Posts Tagged 'china'

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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Hong Kong: My City (2013)

My video project I’ve been working on…

Inspired by the photos my Grandad showed me from when he was here, through the James Bonds set here in the 1970s and retro YouTube videos of old Hong Kong.

Let me know what you think!

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….

“But where’s the giant inflatable turd??”

The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy with work and fun stuff happening. Danny had a great time while he was here, with a night out in LKF on Friday, before him ending his visit on Tuesday with a visit to Ozone Bar at the top of the ICC with Nat and me. Like I said in my last post, it was great to see an old Lonsdale mate all the way out here.

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We also had our first Departure meeting at work with the protocols of what to do now we’re a month away from leaving Hong Kong. Shit definitely is getting real now, but we all have some great plans for the next few weeks before May 31st.

On Saturday that week, Rich organised a Scavenger Hunt on the island, which was a good laugh going around everywhere on the island, despite being ridiculously hungover and slow-moving. The Thursday after that Nat made a huge pile of Spag Bol at hers for 10 of us in total, so massive respect for her sick kitchen skills. On Saturday Tony, Aids and I went to check out the M+ exhibition ‘Inflation’ at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. There was massive inflatables – a Roast Hog, pair of legs, a bug and Stonehenge bouncy castle with was probably the best bit. The giant inflatable turd was deflated that day, which is a bit shit, but still cool to see them.

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Saturday night we headed out to LKF again and one of the best nights for a long time – Jack’s place first for pre-drinks then spent the night with a lot of people. The night was made better by the fact that we were getting updates of the Newcastle-Liverpool match from the Brewhouse, always better hearing about a 6-0 victory when you’re high on life and out with your mates.

Sunday was a usual hangover day, made better by the massive Full English Jack made us round at his place! Again, massive thanks mate, you saved all of us from a pit of hungover despair…

So that leaves me with 5 full weeks here until I’m on a flight home to Manchester. Weird how fast the time has flown so definitely going to make the next few weeks count.

Lonsdale Fwwends

So we got back to Hong Kong from China at the start of April. A measly 2 days at work Monday-Tuesday was made much better by the fact that Jess and Zack, mates from uni, were coming to stay. I met them at the MTR on Tuesday night and we stayed up late to catch up over some beers.

On Wednesday, we headed to Happy Valley Racecourse with some beers, Jess and I had a few cheeky wins, while Zack’s horse ‘Zachary’ unfortunately didn’t win. We headed to Wan Chai afterwards and showed them Carnegies, where Jess samples the free Ladies’ Night Champagne. Thursday night they met me at Hung Hom and helped me out at PolyU for the English Society’s Big Mouth Corner. It was great to introduce them to some of the students I work with and let them find out more about China and uni life here. After, we let them check out Ladies’ Market, where Zack got nearly harassed by a woman trying to sell him a belt, while Jess got to haggle a Mulberry purse down from $250 to $60 (I think?). We went to Mr Wongs after, the usual great spread of food where the legend gave 4 of us all-you-can-eat for a total of $150!

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On Friday, after a busy day at work with our monthly event of a Superhero Fashion Show, we headed for a big night out in LKF. I let them sample the classic Char Sui Fan for dinner, while a game of Beer Pong and Pass the Dutch entertained us at Pre-Drinks. LKF was a great laugh that night, but was sad at the end to say goodbye to Jess and Zack who would be leaving early in the morning.

Saturday was spent nursing a hangover-headache but Sunday was much better – Jackson and I went around Sham Shui Po taking pictures in the afternoon. We got ourselves into some buildings, went on random rooftops and explored around Shep Kip Mei.

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On Monday, I had a Campus Swap with Nerys from Morrison Hill, which meant I spent the day with Ka-mun at their campus. Thought it was much better working in Wan Chai than Kwun Tong – loads of great places to eat at lunch, 7/11 next door for snacks, and definitely a lot less people stared at me as they’d be more used to seeing westerners there. We had a mint day, highlight being constructing a fort…

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Another highlight this week was a tweet from the famous Percy Stark in the morning saying he’s coming for lunch at our campus, so Holly and I finally got to try out a Canto-speaking place we always see but can’t go to without a native-speaker. That evening, we met up with my mate Danny Ovens from Lancaster, who’s in town fixing a machine for work (one of the best jobs ever?). We went to Tequila Jacks and had some beers and took advantage of the $10 tacos in Happy Hour, which was fun and good to talk about Lonsdale, Founders and Lancaster with so many people recently. I plan on letting him sample a LKF night on Friday too.

Beijing, Xi’an, Zhujiajiao and Shanghai

For the Easter break, Nat, Rich and I headed to China to do what was basically the ultra-tourist trip of the mainland. Figured we’re so close to China we might as well do it properly.

We did far too much to mention in this blog, so here are the Vlogs (Video Blogs, Mum, if you’re reading).  But the highlights included:

– Eating Peking Duck in Peking (Beijing).

– Seeing Tienanmen Square (site of the 1989 protests) and the Forbidden City.

– Seeing the Great Wall of China, getting some epic photos of it, going on the illegal, forbidden bit and definitely Tobogganing down it!

– Travelling on a Bullet Train to Xi’an at 300 km/h

– Seeing the Terracotta Warriors!

– Travelling on a Sleeper Train for 15 hours from Xi’an to Shanghai

– Seeing the Bund and Pedong in Shanghai (Bund is so much like Liverpool)

– Going up the Oriental Pearl Tower and seeing the magnificent views there

– Seeing the beautiful Zhujiajiao, known as the Venice of the East.

Here are the Vlogs:

Mancunians: On China:

Street Beijing:

Exploring Xi’an:

Shanghai Streets:

St Patrick’s Day in HK

Been a long week in HK this week. The week started OK, Monday morning blues aside. On Tuesday though I left work early and went to the Doctors, feeling faint, dizzy and nauseous. He (his name was Dr Buddy – I thought he’d be like Will Ferrell dressed as an Elf…) said it was Gastro-Flu, some bug that’s been going round, and gave me meds. Spending the equivalent of £55 for the Drs consultation and meds renewed my massive appreciation for the NHS. I was off work on Wednesday and Friday because of this (stupidly braved it on Thursday but that didn’t help).

On Wednesday night however, we had our Spring Ball at our campus.  Basically, everyone in Chatteris is encouraged to do a ‘Development Project’ – something unique that helps out the programme in different ways, so Holly and I repeated last year’s Spring Ball and wanted to improve it massively. Months of preparation, paperwork, reservations, sign ups, posters and $3000 on food/drink had gone into it, so no chance I was missing it. We had students from all other IVEs come to our campus too, and had over 60 kids there (a bid ask since it was 5:30-7:30pm). We did Ceilidh Dancing, Venetian Waltz and a Group Dance Off (massive thanks again to Molly, Jack and Mirella for helping lead these, and the 21 CNETs who came along to help us!).

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Luckily, I was near enough 100% better by mid-Saturday so got to get out the house a bit. We went round to Molly’s place that evening for a St Patrick’s Day/Emily and Gill’s birthday party. Not much to add apart from it was pretty sweet, had a great time, Sunday was a write-off. Most productive thing was putting some pants on and going to 7/11 for some chocolate. Lazy Sundays are the same in every country.

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