Daily Archives: June 22, 2014

System? What System?

Aaaahhhhh the recruiting of students to Chinese schools. We told you in the last blog about the tests they write. Some more information for you.

  1. (Ed. note: Try to follow along!) Earlier this year the government announced that all students who wanted to write an entrance exam to get into an international school would do so on the same day, rather than one day for us, one day for another international, a third day for somewhere else and so on. This would eliminate the “shopping” which often goes on. This happened at the end of April. However, bizarrely, international schools were then able to schedule a 2nd sitting – which we had on Thursday and then a 3rd which occurred today. On Thursday we had 7 write and 4 pass and today 11 write and 7 pass. Two weeks ago we were told 16 kids of the original 60 who wrote had paid their fees and agreed to come. Today we were told that some had changed their minds and it was down to 12. However, the rest had until tomorrow  at 9 am to inform the government of their choice, so it could change. Tonight it is up to 27 – but by tomorrow morning who the hell knows – could be 20 or 40. Stay tuned.
The PLA - People's Liberation Army, aka Chinese Army

The PLA – People’s Liberation Army, aka Chinese Army

This is a scrabbled together set of paragraphs from an article in the China Daily. Three interesting points.

  1. Now, I know eyesight is important in the army and I know that glasses/contacts help people to see better but wouldn’t this cause some concern
  2. Don’t people usually get tattoos after they get in to the army – and what would constitute obscene or violent?
  3. Aren’t these reasons people get OUT of the army?

Yesterday we had rain like no other I have seen for awhile. It was torrential for at least an hour and then just really really heavy for a couple more hours. Terry spent her time marking final exams our students wrote on Friday (Ed. note: The ones which are in dispute and being marked by administrators in BC). I spent my time at the office, listening to the store next door setting off 15 minutes of fireworks in the torrential downpour to celebrate an opening and ward off evil spirits. It was also entertaining to watch the women in mini mini skirts, 6″ heels and under 24″ umbrellas trying not to get wet from the rain coming in at 45 degrees. TIC

And what does one do on a rainy Saturday morning? One goes in to the back of McDonalds and sets up a Rubik’s Cube contest for kids and adults.

Lots of different shapes and puzzles.

1980s anyone? Lots of different shapes and puzzles.

(Ed. note: the following two anecdotes are from a very busy Terry – enjoy.)

I have had a few TIC moments lately, not the least of which occurred on the way home. I was walking into our complex when I happened to look backwards (to check to see if anyone was about to run me over. Imagine) and noticed that the car approaching the curved corner had a left turn signal on and was driving slow enough to make the drivers behind him crazy. “New driver,” I thought, in a very Canadian way. I glanced back again as I was crossing our drive-way and saw that he was slowing down to make a U-turn! This, in rush hour, in the middle of a blind corner for drivers coming the opposite way, with 3 drivers behind him jockeying for position to cut the corner and drive into the on-coming (blind) lane. Good grief! The only thing I do not understand is how I have managed to avoid seeing absolute carnage on the roads on a regular basis—or at all, for that matter. True, we have seen numerous motorcycles on their sides, having lost the battle with speeding cars, but never have we seen people seriously maimed and vehicles destroyed as, trust me, they deserve to be! TIC! Insanity prevails!

Yesterday, another poignant moment as I was leaving the mall. Walmart ( where I went for cleaning supplies and some plonk for Geofffy), is located on the basement floor of the mall and entry entails a walk down about 25 stairs. It was the weekend so one display or another had sound blaring out. As I walking up the stairs, I was sure I heard Burton Cummings singing, “Break it to Them Gently” and I was stricken by a serious bout of nostalgia. Yes, I confess, I am a huge Burton fan—love his tunes! Just as I was about to be reduced to tears, I realized that it was merely a Chinese crooner doing a typical sappy number, not even a cover. My mind was playing tricks on me—home sick, I think. But could it have been Burton Cummings in Jiaxing? Yes! Absolutely! TIC!

The Shoe Blog

Last night we went out to Teppanyaki Francais – our new favourite restaurant. Just as we were leaving I saw a young lady sitting at a table with a group of guys. Terry said that the entire time we had been there – about an hour – the girl had been on her phone, paying no attention whatsoever to her table mates. I spotted these shoes and went over to ask for the photo op. The guys she was with basically said, no problem. Apparently, according to Terry, as I was taking the photos, she was demonstrating a significant lack of happiness at the photography going on. Oh well.

These beauties were a full 6 inch heel. I wonder why she didn't want they on the blog?

These beauties were a full 6 inch heel. I wonder why she didn’t want them on the blog?