China Diaries: I’m Sorry, but Where Did This Year Go?

10th December – 22nd December 2019

It’s been two weeks since the disastrous lesson and things seem to have settled down. Class 18 have been won over with point systems and stickers and I had a really successful week teaching weather this past week. In all the last two weeks have been perfectly uneventful, which will probably make this quite a boring read!

I studied at Art School for four years…
Dressed for all weather!

Something I never thought I’d be doing when I arrived in China two years ago was evaluating other teachers performances, but that is exactly what I have to do every Wednesday afternoon in the Primary School English department meeting. As of last week I am officially grade one’s representative! The meeting has three stages; first one of the primary school teachers gives an open class while everyone else watches, then we split off into out grades and talk about the lesson with our given focal point (each grade is given a different element of the lesson to focus on in the feedback), the final stage has one teacher from each grade get up on stage to give feedback about the lesson. The first time I did this I was so nervous, which really surprised me because I wasn’t the one being judged! I think it was a little bit of imposter syndrome as even though I’ve been teaching English for two years now I know there are teachers in that auditorium that have been teaching at Sanxin for at least ten years.

I can’t quite believe that December has come around so quickly, I feel like it was only last week I was on my way up to Harbin to celebrate New Year and see the famous Ice Festival but nope, it was a whole year ago! Sometimes the sunshine in the South of China makes you forget what time of year it is and as a result I head into “Christmas Week” kind of forgetting that it is Christmas time! As luck would have it the weather has decided to take a drastic turn and a foggy cold snap has settled over Sanxiang town just in time to get me into the Christmas spirit! I made a conscious effort this weekend to go out and do Christmassy things because otherwise I think the holiday might have passed me by without even thinking about it. I spent Saturday in Zhongshan with my friend doing a little Christmas shopping and I got a Christmassy themed manicure which I’m very happy with! On Sunday I went to see the new Star Wars in the cinema and that is about as close to Christmas movie as you are going to get in China.

Got to love a Christmas photobooth!
In LOVE with my Christmas nails!!

On Sunday evening I was invited out to Zhuhai to watch a firework display,  to be honest I was expecting to be down by the river bank looking up at the fireworks and home by 10:30pm. As with anything in China I should have known that this plan would not followed through with… We arrived in Zhuhai two hours early for the display, the display was actually happening in Macau but we would be watching it from the top of a block of flats so we didn’t have to leave China. It was unfortunately a bit foggy so even though we were on the 28th floor, plus three levels because the apartment we were in was a three story penthouse owned by my friend’s husband’s property company, we didn’t have the best view of the fireworks. The view of Zhuhai was pretty amazing though! When the display ended we thought we were going home but the men decided they need barbeque and so we drove for what felt like hours trying to get to the restaurant because half of the roads were closed for the firework display! We eventually arrived back in Sanxiang at midnight and I spent the next hour trying to finish my lesson plan before I went to sleep!!

View of Zhuhai.
The only good picture of the fireworks I managed to get!

I will be working on Christmas day for the first time in my life this year and I am not sure how I feel about it. It’s going to be really strange but I have made plans for the evening with wine and Christmas movies, so at least there will be a little celebration. I have just finished reading “Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas” and I have to say it has certainly helped me put my Christmas Day into perspective. If you haven’t heard of it already it is a an ex-doctor’s memoir of his time as a Junior Doctor in the U.K. and all the stories included in this volume are from around the festive season. I highly recommend giving it a read over the holidays and it would make a great Christmas present for any last minute shoppers out there.

All I can do now is hope that my tiny little Christmas Tree makes it to Christmas day… Storm has been determined to sabotage it since I put it up!


For more of my China adventures click one of these:

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Allana Hardie

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