I got out of bed at 9:30am, but I had been drifting in and out of sleep for a few hours before that. School starts at 7:30 and my bedroom faces into the courtyard where a bunch of kids were practicing on their rollerblades, so it was pretty noisy. I didn’t mind at all though because my body clock is completely off. I got out of bed a few times to watch them from the window, exposing only half of my face from behind the curtain because I wasn’t decent enough to be seen by any spying eyes. After a moment, I felt like a creep, so back to bed I went.
By the way, my bed is very large and very hard. It can double as a table. Surprisingly, it wasn’t half bad to sleep on.
Hot water only runs for a few hours in the evening. I came in too late to catch it last night, so I just washed my face and figured I’d be brave enough to take a cold shower this morning. Yeah, NOT. I was not brave enough. I washed only the essential parts because I smelled like two days of traveling, but left the majority of my body completely dry. The water was so cold it made my stomach cramp up. I will have one glorious shower tonight.
Before lunch, I met with the head English teacher of the kindergarten who introduced me to all of the kindergarten classes and teachers. The kids are just too cute. Some of them look like hell-raisers too, so I better be prepared. They say my name like it’s a magic word. “Kay-Tee!” Every single teacher I was introduced to told me that I am beautiful. That made me feel great, as you can imagine.
One of the items for lunch was boiled shrimp. They were still whole, eyes and all. I only noticed the eyes once I was eye-to-eye with my first victim. We were as close as the length of his antennae.
One of the other foreign teachers who started just a few weeks ago took me for an hour-long tour around the surrounding areas of the school. He showed me Foshan University, which is catty-corner to the school and a really nice place to hang out and meet students who are eager to speak English. We immediately met a small gaggle of girls who greeted us, told us their names, and offered to buy us lunch, all in the span of a minute. Too bad I had just eaten lunch.
The other teacher also showed me some good places to eat, including a noodle shop that is a favorite of the foreign teachers, the open-air markets, some parks, the way to downtown and the Daoist Ancestral Temple, and the street where one can find any number of skilled tailors. The whole way, people stared at us, fascinated by the sight to two foreigners. Every few minutes, we would pass a group of girls who would say ”HI!!!” with a tone of surprise and then giggle and run away. All I could do was giggle myself because I wasn’t used to being treated that way.
We passed a guy selling baby cacti, which reminded me that I want to start a little potted garden on my balcony. I didn’t bring any money with me, so the other teacher bought it for me as a house-warming gift. It cost 2 RMB. It’s a pretty standard looking cactus, but it’s about to bloom. I expect little purple flowers soon. I’m thinking about naming my little cactus. I’ll take a picture soon and post it up with the name so everyone can become acquainted.
Some of the most memorable images from today’s walk:
1. Fish guts in a bucket
2. A rooster on a leash
3. The security guards at the front gate of the school trying to learn how to twist balloon animals.