Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Still kind of the first week of teaching

Since I had gone to Hangzhou last week on Monday and Tuesday for my physical checkup, I had not begun my Monday and Tuesday classes yet, so I had my first Monday and Tuesday classes this week.

The kids seem interested enough, but, and this may be a cultural thing, they are very reluctant to raise their hands and volunteer in class. And I mean when we're playing something like Hangman, and I said "Raise you hand if you want to guess a letter," I hear people whispering or saying letters, but still no one raises their hand. I have to call on them individually. But that's no big deal, I'll try and find some way to invite their participation, perhaps candy.

So Monday evening I went over to Nellie's (the other American teacher at my school) apartment to pick up an extra toaster oven she had. I now have the tools to bake a pizza! Just have to pick up the ingredients (as I will have to make the dough from scratch). I will give it a shot this weekend.

By the way I don't know if I mentioned it in previous posts, but last week a friend of mine invited me to lunch. So we went, and I knew I was taking an awful risk, but I ordered the pizza there. It was a personal sized pizza, and it didn't look very good, but I took one bite... and spit it back out. Can you believe that for the sauce they used.... KETCHUP! Gross. I couldn't even eat anymore, I ordered something else. Hopefully my pizza ends up alright. Worst case scenario, if I visit Hangzhou again or Shanghai soon, they have a Pizza Hut. If it's anything like the Pizza Hut in Beijing then it's not fantastic pizza, but at least it's edible.

Finally, I got my bicycle last week, but I made a HUGE mistake. It's a 1-speed bike. If I LIVED in downtown, that would be fine, because with all the traffic, other bikes and pedestrians, you're never really going at full-speed for more than a few seconds. However, I live a good 5km (about 3 miles outside of downtown. About 2.5km of that 5 km is in traffic, but the other 2.5 km it is fairly wide open with a few slopes (bridges) and I am limited to first gear. If I do a sprint on the bike I get going fairly quick, but you can't sprint for much longer than 30 seconds at a time. If I had a 5-speed, it would not only make it SO much easier, but I would be able to get home so much faster. Anyhow, I heard it is fairly common for bicycles to get stolen in China. One Chinese friend of mine has lived in Huzhou for 10 years and has had 10 bikes stolen. Nellie has been here just over 2 years and she said she is on her 3rd bike. Anyway, if something happens to this bike, I won't be too upset as it gives me an excuse to get a better bike. :D


  1. Ketchup??? U definitely DO need to start making your own pizzas and have them see what pizzas are supposed to taste like! (tell grandma about the mozz and SHE will send a care package...u can bet on it!) LOLOL
    bike stealing huh? watch yours Won't be taken At all!! LOL
    what an adventure u are having. Students here are reluctant to volunteer as well but not for games! o well! How old are these students??
    Lova ya


  2. TJ,
    Nice blog. Sorry that the pizza was not good. Check out Pizza hut in China if you want some good pizza, and they deliver.

  3. Trade in ur pink handle bars for something better, shouldn't be difficult over there and also don't you feel pretty safe from crimes?

  4. I thought i have told u about the situation. i dont think u'll change them. so,just get used to it!