Today I had a lot of lesson planning and test prep for F/Sa/Su so I only had my one class. This age group was my preschoolers and they were little angels. Well, a little angel to start off with. I only had one student for the first five minutes of class because none of the other students were on time due to some really bad traffic, and I have to say the only person more terrified than her of it being just the two of us was me. Half a dozen little kids I can deal with because I can wind them up with a game or a song and they feed off each other. Just the two of us and I felt like I was going to be devoured. Luckily a brother and sister showed up then another little girl so we had a nice little group and we all had a lot of fun. We reviewed vocabulary, simple stuff like animals and colors, then I introduced the verbs I/he/she hits and have. “Hits” was a riot, they really enjoyed running around and hitting stuff and yelling out proudly I hit a…she hit a…or running and claiming a prop, holding it over their head and proudly announcing to the world “I have a…” Just who wouldn’t be proud having a stuffed frog or a giraffe. They really were great.
Today was by far the smoggiest its been since I got here and the dirtiest air I’ve ever been around, I actually felt violated when I took a breath. I took some pictures of the surroundings but I want to wait to post them when I have pictures of a clear day to do a side-by-side comparison. Some buildings completely disappear and the sky is blotted out in a dull, noxious haze. The back of my throat was coated and itchy as though I had spent the evening in a dingy pool hall or had been smoking for years.
Across the street from me there is an open area that nightly features a syncretic mix of Tai-Chi, line dancing and light aerobics. People of all age groups and sexes, with noticably fewer men, perform movements in a large courtyard, and although there was no leader or instructor clear to me, everybody seemed to move in modest unison, coordinating specific movements and order.
I walk about everynight to pick up groceries for that evening and the next day, its become a bit of a ritual which allows me to say high to shop-keepers and get to know my neighborhood. A couple of the store owners have even taken to waving back and one fine gentleman, Wang-Whey, introduced himself and we are now on a first name basis. I’ve got plenty of time, so even the reluctant ones will be smiling and waving before they realize what hit them.
The store gave me a couple of good pics, starting with this fine favorite that my father would enjoy:
and these fish that hopefully won’t end up in anything I eat:
One thing that I certainly have noticed is that a lot of people eat the parts of fowl, whether duck or chicken, that just aren’t my favorites. All the parts I like, such as the breast or even a wing, are nowhere to be found. I think that they must end up in restaurants because they are hard to find, especially breast. Instead all I find are random, well, other parts.
This is a stall called The Duck Stop that sells all the parts of the duck I won’t eat:
Its a shame to because it is 3 meters away from a waffle stand, and the smell of crispy bird and sweet waffle is wonderful if only, but oh well.
I considered writing a post on Tiananmen, but I think I’ll save it because I plan on writing a lengthy essay on my one-month thoughts of Wuxi, China and the people and culture I have encountered. It’s important not only in and of itself but I woud like to fold it into a larger post dealing with some other aspects of Chinese society from my perspective.