes starting this Monday. Hopefully I can get myself to sitting in class and listening to a teacher every morning. Never have been very good at that (and thank God Maastricht University existed when I had to pick a university!!!). But I am looking forward to it.

Then something totally different. I never knew that Chinese like self-mockery, but in Shanghai we got a great example of it. I don't know what the guy is trying to prove, but I would NOT put my face/body on a huge billboard in the centre of any city with that text next to me at that particular spot... mistake or self-knowledge?? :-) Since we got back to Kunming Shos and I both have a hard time getting used to the horrible traffic here. i am not talking about traffic jams and impossibilities to get anywhere like in Bangkok, but just the total incapability of Kunming people to drive, bike or walk. You don't wait on the sidewalk to cross a street but stand on the street approx. 1.5m away from the sidewalk. Cars can always turn right (even when the light is red) and that is exactly what they do even when that means (nearly) running over pedestrians or bicycles.

Besides that they love to honk!!! Even when there is no reason at all, they still lean on their horn like their lives depend on it. And this still goes on even now the government put in place a rule that forbids unnecessary use of the horn. It drives us nuts and sometimes almost causes accident instead of preventing them. Imagine cycling on a deserted road in a straight line. All of a sudden a big bus approaches you from behind (no other traffic in sight) and that bus thinks it is necessary to honk right before it passes you. Well i can tell you, it scares the hell out of you. A bus horn is loud, very loud and the only effect on me is that I scare and almost yank my steering wheel to either side causing me to land in the ditch or get run over by the bus... Sooo annoying!!!

But well, besides that I really don't have anything to complain about. We're living a good life over here. At this point we're both a little nervous because we're waiting for the results of Shos' application to grad school. But soon we'll know :-)

Tot snel dan maar weer lieve kijkbuiskinderen!
Meneer De Uil a.k.a Ruudje

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ach, ze zitten vol gezonde eiwitten, die maden...

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