Two months passed.
The air has become cooler but not so cold. These days we have fine weather and mostly good days. Both my students and I are getting used to the way of our classes, and they have gone well so far. Now I know some important places for living and how to get to there. Subway directions are familiar and I can say which bus goes to where and how to ride one. Life here is easy but it is quite different from the way of your home country.
1) You should be very careful when you buy something.
I bought a DVD player last week at Carrefour which is a big French supermarket.It didn’t work well and I had to exchange it. I did sort everything out with my sweet students help. They all say, when you buy electronics, you have to check every single function with the power on in the shop before you go to cashier. They also say, when you buy clothes, you have to check the front and back and the inside and outside and every other possible place. Okay, so basically you have to inspect everything in a quite strict manner and that’s their common way to buy things here. Be fussy about every detail of what you buy so that you will become a proper shopper in China!
2) Everything happens at the very last moment.
Today, it’s Wednesday, I got a call from my student around 5PM and he asked me to ask other teachers about what’s going on in his classes as he heard that they might have a field day on this Friday. So I did and found out they will have a field day and no classes on this Friday! I’ve never heard of a field day. When and who was supposed to inform me? The head of the Japanese Department said that she knew that today too and I would get the news from the chief by email probably tomorrow. It’s Thursday! Well, all of sudden the day after tomorrow, I don’t have classes. Okay. No wonder they didn’t have even a school calendar last year in this university. So you can’t make plans and organize as well as your home country. This is the way they do things. Any information about meetings, events and work matters come in a short time notice. If you like to have surprises constantly, come over here to work and we will have fun together!
3) You might need to be a little nosy?!
People here are very nice and kind but somehow there is little interaction between us. It’s not like they are unfriendly but it seems there are less eager to communicate and have mutual understanding. Last month we had a meeting, including all foreign teachers in our department for the very first time in the history of this unversity. This is partly because they treat us as “guests” and it’s lovely, but on the other hand, foreign teachers are often left in an information dessert. One of my neighbors guesses, they are “foreigntigue”. He made up this word, and which means people here are sort of tired of having communication with foreigners because they come and go every one or two years. If you have a nice friendship with them, then you will have a sadder farewell at the end. Isn’t it a very reasonable reason for them?
However, I’ve been here for two months as I mentioned and my poor contact teacher must be very tired of my many (and sometimes very weird) questions, that’s for sure!
| | 2006年11月03日（Fri）21:53 [EDIT]