In Canada Terry was well known, but only among her close friends and associates. True, she was featured on the evening news after spending a day on the roof of Moody Middle. Granted, her school newsletters had a wide readership, but to be fair, it was local.
In China, however, after just a little over two months she has become somewhat of a celebrity. Perhaps it is due to her professional acumen. Perhaps it is due to her beauty, which is frequently commented on. Perhaps it is due to her height – also frequently commented on. Perhaps it is due to her large feet, which often draw long, but not necessarily admiring, gazes. Perhaps due to her slender figure or the way she dresses to go to school – other female teachers frequently tell Daisy (but never Terry directly), a colleague, how good she looks. Be that as it may, in the past week she has been featured not once but twice in the newspaper. This, despite the big story in China being supposedly about the 18th Chinese Congress and the election of Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, who will lead China for the next ten years. (Eat your heart out Christy).
The first photo was taken at the previously mentioned The 6th Jiaxing (China) International Cartoon Biennale & the 1st Cartoon Festival. The caption mentions a foreign dignitary. Really, it is Terry and David Gao, our main liaison teacher, examining one of the cartoons being displayed at the festival.
The second photo is of Terry addressing the parents at the “Meet the Teacher” afternoon. Bear in mind that the parents had been sitting for about an hour already, listening to speeches and it was hot and sticky in that room. Despite that, look at the rapt attention on the parents’ and students’ faces. They weren’t about to miss a word. (Oh, you can’t see their faces? Well, trust me, they were rapt.)
Now, if she can get this kind and amount of press in the first two months, I think there is a very good chance she will be the bigger than Tian Zhen or dare I say it, even Cui Jian before we leave, don’t you?
Now, on to some much more mundane issues.
I have been thinking the perception in the west that the Chinese people are kept in check by the police and army. Trust me, if you saw the police and army that I see on a daily basis around Jiaxing you would realize that nothing could be further from the truth. These guys (yet to see a female) walk around in groups of four or six, usually 2 “SWAT” and 2 army. They couldn’t march in step if they tried. They don’t carry guns, just batons. They look more intimidated or uncomfortable than anything. I think the only reason Chinese people behave themselves, is because they want to – they don’t want trouble any more than the people of Vancouver do. I mean, really, when you see two SWAT members on one scooter, how can you be worried about them. On the other hand, don’t mess with the guards of the vans delivering money to the ATMs. I’m not exactly sure what a sub-machine gun looks like, but I think that that’s what they had along with black-visored helmets. (Except, of course, for the 16 year old in training who just got a baton and a baseball hat.)
As you know, we had a Halloween party a couple of weeks ago. I took the photos and combined about 25 of them in to one large Photoshop document, 40 inches by 40 inches and took it to get printed. Now I don’t even think I would try that at home due to the cost, (Apparently London Drugs is about $70 for the first one) but here, I got 5 for a total of 90 yuan – $15.00 – and they were ready the next day. I started to upload it so that you could view my expertise, but after 30 minutes it is only 23% uploaded – so forget it, you will have to do with this.
(Ed. note: Despite how it looks, I have lost 18.48 pounds from the day I got on the scale at the airport! I think the reason I look largish is just in comparison to my Princess.)
This weekend Terry’s new toy arrives and boy is she getting excited! Just this morning she was saying how it is likely it is a week too late (I disagree – I told her it is never too late). I will post photos on Saturday afternoon our time, so be sure to check the blog Friday night (if you have no life like us) or when you get up Saturday morning. (Noon Saturday our time = 8 pm Friday Vancouver time)