Monday, March 9, 2009

School's back! Cough, cough, Coffee!

Today we had a meeting for all of the foreign students at the University. It was my 4th or 5th one of these, I can't quite remember clearly. It involves us listening to a speech in Chinese and someone translating that speech into English. The English translator, a wonderful local lady we've known for quite sometime, was off from her job in the office for almost a year, so her English is a little rusty. The speech is usually a bunch of do's and don'ts. Here are some of the highlights:

1. "Teachers and students leaving class early or talking on their cell phones during class will be punished." (I think that something is lost in the translation here. I imagine that they are trying to crack down on this kind of behavior, but 'punish' seems too strong of a word. Rest assured that I will not be testing them on that one.) "No cell phone? Okay, got it!"

2. "Except for Chinese, we will also offer calligraphy, culture, and other classes." (Once again, 'except' doesn't really work that well in this situation. There WILL BE Chinese classes.)

3. No talking about things you shouldn't be talking about. (I understand that one. I don't talk that much anyways.)

4. People on student visas may not work at teaching English or in the factories. (Which factories?)

Those are the highlights. It's usually a pretty entertaining time.

In other news, I met a guy today who is planning on opening a coffee shop somewhere on the other side of town. This is good since the 2 existing coffee shops are downtown and the other side of town is probably teeming with coffee enthusiasts. Still no Starbucks... amen. It is fun watching all of these people try to open something here in this city of 1.5 million before Starbucks gets here. My guess would be that within 5 years they break down the door and start brewing their perverted devil's drink. So, so tasty perverted devil's drink, that is.

The weather is warming up nicely. I can smell the Spring season wandering through my window as we speak. Kind of like leaves and baked bread. We've spent time playing outside the last few days.


Anonymous said...

You can work at my factory. Most factories only survive because of the cheap foreign student labor so readily available in China. Some call it oppression. I say, if you come to China to study Chinese and end up working in a factory, good on ya. And good on the factory that is oppressing you. Its one of the few genuinely "win, win" circumstances in the world today.

And when Starbucks comes, we are going to KILL them. They won't know what hit them. They have NO IDEA what is waiting for them. Starbucks will DIE in Qinghai.

That other guy opening the shop on the other side of town. Fuggetaboutit. It ain't happening on my watch.

Brett Gee 英 明 said...

Interesting insight...

Who are you?!

Anonymous said...

they call me... Uncle Wang