V’s been reading my old blogs from my days in Prague and asked me why I don’t write about my life any more. I said that it wasn’t that interesting, and that as I bored myself writing about it, I dread to think what anyone else will make of it. She disagreed. The upshot of all this is that I’m going to try to write a full record of this week, and see if it’s in any way readable or interesting. Please let me know what you think, usually-non-commenting page-hit-people.
After another relatively peaceful night’s sleep I go downstairs with M, and leave V to catch up with her sleep. Last night I was able to find some crunchy cereal in the supermarket, so I have a better breakfast than usual. Then there’s the usual hour of Mandarin, and as V wakes up and goes out to the market I get ready to go to work.
Saturday is traditionally my busiest day, but as I’m winding down my hours now it’s looking more and more depleted. Classes that I invented have been handed over to other teachers. This is fair enough – I like to know that I’ve left my mark at least a little. I take the bus to the school, bumping into M, V and her mother on the way to the stop. It’s a quick journey there, but unfortunate that I have always been scheduled classes at 1pm and so have to have lunch outside. Previously there were plenty of options, but since the shopping centre housing the school closed for remodelling all the restaurants have closed. Last to go was Costa Coffee. Faced with Subway, barbecue or Starbucks I reluctantly have an expensive sandwich in Starbucks, and get to class.
It’s probably my last time teaching these students, but I don’t tell them. It’s too easy to build up an ego just by doing a competent job, and even if I’m missed I’ll be forgotten within a couple of weeks. I trot out my “crime” English corner, then there are two course-ware review classes and a student presentation to film and grade. It’s all actually quite a lot of fun, and I’d happily continue doing this work, if it weren’t too much of a dead end. It seems strange to have less than four hours on a Saturday, but it lets me get home in time to have dinner with everyone else.
The subway is strangely busy for a Saturday, then the bus is strangely empty. At home V’s parents are collaborating on cooking a feast, and they’ve really surpassed themselves this time. V’s sister joins us for the meal, and brings round the dog, who we haven’t seen since last weekend.
In the evening we hang out with M for a while, trying to get him interested in the baby books people have bought him. He’s getting used to the idea of turning pages, and can just about point at things, but he’s still mainly interested in throwing the book across the room. After a while he goes to sleep, and we can watch some more of the BBC documentary series. For some reason V is much more interested in British history, architecture and landscapes than she is in Chinese ones, so we have to pause a lot for questions.
It’s Saturday evening, so I go through the usual ritual of trying to get the live premier league streaming to work, before giving up and just following the live feed on the BBC and Guardian websites. I’ve also set myself a large music-based task (more on this in the next few weeks) so work is needed on that too.