So, another week over. Two guys off sick in the office has meant our gentle break-in week of training was suddenly very busy. In at the deep end covering classes at short notice was stressful, but the staffing is fairly tight, and we need the practice, so we went for it. In a lot of ways it was fun to come in to a completely random class and spend a few hours trying new ideas and activities with them, and they jump at the opportunity to have some fun with a new teacher. All in all the job is still ace, and now we’ve started getting out teeth into it it’s getting a bit more fun every lesson, as the nerves and panic get slowly replaced with a vague idea of what we’re doing. Still a way to go, but the ongoing training is great, and we’ve got to know our colleagues pretty well so the teachers office is a lot of fun.
Anyway, when it came to the weekend, we went out in a big way. The branch academic coordinator (our boss) had a birthday, so the whole crew was mobilised for a night of hit-and-miss street food, too-cheap beer and dodgy dancing. We met up with staff from another branch, and visited every bar in the fancy end of town at least twice. As always, we were among the last to leave, piling into a taxi , grabbing a late night McDonalds, and heading for bed as the sun came up.
Suffice to say our Saturday was something of a write-off. I literally spend the whole day in bed regretting every life decision that had led me up to this hangover. Eventually Sam got bored of laughing at my self-imposed frailty and dragged me out for an evening walk. The walk began at our front door, winding up past school, through a local park, and up onto a hill, locally famous for hosting The Battle of Fuzhuo. It was beautifully lit in the darkness, and although Sam had worn shoes more suitable for a disco than a walk, we spent a good hour walking up and down it’s many avenues, taking in it’s many ancient relics.
This morning we woke up early, (though that was a little difficult) we headed up Gushan Mountain to take some better photos and to introduce Sam to Jack. Unfortunately we didn’t meet Jack, but many people wished to have photos with us and a handful of kids were happy to try out their English skills. We went down by a different track and found all sorts of hidden pagodas, enough stone carving to baffle a baffler, and a beautiful view of Fuzhou!