Monday, December 18, 2006

Only one week to go until Christmas. Here at the school things are a little chaotic as the kids are mostly practising for their concert on Thursday evening. In the mornings we are running classes as normal but in the afternoons it looks like it's all change for this week.

Other than that things are pretty much as they are. Anne, the other Primary School teacher, has put in a letter to ask that her pay be increased (she is being badly underpaid) and the head of the school has basically ignored it and made no effort to talk to her in the week since. As for me I'm pretty much convinced that it would be best to leave at the end of this semester as I have not had anything happen to make me think otherwise. It seems a shame in some ways but I don't have any regrets. I've mostly enjoyed the past year in China but it is time to move on.

Life has been pretty quiet. It's cold but the weather has recently not been too bad except for a heavy fog one day last week. We've been going out for meals but nothing major. Yesterday we went to the gym as we had some free guest passes. The gym was quite nice, modern and well equipped but as it is in the city centre it's not really a good option for regular use. And the sauna doesn't seem to be used at all which is the best thing about going to the gym in the first place. I have lost a lot of my fitness, which is kind of shocking except that I've done little exercise for the past year except for walking around town. I can't even really get into the countryside very easily and there's not much in the way of hills around here anyway. Most are being scoured away to help build roads and buildings. The whole province will probably be completely level in ten years time.

Christmas is here in a small way. The shops are decorated and playing Christmas songs but, unsurprisingly, there's little else to indicate it's coming. We are planning on seeing some friends on the day itself and then probably going to a bar. I have the week off but Zak doesn't so that limits our options. Still, a rest will be nice and it should be a good opportunity to catch up on some writing. I was hoping to go to Beijing to meet Wu Yan, a Chinese science fiction writer, but I am not sure if that will be possible now. I need to check the details and decide. Soon, I guess.

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