Week Nine: 2017.11.12

I sold my soul for an IKEA dish drainer…

At least that’s what it felt like last night at 8:30 while I sat exhausted after teaching a lively group of 7-9 year olds.

The woman I mentioned previously, A, the teacher who took me to dinner in October and to the caves last weekend,  asked me to teach a class for her on Friday evening. I had declined last month, and since I went to Hong Kong, I couldn’t anyway. But she asked again this week, and said she’d be out of town in Guangzhou all weekend.

I had seen an IKEA when I was in Guangzhou two weeks ago. And I have been dreaming of their little BESTAENDE two tier dish rack since then. My little galley kitchen doesn’t have much room, and right now I lay down a small towel and put the dishes on it to dry. Not very efficient, as the towel tends to keep the moisture from dissipating. It also stays damp between washings, and just doesn’t seem entirely sanitary.

Sooo, I asked her if she’d be able to stop by IKEA for me, and she agreed. Thus, I found myself with ten little wild children all sugared up from the candy dish in the waiting area (where their parents sit while the kids are bouncing off the classroom walls). At least they were enthusiastic, which I’m not sure my regular students are sometimes.


I got my heath insurance card this week along with a small booklet of instructions. I’m glad because I’ve had a couple of lingering cold sores and I think I might need antibiotic or antiviral prescription meds to get rid of them. The pharmacist recommended a couple of things that helped, but didn’t entirely stop them. I’ve never had cold sores before and it’s just awful.


This week was the start of Midterms. I had to hurry to write the exams by last Friday since I’d been in Hong Kong. Then I waited til mid week to give the exams so that we could review the vocabulary on Monday and Tuesday. And of course the class schedule got rearranged so I had to give a final on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. But the students did pretty well, though all the stress made it a long week.

So teaching on Friday evening really was not in my plans. But, I’m getting a dish rack so it’s all good.


The other thing that happened this week was (surprise!) learning that there was a big event on campus on Saturday. My students mentioned it in class on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday morning I received a texted invitation. And I had already agreed to teach Friday evening. Sigh.

I got home last night around 9pm and went to bed by 10pm but it sure didn’t feel like enough time to sleep when the alarm went off this morning at 7am. The Liuzhou High School 110th Anniversary Celebration was supposed to start at 8:30 at the other end of campus, so I needed to leave at 8am to get there with enough time to find my seat.

Of course I hadn’t had time to do laundry (or more importantly, hike to the store to get more detergent), so I had to choose from my remaining clean clothes to try to look ‘dressed up’ (which I had only been told to do yesterday). *

I wore black pants and a nicer shirt than I usually wear to work, along with my microsuede jacket since it was cool and cloudy, though it warmed up and got sunny later.

Of course there were a couple of long speeches, and a student spoke as well. Bouquets of flowers were presented to various groups, including the oldest alumni present. But the student performances were great and the choreography for that many students is staggering.  (Photos below)

* [Side note, I planned to go to the little grocery closer to campus during lunch yesterday to get some detergent so I could do laundry, but then Carol showed up with three slips from the post office. Since she wasn’t sure they’d be open on Saturday, and I didn’t want to wait til Monday for package(s) from home, I decided to get them during lunch instead of detergent. I had to take a taxi downtown (by myself!) and it turned out that the reason I had three slips was that the school mailroom didn’t know who I was and just held them. Somebody finally thought to send them to the International Division. The packet from a friend in NC had actually been here a month!]


And I’m writing this Saturday evening because I have to get up early again tomorrow to teach a private lesson to A’s nephew who is preparing to study abroad in Canada. (Again, something I agreed to do before I knew I’d be busy on Saturday). Oh well, I met him last weekend and he’s a nice kid.

And maybe in the afternoon I’ll make it to the store.


Postscript: It’s rainy today (Sunday) so I won’t be going to the store. Oh well. I have at least one clean outfit I can wear tomorrow.

Addendum: I got a text around 4pm from Carol that the Post Office called her and I have a package. Since it stopped raining, I got a taxi and went back over and got the package – this one from my brother L. Then I walked a couple blocks to BBG mall and got some detergent from their basement grocery store.

Doing laundry now…….

#RobinSTL #BloggingAbroad


4 thoughts on “Week Nine: 2017.11.12

  1. Oh Robin it sounds the same sort of stuff that Gareth tells me about, he hasn’t had cold sores (nasty horrible things they are) but has had a nasty cough. He says some of the kids aren’t interested in learning they don’t really want to be there. He teaches older kids at the weekend and goes to different schools in the week. Oh but have you got your Ikea sorted now, and you’ve got this weekend to chill. Um yes I know it’s only Monday


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