Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sweating!


It's 2:00 PM and I am sweating sweating sweating, taking refuge in the cool, dark internet cafe with the rest of the town's teenagers playing their video games!! Rivers are pouring from me...I look at the others and they are perhaps a bit moist, but I am drowning and my hair is very curly! My favorite person in this Deqing group is the dancer from LA, Annie. She got me to sign up for a month at the large swimming pool down the street, and came to get me for my first swim this morning. That felt GOOD (she told me not to think about the "skin" particles floating in the water ("do you think they are washing their fish in here?") and is going to train me to do marathon swimming, supposedly). Then we took a long walk through the city and bought some interesting breakfast...rice wrapped in leaf packets- very tasty- and took a rickshaw ride. I still don't feel like I am in China. I wonder if it is because we are in an extension of Shanghai, which seemed a very modern European city. I have seen no spitting in the streets yet.

We both just laugh at our contact person, Sabrina (her American name). She does OK with English, but most of her answers include the word "maybe." Yesterday, she told us she would be leaving us today (Sunday). Then she was staying until Monday. Then just an hour ago she told us she would be with us all month. Same with the teaching schedule...we can't get a straight answer. This morning she told us not to swim because we were meeting with the headmaster in the morning. Then we were told to be back by 9. Then we were meeting him at 10. At ten,we were told 11:30. At 11:30, we walked to the school where we are famous and made our way through throngs of teenagers (yes, they go to school on Sunday...they have only Saturdays off as do we) giggling and pointing at us and some bravely saying an English "hello." We never met the headmaster, but were brought a lunch of egg drop soup, chicken and watermelon. At the end of lunch, Sabrina said, "OK, well, we will meet for dinner at 5:30." What? What about the headmaster? Where are our classes? How many students will we have and what are we supposed to teach? "You will do fine," she says, "Just introduce yourself!"

OK.

People here just stare and stare, nudge each other to look and whisper as we walk by. We are strange, very strange and I am tall, very tall.

Later, Annie and I are going to rent bikes and get a map of this city. If we get hurt, there is a hospital for women only right across the street, so we take comfort in that! Enjoy the non-humidity of wherever you are!

1 comment:

john patrick said...

ni hao, Marjie.

It's sunny and warm in Seattle! Highs in the mid 70s.

Take time to wash and rub your feet today!

In my family, the women bust out their hand held accordian fans to beat the heat. The fans are a collapsible fashion statement and a flamboyant prop for my melodramatic relatives.

So do the students stand and greet you when you enter the room? Laoshi hao!