Sue meets China - a battle of wills
[EDITOR'S NOTE - Sue's blog is sent via email direct from China and therefore includes any grammatical errors caused by character set incompatibility and/or Chinese government censoring]
On the food front still no poisoning but we are working our way down the levels of luxury. The first night we were here we were taken to a very grotty looking cafe¨¦ on the corner… ¨C this now looks like haute cuisine premises! We have been going to the ¡®Muslim¡¯ (there is a big muslim population here) It is very local place and really really busy. They cook outside and the guy who does the noodles is amazing. He gets the dough and pulls it until it becomes noodles. There is a brasier on the go with a wok on top and every now and then he switches on a fan which blasts air in and stokes up the fire. The food is amazing. But last night we went for the street food up the road. Every time we walk past they are creating what we call the ¡®green lasagne¡± it is actually green noodles. This time it is not a cafe¨¦ at all, just some stools on the pavement and cooking from a brazier and kebabs from a coal fire. Last night we had the green noodles and the spicy bread I really liked it. It isnt really sensible to negotiate the whole shopping and cooking thing. All that bargaining and picking and weighing¡
Last week was sex week. Some of you might have heard this all before but ¡..We have another language assistant here ¨C Tom the Finn. When we asked him out he said he couldn¡¯t go cos he is a vegan. Well last week he asked us out¡where¡¯d we go ¨C yes the local brothel for a foot massage ¨C and extras if you wanted!!! It was very unsettling and additionally that morning I¡¯d found out that the last language assistant ¨C Saint Ben as he has been named by me as he appears to do no wrong with the kids ¨C was actually using the school computer for access to THOSE WEB SITES ¨C can¡¯t say as already had one email blocked but you do know!! It was a bit of a shock hunting for yahoo and finding ¡..just general genitalia!!
When we came back from the brothel ¨C as you do ¨C there was a big crowd outside of school. Lots of singing and the most amazing Chinese instruments. I went round the back to have a good look at it all ¨C it was like a tent ¨C like a fair but tiny. Anyway, everyone was on the jo (vodka) and gave me a seat and cigarettes and peanuts and everyone was very jolly bar the old ladies at the front who looked miserable to me. Anyway next day I happened to mention this to the kids who told me it was a Chinese wake!! I have never gatecrashed a chinese wake. In fact I was really privileged cos this particular thing is very rare in urban areas and dying out in rurual areas too.
And on Saturday there was more singing and dancing. When we were dropped by a demented cab driver at the city wall we followed a crowd who were singing and dancing traditional Chinese folk songs (I think, frankly it could have been anything but they had red scarves and stuff and looked suitably communist). Then they haul us in and we have to dance (I apparently have ¡®good time¡¯!!!) and then horror we have to sing. Yes the fiddler player insisted ¨C What do you sing in china when you need to be accompanied? Frere Jacques, Happy Birthday and Jingle Bells!!! ¨C see my singing is now known worldwide. And later the evening was finished off by me being chatted up by a 26 year old who was very very cute and very very drunk!! Anyway that is most of my news ¨C I wont bore you with my domestic cleaning which is a major part of my day and the constant bells ¨C no not Notre Dame but those bloody school alarms from 6.30 am.
Love to everyone and stay in touch
lots and love sue xxxxxxxxxxxx