Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lots has been happening since my last post. I met my parents in Hangzhou on Sunday 1st October, which is National Day here in China. Chinese people generally get a week off but because there's no real holiday here they have to work the weekends to make up for it. In the run up to that Sunday I had to attend three Chinese functions in a row and by the end of it I was wishing that I was vegetarian again. If I never eat a strange bit of meat again it will be too soon. One function was for my school, another for the company that owns the school and the last for the mayor's National Day speech.
Hangzhou was generally pretty ok apart from the bit where I fell over and bruised my knee and chest by landing on a bench. Saw some bits of countryside I hadn't seen before and I think my parents enjoyed it. On the way back to Ningbo we stopped at the Lu Xun museum in Shaoxing and spent half the day there. It's not just a museum but also a preserved bit of the old town. There's photos from my last visit. As everyone in China has holiday at the same time it was all pretty busy and by the time I got back to Ningbo I was about ready for a rest. It wasn't quite to be; I took the folks to the city centre for some shopping which took most of the day. The next day we went to the Qing'an assembly hall which was a kind of maritime museum but was pretty interesting before meeting up with my boss in a tea house in Laowaitan. In the afternoon we went to Moon Lake and rode a pedalo around it.
On the Friday we received some bad news. My grandma died the day before. From that point on it's been a bit hectic as various calls had to be made and things sorted out and things left without knowing what would happen. The funeral is next week, on my birthday, so my parents have been able to complete their holiday at least. I've changed my existing ticket to allow me to fly back to Manchester but the only space has been for tomorrow so I will be back before them. I've also arranged a ticket back for the 23rd. So tonight I'm off to Shanghai to see my parents, briefly, before I fly back. I am hoping to meet up with some friends while I'm there but it's all going to be a little odd, I think.
Had another good bbq at William's last Saturday. Some really good food and then ended up at LBBs. Do have some other news but that's going to have to wait for now. Watched Superman Returns the night before last. I enjoyed it. Which is strange really because I've avoided Superman comics as though I were allergic to them. It captures the spirit of the original films really well (and let's face it, you just need to hear the theme to remember) and you can at least see where the budget went.
Also had a serious chat with my boss today because things at the school aren't going well and I felt I had to impress upon him the importance of certain things happening while I am gone. On top of which I was told this morning that some new children would be starting in Ann's class which we were never told about. Overall I'm not happy.

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