14.06.2008 - 21.06.2008
Our daughter and friend have been here this past week, when we and they were wined and dined by many of our favorite students. It has also been time to say goodbye to them as we are leaving in a few days. A couple of nights ago we had a royal send off from our combined evening classes. We went out to dinner at a "frog restaurant." Actually Nanette and I had been there before with some other students, but it is a very typical Chinese place, full of noisy locals, sitting around large tables with lazy susan's, eating huge amounts of food. The frog itself is quite tasty, served in a large bowl with tofu, sichuan peppercorns and spicy noodles and vegetables. And yes, it does taste a little like chicken. Normally, we would only order a bowl of this and cabbage on a burner, another spicy and popular dish. This time however, there were 14 of us, and Andy, who can afford it, insisted on paying for everyone, but also continued to order dish after dish of vegetables, fish, pork, tofu, you name it. Impossible to eat it all, there was a lot left over. Also a very Chinese thing to do. We consumed huge quantities of the localpijou, or beer, though at half the strength of the US brew, it didn't really effect me. Everyone took lots of pictures, except us I should say, as my camera was stolen at the beach a few days before. It really was an incredible feast, and then we went to KTV, which is a kind of karoake bar. Actually it's not really a bar per se. Everyone gets a separate room for their own party, and then drinks more beer while they sing along to smaltzy Chinese pop music. They do have some English rock, but it is all copies of the original stuff, probably made by Phillipinos. They seem to love karoake over here, so this too was a very typical Chinese experience. We all had a great time, and Nanette and I managed to wow them all with our 60's free form dancing. Our daughter was somewhat embarrassed at her parents making fools of themselves.
Last night was another fun evening with a few of the day students whom we have befriended. This time we went to a Korean barbicue, and then to a western style bar by the ocean where we listened to copies of familiar rock songs sung live by young Phillipinos. They managed a pretty fair Bob Marley, complete with Jamaican accent, but couldn't quite pull off Tina Turner.
Only four students showed up to take the exam in Nanette's class. In my advanced history exam two students cheated and I had to remove their papers. The head teacher tried to get me to change their grades though in the end it makes no difference. Some things never change.
Despite this, I will miss the incredible generosity and friendliness of many students, particularly Happy and Marjorie, and all three of my evening students, and I know there are many others that Nanette will miss as well. Natasha and Paige left today for Shanghai where we will also go briefly in two days, before heading for Yunnan.