For the most part I have been nothing but a big slacker when it comes to this blog for the last couple of weeks. This is due in part to many different things, mostly because I have been slammed with many things that take up the days.
First, the trip to hainan.
Second, upon my return, I was stunned to discover that most of my students had cheated on their papers that they were to have turned in while I was gone. So, it has been slow going in grading them.
Thirdly, the holidays. The chinses are very concerned that I have a good time and enjoy myself, so I have been to countless dinners and such since my arrival back from Hainan–which is nice, but the food has been spicy and my stomach had rejected most of it either because of the spice or because of the ridiculous fucking MSG.
Tonight we dined with the president of the uni–who was a nice guy and the food was just great. A lovely experience in dining for once.
Anyway, more later when I feel better– I promise. The holiday is coming and I promise I will add more stories as there have been a lot in the last couple of weeks that you will all enjoy.
The sun has now set upon Sanya once again and the fireworks barrage has begun. This is my second night here in this furthest city in China. The island of Hainan is sleepy and peaceful, but it will not be this way for very long. Huge buildings are being erected just like everywhere else in China as the country goes through a construction movement that leaves foreigeners like myself wondering who they are building all of these for?
Here in hainan the problem is perhaps more pronounced as the buildings that have been built are all empty and one wonders who in China would be able to afford these places if they were to come south.
To the foreigner, Hainan is a place of unbridled beauty–beautiful tropical sun which I have never really experienced before, andy beaches with far less people on them than one would expect. If you keep your eyes focused on the sea, it makes for a really lovely place, but if you turn around and see the skeletons of the resorts being built in front of your eyes, as you see the future, you want to run into the warm water and stay there as long as possible before they take you out of it and charge you for using it.
Ahhh yes–the Capitalist China. It is coming alive. People in the capitalist trade, the taxi’s, the fruit vendors, the shell vendors, everyone wants your money here and lots of it. Not that its expensive, because its not, but the constant barrage from people trying to sell you something really stays with longer than the fruit that the sell.
Christmas is a great example of just how pathetic China is getting in catering to Western causes. The Chinese do not celebrate Christmas but here in China all the shops and the shop workers are all dressed up in their Christmas attire and singing Christmas songs –because Christmas means extra sales and extra sales means, well, for these people, nothing. They don’t get paid by how much they sell, they get paid very little to stand around and try to help you however they can–its better than selling your body for sex.
Not that I am not having a good time on the beach–its a little boring travelling by yourself to a tropical paradise and it beats being in America at this time of the year. Drinking and eating fresh cocunut off the tree and mangos for breakfast is really the life, even it is a bit boring. It would just be so much nicer if we werent all so fucking worried about money all the time and it really makes you ill to see it here because you know it doesnt need to be this way…!
A blog entry that I will write at another time has to do with this statue. Part of the huge building that is going on in China is also the creation of these new historic parks. Basically, to help develop tourism internally, the local governments in China are basically developing these scenic parks in which they design new copies of old buildings and charge huge prices for the public to come and view them. This is a picture of one of the statues in such a park. I will send more pictures of this at another time. Its an interesting thing to watch out for in China–the land of imitation.
This little girl is from the school where I was an acting judge for a compitition. She was by far one of the cutest. They teach these kids how to speak English through action–so they learn songs and action moves to go along with them. Think Britney Spears on Star search.
Two of my favorite students. Natalee and Honey. I play badminton with them once a week. I have gotten to be quite good at badminton lately. It is a lot of fun.
Ahhhh, the Chenzhou bus. Lovely isnt it? This shot was taken just yeasterday as I went to the city to buy my bus ticket and as I suspected, there was a thief on the bus. He was caught trying to steal someones cell phone. Too bad I didn’t get him in the picture!!
The school gate and Ms. Fiona, one of the people that works in the foreign affairs office at the University. We had lunch this afternoon and I took this picture of her outside of the gate.
The last week has been very busy with school work and trying to keep warm in this ever changing climate. Although it has not gone below freezing, I am constantly either too warm or too cold as the flat does not hold any heat for very long. This is the case over most of China– I have a nice flat, but no insulation whatsoever.
The heaters are the air conditioners that now have the heat element hooked up, but they merely blow a little hot air into the room, circulating the cold air. It keeps the temp from just where you can see your breath, but not much higher.
I am off to Hainan for the week to soak up some sun and take a much needed break from all of this.
The time has come rather quickly for a vacation–even though the big one will be here in a month. This will serve as good time away to come back and refocus for the final half of my chinese experience. I can not believe that it is Christmas time already. It certainly does not feel anything like it, but next weekend is the merry time of the year. Unbelievable. Perhaps the beaches in Hainan will make me think more of the Christmas season– driking coconut milk and sunning is just what the doctor ordered.
See you all in a week or so.
Finally, a break.
The last couple of weeks have been a bit tedious–dreadfully cold weather, rain, gloom. The weather mixed with the students anger that I am making them write a final paper on a book that they have read this semester *they have NEVER written a paper before*, it is time to take a little bit of a break before having to lock myself in my apartment for two weeks and grade 6-9page essays.
One solid week of nothing but warm, sandy beaches and relaxation await me in Hainan. I will be leaving for the Hainan area next wednesday afternoon.
Hainan is recently very famous for its recent hosting of the Miss World finals, which are held in Sanya, in the southern end of the island. Hainan has similar weather to Hawaii–hence why it is known as Chinese Hawaiian Island.
A week in Hainan, followed by two weeks in Chenzhou grading term papers, followed by a month long vacation.
I will start the journey in Hong Kong or Guangzhou for my birthday, followed by Chinese New Year, followed by three weeks in Thailand. All of this will cost less than $430 USD.
So, I miss Christmas, but I will be on the beach until just before Christmas eve. 🙂