Today marks the end of my year-long contract with the school, though technically speaking I’ve only been here for about eleven months and three weeks. Let’s call it time off for good behaviour.
The last few weeks have been pretty relaxed and even perhaps fun. For a short while it looked like I would be teaching something called “winter camp” which involved getting up at 7am every weekday morning to teach a class of 20 middle school kids who had been forced to give up their school holiday by their parents. That was fortunately canceled, though the money would’ve been nice.
There was a end-of-the-Chinese-year party last week, held in the function room of a fancy hotel. Every member of staff was there, except the TAs who don’t seem to count. After speeches, awards and dinner there were performances from all the different departments and branches. I joined the rest of my Chinese class on stage to read and sing some poetry, in Chinese. After the organised party was over we went out for drinks and snooker.
Recently I’ve been over John & Macro’s house quite a lot. Last friday I brought round civilization 4 and we started a game. Nearly a week later and the end is still not in sight. It’s as addictive as crack, and probably even worse for my health. A couple of days ago it looked like I was going to win, but a concerted effort by John & Macro to kill off my country has put paid to that. They have to move out at the weekend, so it must end soon whether it’s finished or not.
Off to get a new visa now. Two hours of waiting on a plastic chair. Should be utterly tedious.

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