Posts Tagged 'Chatteris'

My Last Post

Just before Adrian and I headed to Vietnam, our time with Chatteris came to an end.

The Saturday before (25th May) we had our last Junk Boat with the Chatteris lot. Despite the early rain, it was a really great day messing around in the South China Sea, drinking gin and genuiniely being an idiot.

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Thursday 30th May was our last day on campus – a Shanghainese Dim Sum lunch with colleagues, as well as a ton of photos with students and staff and receiving gifts. Was a good day, and especially good as all the staff were thanking us for our positive contribution to the English learning environment throughout the year.

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Friday 31st May was our last day with Chatteris. Getting gratuity and bonus money was a win, while photos, award ceremonies and speeches all brought our time to an end. An all-you-can-eat buffet at the Royal Plaza was amazing that afternoon, and everyone loved the Yearbook our Yearbook Committee had put together, especially the Signing Pages during the buffet! We took it chilled and had a memorable last evenings drinks at Red Bar with everyone before we all left to do our separate things.

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So that’s it – 10 months of living and working in Hong Kong finally comes to an end with Chatteris. From the first buzz of reading the e-mail that they’d accepted me, on a hungover Saturday morning in April, to pigging out at an all-you-can-eat restaurant 13 months later, it’s been a blast.

I’m lucky enough to be heading back there in August for Round 2, teaching Primary and Kindergarten children, which will be a lot different to what I’m used to but hopefully more fun. I won’t be keeping the blog up as much next year I don’t think, mainly because the novelty is definitely over now – I feel like a proper Hong Konger now.

Big shout out to everyone who had read this blog or kept up with it over the year. Jack W and Ka-mun deserve a mention for constantly telling me they’ve read it, as have a load of my best mates from Lonsdale/Uni.

At last count, I’ve had a total of 3,500 views, with 101 people reading it on a single day at one point. I’ve had people reading from mainly HK, UK, US, Canada, Singapore and Australia, and most weirdly from Guam, the UAE, Afghanistan, Oman and Moldova. Only had 1 view from China in total, which figures with their censorship laws. But thanks to everyone who has read about how mainly we go out and get smashed at weekends and have the time of our lives in Hong Kong. Cheers!

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Prom-ice and Gromit

So recently work’s become more and more hard-work. I told our boss on 1 May that I couldn’t believe how fast the year has gone and that I’ll be going home to the UK on 29th. Her reply was ‘Yes, but lots to do before then’. Shit on my parade, eh love? I know they’re gonna milk us as a resource for as much as they can before we leave. And I’m not wrong, had a few times this week asking us to do an event, Info Day preparation, EAT Party, EAT Farewell Party with Chatteris, Promotion Video filming, and lots of extra workshops. They’re definitely getting their money’s worth. Despite knowing that the last 3 weeks here will be nothing like the last 3 weeks were at Primary School, or at Uni, the sun’s really bloody hot these days and we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

On Tuesday 31st, we had a surprise half day birthday surprise for Jade round at the MAJJ Party Palace. Aaron had organised a Jade-Olympics which saw our team of Tone, Aids, Jack and me win at cups, beer pong and win a striptease; before we ended up in LKF. A great night made better that the 1 May Bank Holiday was taken on the Wednesday so no work!!  The rest of that week was taken up with workshops, modelling for a student’s fashion presentation (in which they said I’d put on weight since last time, cheers guys) and doing the Chatteris Yearbook with Jade (which is looking excellent now thanks to everyone who’s contributed).

Friday night was a quiet one round our new local pub, the Chaffee Brandish with Tone, Aids and Flintoff. We asked the owner where the name was from (it has a picture of a warship) and he just said ‘Is American Ship’. Google had nothing, only that ‘Chaffee’ was an American Naval Lieutenant and a type of tank named after him used in WW2 and a few post-war conflicts like Korea and Algeria. Definitely some sort of dodgy tax-avoidance thing going on. But pints were 4 for the price of 3 and some family next to us bought us shots so not all bad.

Saturday 4th was the long-awaited Chatteris Prom. Down in Sheung Wan, at a place called Les Boules, it was ‘Shanghai Nights’ themed and the open bar was a real open bar with every drink up for grabs, not just a selective list. We had a great time there, with massive thanks to Nat Belbin and Ian and everyone for organising it. Can’t remember much, but the photos from the photo booth show it was sick. Even got a waistcoat for the occasion, and little dicky bow…
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Work’s then been pretty standard this week. On Tuesday we had our Extreme Travel Party where kids had to design a trip to Everest/Amazon/Ocean Floor or Space. They mostly understood but a few thought UK was IN Australia while others thought Hawaii was in India. One kid didn’t even know they spoke Spanish in Spain. I swear this organisation needs to spend less money on computer programmes or Chinese DVDs that no one watches, and buy the kids some bloody atlases. I’m also doing a workshop on Spanish which I’m so shit at – my pronunciation is so bad my colleague had to help me, as did Google Translate. But it’s a lot of fun with the language workshops cos the kids like to respond more.

Anyway, I’m off to play footy tonight which will probably be out last game, at probably the best venue – Happy Valley. We’re hoping for a second win of the season which I’m sure we all hope for, but should be a laugh anyway!

Also 12 days left of work, 4 weeks until I’m back home. Start doing a big shop please Mum….

Birds, Cam3ls & Fleas

This week has been another corker in HK. We had a usual sort of week at work. I’ve started March workshops on Greek Myths and Switzerland, which the kids love. Also had a more boring vocabulary/grammar workshop to prepare the kids for their upcoming exams but nothing too difficult. We’re still having big preparations for our highlight event of the year – Spring Ball. We have spent around $3000 on food and drink for it (almost £300) on Friday, and went for a massive Dim Sum with Joanne (our mentor). Still trying to learn some of the dishes but I’m still at the stage of ‘That white thing with prawn in it’ or ‘That one that’s like sausage roll but with BBQ pork in it’.

 

On Friday night we headed to Sandy and Erin’s place for some drinks before Red Bar to meet a few others and LKF afterwards. Can’t remember everywhere we went to that night but the African Bar had a good vibe to it, even if the drinks were expensive. Getting in at nearly 5am showed it was a sick night though. Met a cool guy Fabian, Angela’s friend from Boracay. Obviously my alcohol-fuelled self thinks he speaks fluent German, but Fabian was a good sport with it.

 

On Saturday we took a very chilled day. Adrian and I ended up on one of our camera walks to wherever we ended up. We headed to the Bird Market in Mong Kok, had a drink from Pacific Coffee Company and found a new market on Fa Yuen Street that we hadn’t been to yet. The weather was gorgeous recently, hitting 27 degrees on Sunday. The shorts and flip flops are back out, jeans back in the suitcase for now. On Saturday night we headed to Jack’s Cam3l Bar at his flat. A great house party despite stopping feeling ridiculously hungover only a few hours previously.

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On Sunday then we had the Chatteris Flea Market in Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui. Tony, Ka-Mun and I were pretty lucky to have the promotion job, walking around, giving out balloons and flyers to families and kids. Highlight definitely was Tony being swarmed by kids outside a playground, them all wanting balloons.

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A proper nice day, Jack W and Adrian playing tunes on the guitar, all my mates were there: pretty damn sweet. To top it off, Adrian and I headed to Cocky Bar on the 18th Floor of The One in TST to meet Maddie and Ellie for a few beers. Bloody fantastic views up there, and we caught it at the right time to see the sunset and the island begin lighting up. Reminded us so much of how lucky we are to be here, how fantastic this place is and how it’s gonna be a long time before we leave indefinitely. Mostly, it hit home how much Hong Kong is definitely our home now.

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The UntouchableLad

The past couple weeks have been pretty eventful. Work’s been slowly getting busier with kids getting back into the swing of things after post-Christmas exams. We had a big English Ambassador Day Camp at Ma On Shan on Saturday 2nd February – bit out in the sticks but since everywhere is so well-connected it was only about half a hour away from our gaff.

These kids are those with high level English, love to get involved and leave with photos, phone numbers and Facebook requests with/for all us gweilo PCs. I led one of the activities with Nicole where they had to work as a team to make shapes and act out scenarios while being creative. They had drama performances, we played footy at lunch, other team-building and English speaking games etc, so was a great day. Here’s a video from Chatteris, and a photo of me, my colleague Holly and 4 of our students from KT who came to the Day Camp.

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On Sunday I spent the day with Nat, at the Museum of Costal Defence. Sounds like the worst possible thing to do at any time, never mind on a Sunday afternoon, but was pretty interesting. The guns and cannons there were mint. Boys and Toys. And it was funny to see the usual Hong Kong thing of having a hundred security guards stationed every couple of yards, in case it all kicks off. You’d think you were at a Millwall home game or at an Athens austerity measures protest with the amount of ‘security’. Having so many people doing the job that 2 or 3 could easily do is weird, but I suppose it gives some people employment and looks impressive on the front (how things look and presentation being another big HK feature).

 

On Tuesday Nat and I went to see Cloud Atlas at the cinema, which was pretty good. And got to check out the Olympic City shopping mall place where it is – reminded me a lot of Trafford Centre but smaller. In fact you could probably believe you were at the Trafford Centre with H&M, Marks and Spencer and The Body Shop all next to each other there. Anyway, the film was decent and cheaper than other cinemas at only $65 a ticket.

 

On Wednesday Adrian and I went to Happy Valley, and met up with a few of the other CNETs there and saw Steph C for her birthday. I bet around $160 in total and got a winner and a 3rd place. My fav, The UntouchableLad didn’t live up to his name though and only came in 4th. Odds were so low on the ones I won on, I got hilariously pathetic $9 profit from one and $4 on the other (we’re talking 80p and 30p). But like my Granddad, I was appreciating the game and fun of it, not there to make millions. Although millions would have been nice….

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One last thing, it’s getting hotter and more humid here already. There’s been a few days the jacket’s come off – the EAT Day Camp particularly. Not the sweltering paradise I arrived to in August but when I see the snow and ice at home, it is one good thing to enjoy here. Gloves and scarf were a bad investment.

Last week before Christmas

On Tuesday, we had the Pantomime in Kwun Tong. Got to say, after 10 practises and hours of graft, it came together perfectly. Was really chuffed with how it went, must have been funny to watch and can’t wait to see the video. Below is a photo of the whole Chatteris gang there. Classic ‘To the Pub!’ pose…

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On Wednesday we had a chilled day at work again, played some piano that had been left in the CILL and watched Emperor’s New Groove. And got paid for this. Life is sweet. Thursday was similar but this time with Indiana Jones. Life is still sweet. Thursday and Friday were again, chilled and pretty similar to the previous days but we went out for a curry on Friday with the staff and left at 15:00 to start the holidays! We went to a bar near our place called ‘Oasis’. They NEED one of these in Manchester, was a great place to have a chill and a drink…
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Then we went round to Molly, Jade, Jayde and Aaron’s flat for drinks with the rest of the CNETs who were still in Hong Kong, then called at Jack and Rich’s place after. Was a great night for seeing people and have some drinks. Saturday was out last day before heading to the Philippines on Sunday, so we spent it buying last minute things ready for our holiday away for Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone wherever you are!