Hello Banana, Maybe Orange?

Teaching in the country was a moving experience and we returned to Yangshou with our batteries recharged, ready to give the town a second chance. As it turned out our hotel in Guilin was booked for the next four days, so we locked up our valuables, kept our hands on our wallets, and headed out…

Strange Bedfellows in Yangshou

While in theory the government here is supposed to fund education, there are still expenses to be borne by the parents, and few rural children can afford to attend beyond the 6th grade…. This in an admirable goal, and even more so, since Laurie is in his ’80’s!Through a miscommunication with the driver, we ended up at the top-performing school under VET-China’s jurisdiction, rather than the lowest, as Laurie had intended…. Tony’s English skills were limited, and Laurie explained that even the school’s English teacher cannot speak the language…. These are kids who rarely have clean clothes, regularly work in the fields, and have limited academic support at home, and they could blow away any American kid learning a second language.The Chinese teach by drill and memorization, so each time I said something the children would repeat it.

Top 6 Worst Things About Long Bus Rides

Now here’s the the worst 6 things about long bus rides.1.Try to you sit next to someone you don’t fight with, dosen’t smell, dosen’t make bad smells, and you can lay on. I found the last one out on the way back when I sat next to Kieran.2…. The oh so annoying old ladies and fat guy behind you that seems like all they can do is yell, snarl at you when you look back at them, and sleep for an hour or two while snoring like elephants.5. The co-driver who, of course like almost all of chinese residents, can’t o 15 minute without smoking, and does what seems like yelling and gives you 5 seconds to get your bags out of the bus.6. And finally, your little sister and brother who wake you up when you try to sleep and ask you questions and yell at you for not getting them something deeply wedged under your seat somewhere.

There’s Thieves in Them Thar’ Busses

After the rigors of our bus rides to and and from Jiuzhaigou (just say the word and Chinese people sigh), we didn’t feel we could handle two days and three train rides to get to Guilin in the southeast. So we committed the backpacker’s ultimate offense: we flew. It’s good we’re not really backpackers, although…

My First Chinese Haircut

Normally this is not a problem as she is the one who trims my hair and I can pretty much handle shaving, but we are currently clipper-less – we left ours in the van in Australia as it didn’t have a power converter to handle different voltage. I have been rather impressed with the effort the Chinese put into some of the service professions, like massaging feet so while on an errand to purchase food and or a few clothing articles, including a second undershirt for dax to go with previously white, now gray one, I got my haircut…. I don’t know if the story is true, a dream, or a cover up for someother way you normally get hepititis all I know is I am glad they changed the blade…. While not exactly the tissue paper for which I was looking, I made them work and I went of in search of food, socks and undershirts, a little less impressed with the service level in China.