Sunday, 21 February 2010

Out of China at last

Needless to say you can't use blogs or Utube or Facebook in China and thus the silence.
I am back in Thailand visiting my son and my new grandson.

I have only been here one week and it's all flooded back - the long hours, the crying, the lack of sleep and you begin to wonder why people do it; then that gorgeous smile, the cooing, the progression through all the baby steps! Voila we are all hooked again. Richard has three adults running in circles for him. Does this impress him? No. Poor boy doesn't realise that this is the best time of his life. Never again will he be the centre of so much unadulterated attention.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Can't Believe It's Been So Long

I can't believe that it's almost a year since I posted anything.

I actually returned to Australia mid October 2008 with the idea of finding work near home as the isolation in Jeju was getting to me. I didn't have a solid social network and found myself spending way too much time reading or staring at the walls of my apartment. The odd dinner with my Korean friends turned out to be insufficient to maintain my equilibrium. Thus after ten ever increasingly long months I had enough. In hindsight going back to a place I had taught twice before was a mistake. The island of Jeju is very small and there was nothing left of any interest that I hadn't seen at least twice. So for sanity's sake I returned home. I thought I would be happy doing anything provided I was in my little house in Fernvale and even tried a stint at two or three different jobs in totally different streams of employment. Now almost 8 months later it would appear I am off overseas again. It does look like I don't know what I want doesn't it. You may well be right. I do love teaching ESL though and there is nothing within commutable distance for me here. So this time I am off to China near Guangzhou.

I will be back doing what I like to do best, preparing students for university entry. At this stage I'm only committed to two semesters so that I am not tied up for the full year if it turns out to be too unpalatable. The weather is definitely more to my liking than Jeju, as it is sub-tropical. Thailand was too humid for my taste, so hopefully Liujong, which is about one hour's bus drive north east of Guanzhou in Guangdong province, will be closer in climate to home. We shall see. I am due to start work mid July which would bring me home towards the end of Feb 2010. Let's hope teaching trip number 5 will be more enjoyable than trip 4. At least I will have a cousin and approximately 14 other English speaking colleagues on campus. This has to be a great leap forward to being totally isolated.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Extraction or Distraction

Is that mortal or moral decay you say?

Well it's been a bit of a nasty week with the much avoided trip to the dentist followed by a harrowing molar extraction. A totally new cultural experience. It would seem Korean dentists are not big on 'gentleness'. I felt my mouth had been invaded by some tantrum throwing two year old. Then we he started banging about my mouth with 'demolition equipment' I remembered all the reasons why I hate the dentist. I was pounded and ground to submission - all with a much used green face cloth on to hide my grimaces from the staff. Ten minutes later when I dared to look around I found the offending tooth in four pieces lying totally exhausted on the utensils table. I knew exactly how it felt and almost apologised to it until I remembered the months of pain it had caused me which had eventually brought us both to this bloody conclusion. It's pain was over. Mine however was only just beginning.
The dreaded 'dry socket' was the inevitable outcome... only because they don't seem to know how to treat it here and I can't buy any dry socket dressings at the chemist... tylenol is not really doing anything, neither is soju... I will be glad when the two weeks is over and my mouth will have healed... hopefully. Saline solutions etc are all I have to keep the area as clean as possible.

These only occur if you don't bleed like a stuck pig and thus have a nice thick blood clot to keep the air and whatever else wants to get into the gaping hole in your mouth and grind against the bone and nerve endings! Suffice it to say that it might be a while before I venture back though there are about four fillings needed... some how I think I'll opt for total knock out next time with a first class dental surgeon - if there is such a beast.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Aaaaaagh Nearly Half of 2008 Consumed

I can't believe it's nearly mid 2008 already. It took a comment from an old mentor to make me realise I hadn't even posted anything since Easter!

My teaching schedule is still heavy but bearable now that I have Sundays to myself.
Can't say I've done anything spectacular in my free time though as I managed to trip over on a raised drain hole in the middle of my street 3 Saturday nights ago and cut my right hand in 6 places - the one on my middle finger being over half an inch long and almost to the bone. In true Australian style I opted for self-doctoring and quietly bled my way to the bathroom sink, finally staunching the flow after a half an hour... very disappointing too as the blood was red not blue!

There was one small problem though. I had no first aid gear. Fortunately I was able to cut up a sterile white handkerchief and glued it all together with bright green ducting tape. Not the best look but effective nonetheless. Since then I have managed to find some fresh Aloe Vera leaf which I am using to reduce the scarring. Admittedly the middle finger will never look the same but I was never going to win a 'hand beauty' contest anyway.

Back to why I am really here... I am thoroughly enjoying teaching English in Jeju again. I like the hogwan situation best because of the variety of students I am able to teach from the very young beginners to adults who want to enter a Western university. It's very challenging and stimulating. I have to confess I haven't started my formal research as yet... just observing a lot and making copious mental notes. Because I was so dreadfully ill with chronic bronchial infections for the first four months here, I determined I would start piecing things together when I return from my R & R at the end of July.

I still think the project is worth the effort; just don't intend to kill myself in the process.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Easter for Vou Workster for Moi

I was so glad to find that the Easter Bunny finally got what was coming to the little sh.. especially as I have had to work Good Friday, Easter Sat... and will be working Sun and Mon... Okay, so it's just a mindset, but you'd be surprised how much you feel that the four-day break is a 'right of passage'. I shall very much enjoy posting when it's Chuseok though that is quite a hop away.

To all of my family and friends who are drinking, funning, sunning or just plain lounging around on this most holy occasion... GET TO CHURCH!

That's what the holiday is for!

Okay so enjoy your holiday anyway! (Moi am truly truly green!)