A Facelift

So I look a little different now! Well, not me, though I’m sure many of you would have probably cheered at that. No, as you can see, my blog has taken on a different look and the whole site has changed completely, although there are still more changes to be made which hopefully you’ll notice over the next few weeks. Many thanks again to Cez, over at bloginstallations.com, as he’s helped me to turn it from small time blog to, well, something equally as small time but also a lot more pretty and hopefully user friendly!
However, this is something I’m going to be working on over the next few months, trying to get my blog noticed a little more as I do love my writing and hope that other people begin to love it too. I have a couple of works in progress and will let you know about them, fear not!

Anyway, while all this has been happening it’s been pretty quiet on the Western, (or should that be Eastern?), front. With my holiday to England rapidly approaching I’ve been saving pennies so I’ve not been doing all that much. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been noticing things round and about! I’ve got a list to follow of my latest observations in China, including, drum roll please, a new crazy sign! Read on to find out more:

  • So I posted a video of us throwing streamers at the Jubliee Party here, but I also posted another video from when we had Children’s Day party on 1st June. We played Blindman’s Buff, with the added addition of a fly swatter! Click here to see what chaos ensued.
  • It’s getting hot out here. We’re regularly topping 34°C now and this means that I must be near air conditioning all the time. The worst thing is it’s not far off this temperature at 7 in the morning, a great wall of heat waiting for you to get outside. I remember the same feeling when I set foot outside Kuala Lumpur airport for the first time almost 7 years ago. We still get heavy rain and storms though. I know we had #newcastleendofdays last week, but we get fairly heavy rain here too y’know…
  • The funniest thing about the heat is the sun. Whilst I love sitting out and tanning, for the Chinese this is a big no-no. They believe that the darker you are, the more stupid you are – nonsense really! So when they ride their bikes, they wear shirts to cover their arms and have gloves to cover their hands so they can’t tan. Mental really.
  • Finally, one more thing about the weather. Yes it’s hot, but it’s also wet season so this week we’ve had the most rain I’ve ever seen. What’s more satisfying about the rain is that it’s heavy most of the time, which is a lot more interesting, unlike that mizzly rubbish we get in the UK.
  • My bike is still alive! Though I’m hoping this post won’t jinx that. I went on a little jaunt the other day and found Zhangzhou stadium and Zhangzhou Institute of Technology:
  •  (if Massachusetts Institute of Technology is MIT, then wouldn’t this be ZIT?)
  • We did promotion outside of Walmart over the weekend of 9th/10th June and since then we’ve had quite a few new students come in and put down a deposit for classes. This has happened especially with our adult classes; the largest adult class I’ve taught up until now has been for 3 students, but on Wednesday 13th I had 9 students in the class, which normally only has 1 student in it! Out of these 9, Phil and I managed to get a couple to sign up, and the day after we got some more too. So the school is steadily growing and now we’re in July we’ve got just under 50 students who have paid their money, with a few more still to pay. Hopefully we’ll get 75 before September, fingers crossed.
  • There are lots of homeless people about in the city, but most of us were more than taken aback when outside Walmart we saw a completely naked man. This is really strange as that would be done for public indecency or similar in the UK. There are actually more than one naked man too, Phil is now determined to get a video of one of them to go viral on YouTube….
  • The gym has been going well. The staff have even asked my name and I’m greeted with a ‘nihao Sarah’ every time I come in now.
  • My nails are growing quicker and longer. I’m not sure if it’s the heat, but I’ve never had any nails as long as this: (although I did cut them a little after the photo, as I knew that they would be ruined soon after otherwise)
  • Mmm, food. I don’t half love my food. One of my favourites is called chuan er, or it’s actually a blended word so sounds more like chuar. It’s like a BBQ, and I’ve mentioned it many times before, but finally I took a photo of what it looks like before it’s cooked, all the raw ingredients. It’s so colourful! thrAlso, Chinese fruit stalls are equally as colourful.
  • I played word consequences in my C7 class the other week, which vaguely linked into the grammar point of subject/object questions! If you’re unfamiliar with consequences, then it’s where everyone has a piece of paper and they write down a boy’s name at the top. They then fold the paper over so when they pass the paper to the next person, they can’t see who it is. You then write a girl’s name, pass it on, and then answers to various questions, each time folding over the paper and passing it on. We used to do this, trying to write stories for people we used to fancy. It never worked. Anyway, as the C7 student and I don’t really have anyone in common, we were using celebrities. Obviously we talked about the writing mistakes, so please don’t think I’m a rubbish teacher – I just wanted to post what was written. Here are a couple of the best ones and in each example, my student wrote the first one, I wrote the second, he wrote the third etc etc etc:

Boy’s name Girl’s name Where did they meet? (Check out the object question!) What did they do? (again, object question, clearly covers what we were doing in class!) What did the boy say? What did the girl say? What happened to them? (now, we have a subject question, grammar point 0, Sarah 1)   This was the first one that began fits of giggles from my usually sane C7 student, but this second one was hands down the best and we both couldn’t stop laughing:

Boy’s name Girl’s name Where did they meet? What did they do? What did the boy say? What did the girl say? What happened to them? Maybe you just had to be there, but it was hilarious. One of the funniest ends to a lesson I’ve had ever.

  • Finally, I have my new amusing sign. It’s not even in English, so I’ll obviously have to explain what’s being said in it.


    What these adverts are traditionally, are xiǎo jiě adverts,what they call “little miss,” or if it’s used in slang, prostitutes. But this one seems to be taking a much different tack, as she goes on to tell a story and if you can help you can earn ¥150,000 (£15,000), however, you must first be a fit and healthy man, aged around 29 and with a height of about 1.65m. Interested? Here’s the story: Her husband is a rich man from Hong Kong, but after an unfortunate accident he is left without his penis. They want to have a child but after his accident it is much more difficult for them to have one. She wants another man to impregnate her for ¥50,000 and on a successful pregnancy he will get the other ¥100,000. Call this number…

Now this obviously poses many questions: If she has a rich husband why can’t they do IVF? Why can’t she find one of her friends to do it? Why, if she’s from Hong Kong, did she stick this up outside a street food restaurant in Zhangzhou? These basically all seem to point to the fact that this is a xiǎo jiě advert, just probably a very elaborate one at that to make it stand out from the crowd.

Anyway, more photos to follow in my next post, as I aim to make up for my few lost days since the start of #ROW80. My main aim is to post something everyday on here!

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Author: Bennett

2 years as an expat in China and now doing the same in New Zealand, Bennett sure likes to experience "slow travel!"

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  1. Hi Sarah!

    I’m only just now catching up on your adventures, it sounds like you’re having a great time. I’d definitely like to live in another country one day and your blog is very inspiring so keep up the good work!
    Your game of Consequences with the students reminded me of this:
    If you’re not familiar with Dinosaur Comics it’s basically a daily webcomic with the same pictures every day, only the text changes. Fun results all round!
    Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in China.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the comment. China is amazing and I’m expecting a lot more out of it for my last year! Seriously, go do something in another country, even if just for a little while, it’s been the second best decision of my life (the first was choosing Newcastle as my uni :P).
      That link to the dinosaur comics is brilliant and I definitely want to do it with my students, if only to fill a lesson that I don’t have to plan! I’ll see what I can do…

      Post a Reply


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