Transformation: 25th Oct Prompt

[Photo: Taken on Monday 24th Oct while sat wating for the bus heading to Dong Yuan at lunch time. Within 2 hours the weather transformed from this bright blue sky, to heavy dark and angry storm clouds that drenched the gardens.]

So this one is a few days behind. Transformation was the word prompt for October 25th. Today; the first day of me sitting down to attempt this post, laptop on knee, Tom Petty singing about losers and American girls, cuppa to my right, is October 27th. I used to do a “prompt a day” a couple of times a week when I started this blog, but, at that time I also had more spare quiet moments at my desk with not much to do. Things have changed. Things have…. Transformed. I’m sorry, that was cheesy, but I stand by it! A friend who is currently up to June in trawling their way through my long winded and self-absorbed posts mentioned that they miss when I used to “explain my idea of stuff”. Meaning, they liked the posts where I take this one word, the selected jumble of letters that WordPress presents us with each day, and run with it. Sometimes I run head strong in one focused direction, other times I may as well be trying to dodge bullets with the amount of zig-zagging and tumbling over myself I do while trying to explain my thoughts and feelings of the word. I noticed this word pop up in my inbox a couple of days ago and it’s been on my mind since. So here we go…

Transformation – 

  • a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance

  • a metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal

  • the induced or spontaneous change of one element into another by a nuclear process.

Shamefully, one of the first things that pings up into my mind when I read this word is not the incredible journey a caterpillar embarks on during its life. Nor is it the leg sprouting, tail loosing changes a wee little tadpole goes through to become the frog. No. My first thought was: #TransformationTuesday. It pains me to even admit that and see it here in my ever growing Word Document that I type my blog post drafts upon (currently at 74 pages; 40,000 words). Yep. A bloody hashtag about body changes, diet achievements, when puberty hit hard to a lesser than average looking kid etc. is what I think of when I read those 14 letters strung together. Maybe that’s an embarrassing and awful insight into my social media habits and slight addiction (which, I must admit, I’m slightly getting over). I recently posted a somewhat #TransformationTuesday post myself, except, it was on a Sunday. I’ll start by admitting how much I wasted a perfectly good weekend. Did I go out and explore my new surrounding some more? No. Did I go and Continue reading

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Working, wandering and the everyday…

[PHOTO: Guangzhou Tram line stations]

This week has been loooong. My Sunday started well, I managed to sleep until 9am (the latest lie-in I’ve had for a few weeks), I knew today was going to be productive, and someone on Facebook had shared a link to my favourite scene from the amazing, yet totally messed up, not suitable to watch with family, TV show, American Horror Story. This clip was from the 2nd season: The Asylum, watch it for yourself. . You don’t really need much context apart from the fact they’re in a mental asylum, the singer (Judy) used to be the nun who ran the joint, and the two other main characters, Kit and Lana, are totally sane (one of them just saw some aliens take his wife and baby, and poor Lana has just been locked up for being a lesbian and a reporter who snooped a little too much.)

Anyway, so after watching that clip, I was fully awake and in a good mood to take on the day. Sundays are supposed to be for relaxing and enjoying the weekend while drinking lots of tea. I don’t know anyone who actually manages to achieve this every week. Sundays usually turn out to be a day of house work, shopping and catching up on things you didn’t have time to do during the work week. I knew this was the fate of my Sunday but I didn’t mind.

Up I got and out I headed to the bus stop, Kobo e-reader in hand. (I’m reading NOS4A2 a book by  Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son. I wasn’t aware it was over 700 pages when I started it, but I’m really enjoying it so far!) It may be mid-October but my god; it’s still so hot here. We have days when the temperature drops to the mid-20’s with a breeze, but most of the time it’s still pushing 34`C. I waited for the bus and got off at Continue reading

Flattery: 10th Oct Prompt

[PICTURE: A sculpture in the Tingly Museum, Basel which is how I image us Country Garden teachers look like while waiting for the bus on a Monday morning….]

 Flattery – excessive and insincere praise, especially that given to further one’s own interests

Flattery is either something you’re comfortable with or not. I can’t remember a single time when I felt comfortable while someone said anything even remotely close to flattery and aimed it in my general direction.

Flattery is strange in China. Friends and co-workers from last year would sometimes make comments which they intended to be a compliment, but, somewhere from the Chinese to Western culture, the flattery was lost. For example; the Chinese typically do not like to tan. They hide away from the sun taking any opportunity to whip out their umbrellas and shield them from the suns evil glare. So when my friend, co-worker and fellow tea break skiver came back from a week in the Philippines earlier this year, proud of her slight colour change and burnt thighs (okay, maybe not so proud about the lobster legs but you get my drift), you can imagine her dismay when she was told; “Oh I thought you went to the Philippines? But you are still so white, you are still so pale, it is great!” Her heart sank and “tan” seemed to fade away instantly. It’s just a different standard of beauty and expectations right? Neither is right nor wrong, just a clash of cultural preferences.

Another example, involves myself. I mentioned in an earlier post that I somehow found myself drinking Chinese spirits celebrating Mr Chen’s 20th year at CG School. Well during this alcohol fuelled evening, poor Vivian spend most her time translating the comments and questions of Continue reading

5 Days off, 2 days out…

[Picture: as mentioned in a blog post way back in May/June, I collect things. All things. So, this is my mini collection of tickets and cards etc. from the past couple of days. Don’t they look pretty!!!]

How lucky am I? Shamefully, it’s only hit me today just how fortunate I really am. On Monday 3rd, I decided I wanted to go to Hong Kong to see Candice, Julie, Richard and Katie. Wednesday 5th, 11am, I was on the ferry at Shunde Dock on my way. How many people can say that within 5 days they can decide to go to HK, get tickets, get a ferry, be there for 2 nights, and be back home in their pj’s by Friday? Not too many (apart from the billions of Chinese people who do it every year…)

Country Garden School broke up for the holiday on Friday 30th September; a lot of the teachers had pre booked tickets to escape the crazy mad rush of holiday tourism over the Chinese break. Myself and my friends however, (Danielle, Kim, Kyle, Collin, Becky, Gabby and Cassie) had not done this at all. Each of us had our own reason for not planning a trip away; whether it be lack of money (yes us Worlda employees are STILL waiting for our first pay check, only 13 days to go…), lack of passport (visa changes etc…), or simply the fact they wanted to relax or explore the area we had all found ourselves dumped in. I spent Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mainly with Danielle hopping on busses, going to markets, ending up in various shopping malls, and just generally wandering around (somewhat aimlessly) working out the surrounding area. We headed to Guangzhou on Saturday and Tuesday, Saturday with 2 other Kindergarten guys, and Tuesday with Kim and her Dad who left pretty soon after we arrived. We ate some great food; hotpot, Muslim rice, Italian, questionable Chinese food and much more. Friday night we had a nice chilled evening at Kims watching the first half of the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring (I forgot just how bloody long those films were) with some pizza that Continue reading